I just adore the fresh ingredients and taste of Vietnamese Rice Paper Rolls. I have to be honest and say up front that I alter from traditionalists a fair bit, as my family do not enjoy prawns. Prawns are also an unsustainable / unethical product but I will have to write on that another day! So I made a few with prawns and some with free range chicken.
4 – 6 King Prawns
1 cooked free ranged chicken breast
1 packet of rice paper wrappers
1 packet of vermicelli bean thread
2-3 spring onions
1-2 cups shredded lettuce
handful mint leaves
few Thai basil leaves
few flat leaf parsley
- Put two vermicelli bundles into a small container with enough lukewarm water to cover. Sit aside for 15 – 20 minutes while it softens.
- Cut the chicken into thin long strips. Prepare the prawns by removing the shell and vein. Cut prawns in half and place meat aside.
- Cut all the vegetables into julienne strips. Shred the lettuce finely. Break the leaves of the herbs off the stems and discard the stems. Arrange all the ingredients in a sort of assembly line.
- Wet a clean tea towel and place it on your work bench. Have a large plate filled with room temperature water sitting near by. To make the rolls, place the rice paper wrapper (which is stiff and hard) into the water for around 30 seconds. Don’t be tempted to leave it in longer, as it will become impossible to work with. Lay it on the tea towel.
- Begin to assemble the roll, place a strip of meat in a line about half the width of the wrapper in the centre of the bottom third of the wrapper. (See image below for placement). Layer all the other vegetable ingredients on top of the meat, placing a mixture of herbs on top. Complete the stack with a handful of vermicelli noodles.
- To wrap, simply fold the bottom up over the ingredients and fold the sides in to create a pouch. Gently but tightly, roll from bottom to top to form a wrap. Serve with a dipping sauce.
- I love this dish. I have made it on several occasions, and would make it more often except my family are not such fans. The flavours are crisp and clean, so experiment a bit with your vegetable and herb choices. I strongly recommend the mint though – it just adds to it so fantastically!
- I use to make my own dipping sauces with combinations of ginger, sesame oil, fish sauce and maple syrup, however, this time around I bought a commercial one to try to pick their flavours.
- Excuse my absolute crappy diagram above. I’m not so good with drawing on the computer.
- Diabetics note: My BGLs were fine after this meal, but do be careful of your bean thread / noodles as they can be high in carbohydrates.