somewhere along my instagram news feed amongst tasty tapas, carefully decorated cupcakes and plates brimming with full english breakfasts, i remember coming across a picture of some vietnamese summer rolls. i looked up a few recipes straight away and learnt that i needed to search for a pretty key ingredient... rice paper wrappers. so when i headed to london the other weekend something i remembered to search for some in a soho supermarket :)
i based my recipe on one i found on the channel 4 food website by simon rimmer; there are a few altered ingredients and these quantities feed 2 greedy people around four rolls each :) he also includes a sauce though i made this peanut and chilli dipping sauce recipe up myself after a little experimentation.
the rice paper wrappers should look something a little like these. but what else will you need?
for eight vietnamese summer rolls
♥ 200g king prawns, cooked
♥ 100g thin rice noodles, cooked and tossed in sesame oil
♥ 6-8 rice paper wrappers
♥ a bunch of spring onions, sliced
♥ 100g iceberg lettuce, roughly chopped
♥ handful of fresh coriander
♥ crushed dry roasted peanuts
for the peanut and chilli dipping sauce
♥ 1 tbsp of smooth peanut butter
♥ 1 tbsp of dark soy sauce
♥ the juice of one lime
♥ 1 tsp of red chilies - i used my trusty very lazy
♥ 1 tsp soft light brown sugar
♥ a little chopped coriander
so begin by making the sauce... squeeze the lime juice into a mortar and chop the coriander.
next, mix in the peanut butter, red chilli, soy sauce and sugar until combined. serve up with a little coriander :)
now onto the main event. get your ingredients all set up like you're about to make something from blue peter... crush the peanuts, slice the spring onions, chop the lettuce and cook the noodles with a dash of sesame oil.
boil the kettle - not a for a brew though make one if you fancy - ready to soften the rice paper wrappers. once placed in a shallow dish of hot water, the rice paper transforms from a plastic-like disc into a pliable, transparent material. it was like nothing i'd cooked with before - i somehow expected them to feel like soft pancakes you wrap up duck and hoisin sauce in.
now you're officially ready to roll!
have a little fun with the ingredients; personally i loved lots of spring onions and coriander. you could also include green chilies, pork, boiled egg, lime juice, cucumber, thai basil, chives or mint. i also learnt that if you want the prawns to show through, put them down on the wrapper first - it can actually look quite pretty.
after trying one, i tried to refrain from eating the rest until i'd built up a nice little plate of three for a meal. it reminded me of when you're the "designated pancake maker" on shrove tuesday you have to eat all your pancakes standing up inbetween practicing your flipping skills.
have you ever tried out vietnamese summer rolls? what is your favourite street food style dish? do share any recipes you have! ♥