JAMIE CROOKIVER (aka JAMES CROOK)
Vietnamese spring roll is a fresh, healthy alternative
to the deep-fried variety, essentially a colourful
and tasty version of the humble salad sandwich that's
an easy way to add flair to a quick meal."
Vietnamese spring roll is a fresh, healthy alternative to
the deep-fried variety, essentially a colourful and tasty
version of the humble salad sandwich that's an easy way to
add flair to a quick meal.
It's important to use fresh vegetables and herbs where you
can, the crisp texture and flavour combined with a spicy dipping
sauce are heaven on a hot day. The rolls are very versatile
and can be served as a lunch or light dinner, or you can make
them smaller for nibbles or an entree. The other beautiful
thing about them is their simplicity - you can use whatever
fillings you like really, and make them with shrimp if you
prefer seafood or tofu if you're vegetarian. I've used chicken
because it's easy!
VIETNAMESE SPRING ROLLS
8 rice paper rounds - or as many sheets as you want rolls,
plus a couple extra for mistakes!
1/2 cooked chicken, meat cut off into strips
1/2 cake rice vermicelli
1 red capsicum
4 lettuce leaves
Other ingredients might include bean shoots, crushed nuts,
shrimp or tofu.
whatever tasty fresh herbs you can find, I suggest: Vietnamese
mint, Thai Basil and coriander
For the dipping sauce,
use equal parts:
Sweet chilli sauce
Soy sauce or Hoisin Sauce
the ingredients should be available in at any decent
supermarket or, if you're having trouble, head to
the nearest Asian grocer."
the ingredients should be available in at any decent supermarket
or, if you're having trouble, head to the nearest Asian grocer.
If you've never used rice paper rounds before, you're in for
a treat. They come crisp and opaque, with the criss-cross
pattern of their bamboo mold printed on them. You'll need
to soak each individually in water for a minute or two until
it is soft and translucent. When soft, remove from the water
and place on a teatowel until you're ready to roll.
The vermicelli will also need to be prepared. Place it into
a large bowl and cover with boiling water, after a minute
or two it will soften and you can drain the water off.
Slice the vegetables very thinly, including the lettuce. You
can break the leaves from the herbs as you go, these don't
need to be chopped.
Spread a softened rice paper sheet onto a board and place
a row of vegetables, vermicelli, chicken and herb leaves along
the bottom. You need to leave plenty of rice paper to wrap
around the filling - it's very tempting to be generous but
don't overfill them or you'll have trouble holding them together.
Roll the rice paper carefully over and around the filling,
folding the two ends in as you go. Transfer carefully to plates.
This stage can be a bit of fun as the rice paper has a tendency
to break if you pull it too hard. Once the wrap is complete
it will dry out a little and become stronger.
The fresh ingredients are greatly enhanced by the dipping
sauce. To prepare, mix all ingredients and serve in a small
Eat with your fingers or, if you're feeling especially adventurous,
try tackling these with chopsticks.
OF GOOD EATING... |