Vietnamise rice paper rolls are so vibrant and appetising that it’s hard for them to not impress whoever you have sat around your dinner table. We love adding them to our selection when we’re doing Asian, even if we’re just cooking for ourselves. Well – especially if we’re just cooking for ourselves.
They are a simple extra, which take no time at all but complete your spread; the crunch, the colour, the freshness accompanies some noodles so well, but they aren’t too filling that they tip you over the edge when you’ve almost had sufficient.
You can purchase the papers from any Asian store you have lurking around the corner, or failing that, a very large Supermarket should stock them too. Have a look online beforehand if you don’t live in a city, to save you driving somewhere to find out they don’t sell them. They’re usually pretty cheap – ours are around £2 something for a pack containing around twenty sheets. We cut each roll into two or three, so it wouldn’t take too many to make an impressive platter for a dinner party. Why not try these as canapés when you’re next hosting an Asian feast?
The servings for this are difficult as its up to you to decide how many you think you’ll want, so we’re going to write down what we usually do for two of us for a main dish:
You will need:
- 3 sheets of rice paper
- 2 spring onions cut into strips
- A good chunk of red cabbage, either grated or cut into thin strips
- 2 inches of cucumber, cut into thin strips
- 3 radishes
- 1 carrot, grated
- A handful of rocket
- Soy sauce, sweet chilli or hoisin sauce to dip
- Any other veg you fancy! Water chestnuts are delicious and some red onion never goes amiss
In a large, shallow saucepan pour in some water and bring to a simmer. Once it is hot, remove from the heat and allow to cool down.
Once it is cool enough to touch, take a sheet of rice paper and place in the water for 5 seconds or so. It will collapse and become completely soft so once it has done this, take it out and place on a large plate as flat as possible. It becomes very sticky so try not to let too much of it stick together as this will make it difficult to roll and it may tear!
Now place your veg in whichever order you prefer onto one side of the rice paper. Leave an inch or so above, below and to the side of it so that you can tuck these edges over and roll! We like to stick the top and bottom together in the middle if we can, then bring over the side and start rolling until all the rice paper is compact and held together. Slice in half, choose your dipping sauce and plate up!