These are my favourite things to make, ever. Plus they’re my favourite things to eat. They’re fresh, healthy and so, so suitable for any summer’s day event. I’ve made them for music festivals, picnics and Christmas Day. I’ve made them for many lunches and simple dinners when it’s just too hot to cook. A versatile snack which can be adapted to suit your tastes. The freshness is just divine.
I make 2 dipping sauces to go with them – garlic, lemon and chilli or, everyone’s favourite hoisin and peanut butter.
Vegetarian Rice Paper Rolls
10 sheets of rice paper
100g vermacilli noodles
2 carrots – roughly grated
a handful of bean shoots
half a bunch of spring onions – chopped
lettuce – cut into thick shreds
cucumber – sliced finely, skin removed
half a bunch of coriander
10 – 20 mint leaves
1. Soak the noodles in warm water for 10 minutes and then add to boiling water for 10 minutes and drain.
2. Fill a bowl, large enough for the rice paper, with warm water, and immerse 1 wrapper for 20 seconds – do not let it get soggy, otherwise the paper will tear.
3. Add all ingredients onto rice paper as layers, including the noodles. Be careful not to overstuff it. I like to layer it in this order – noodles, carrot, cucumber, spring onion, bean shoots, coriander and mint, then I like to wrap the lettuce half way around the other ingredients, so they’re a little secure before I begin the tricky part of wrapping the rice paper!
4. Ensure that all the ingredients are in the top, centre part of the rice paper. Fold the top of the wrapper over the filling and roll it over once, fold in the sides, then roll it over again towards the bottom of the wrapper. This takes practice! I still mess this part up, and I’ve made these many a time.
5. Place the rice paper rolls in the fridge for about an hour – this will firm them up a little bit making it easier to eat, and will make them more refreshing.
Garlic, Lemon and Chilli
4 cloves garlic, finely diced/minced
the juice of 2 lemons
2 small red chillis, seeds removed and finely diced
2 tablespoons of brown sugar
1/2 cup rice vinegar
1/2 cup of fish sauce (I have found vegetarian substitutes at health food, and organic stores)
Hoisin and Peanut Butter
2 tablespoons of peanut butter
2 tablespoons of hoisin sauce
1 teaspoon of warm water
(adjust the quantities to suit your taste)