Rice Paper Rolls
When we think of a culture’s cuisine, we don’t necessarily see it as a road map of historical interactions between different peoples, but that is precisely what it is. Food tells many stories, sometimes of peaceful trade and intermarriage, sometimes of violent conquest or warfare. In regard to Vietnamese cuisine, beef comes from invading Mongols who brought cattle with them. Stir-fry and deep fry techniques as well as chopsticks come from the Chinese.
Coconut milk, chilli peppers, and flat egg noodles come from southern neighbours like Laos and Thailand. Rice, the central component of the Vietnamese diet is eaten as a staple as well as used to make a variety of other foods, rice paper wrappers among them. This food product is what keeps the delicious fillings of spring rolls together for convenient consumption. Below are two delicious recipes to try in your own kitchen. Thưởng thức!
Vegetable Rice Paper Rolls
- 2 tbsp hot water
- 2 tbsp caster sugar
- 1 lime juiced
- 2 tbsp fish sauce
- 1 red birdseye chilli, seeded and chopped
- 1 clove crushed garlic
- 8 sheets rice paper
- 150 g red cabbage, cored and finely shredded
- 1 small carrot, peeled and shredded
- 1 cup bean sprouts
- 1 cup fresh coriander
- 1 cup fresh mint
Combine water and sugar until the sugar is dissolved. Then, stir in the lime juice, fish sauce, chilli, and garlic. Refrigerate until later.
Fill a bowl one quarter full with warm water. Soak a single sheet of rice paper until it begins to soften (10 – 15 seconds), then, drain water. Place a small amount of each of your five ingredients in the center of the paper, and fold in all four sides, tightly enclosing the filling. Place on a platter and cover with a damp paper towel. Repeat process seven more times. Serve your light, delicious spring rolls with your dipping sauce.
This recipe makes a perfectly refreshing appetizer to any meal. Because it’s simple to make and popular with a diverse range individuals, you can multiply the recipe to suit any party’s guest list. These rolls also make excellent additions to any packed lunches.
A Perfect Snack Pack
- 1 cup shredded barbecued chicken (pork, steak, or prawns may be substituted)
- 1/8 wombok (Chinese cabbage) finely shredded
- ½ cup trimmed beansprouts
- 1 small red chilli, thinly sliced
- ½ cup coriander leaves
- 1/3 cup mint leaves
- 1 lime, juiced
- 1 tbsp fish sauce
- 12 x 22 cm rice paper rounds
- sweet chilli sauce for dipping
Combine chicken, beansprouts, cabbage, mint, 1/3 cup coriander, mint, fish sauce, and 2 tablespoons of lime juice together in a large bowl.
Soften a rice paper round in a bowl of lukewarm water for about 15 seconds and place on a clean tea towel.
Spoon ¼ cup of the chicken mixture down the centre of the rice paper. Fold in the ends and firmly wrap into a roll. Repeat process, and serve with the sweet chilli sauce and the rest of the coriander.
This tasty recipe can be served as a light repast or several can be packed as a main course for a personal lunch. Because you can substitute any type of meat, these make an excellent use for meats that were previously prepared for another meal, if you so desire. They make an excellent recipe for the young single person who seeks to keep their weekday dinners exciting or for busy parents seeking ideas to tempt their family’s tastebuds. However, they are equally at home at a dinner party, playing the role of appetizers. For a range of high quality chicken, check out the range from your favourite butcher online