Vietnamese Rice Paper Rolls are this weeks Alfresco Friday dish because they are the perfect starter for a summer picnic on the beach or a BBQ with friends. They are so much healthier than a cheese or antipasto platter and perfectly suited to the season.
Having said all those wonderful things about this dish I try NEVER to make them! I struggle so badly rolling them, the rice paper splits, they are all different sizes and they just look wonky. It is a train wreck!So the other day when I was watching my friend Miss Rachy cooking Rice Paper Rolls I was in awe. She was a rice paper rolling machine! Miss Rach made it look so easy! So I decided to get her to make them a second time for all my lovely readers. For Alfresco Friday I will be taking you step by step through Miss Rach’s Rice Paper Roll recipe and technique.
1 cup shredded poached chicken breast (prawns can be substituted)
1/8 Chinese cabbage (wombok), finely shredded
1/2 cup beansprouts, trimmed
1 small red capsicum, thinly sliced
1/3 cup fresh mint leaves
1/2 cup fresh coriander leaves
3/4 pkt vermicelli noodles
1 lime, juiced
1 tablespoon fish sauce
2 cloves garlic minced
1 finely chopped chilli
12 x 22cm rice paper rounds
sweet chilli sauce, to serve
Usually I chop everything in OCD matchsticks and lay out the ingredients separately. To fill the rolls I select veges from each pile and attempt to roll, trying not to poke holes with the carrots. WRONG
I watched and learned.
Soak the vermicelli in boiling water per the manufacturers directions.
Shredded all the ingredients finely and combine the vegetables, mint, coriander, chilli, garlic, fish sauce, lime juice and vermicelli in a large bowl. Ensure all the ingredients are well combined.
Shred the meat and keep aside in a separate bowl.
Wet a clean tea towel and lay on the bench. Put water in a baking tray for soaking the rice paper rolls.
Place the first rice paper roll in the water until it has softened. Once softened lay the rice paper round on the wet towel and place a fist full of the vegetable mixture on one end.
Lay slices of the chicken on top of the veges and add an extra mint leaf if desired. Roll away!
Serve with sweet chili sauce.
The big difference between my technique and Miss Rachys was that everything was chopped finer and combined ahead of placing in a mound on the rice papers.
Give it a go for me and let me know what you think.
So what are my readers up to this weekend? Do you have a special dish you usually bring to BBQ’s and picnics or do you vary it each time?