Summer Rolls

For todays canapé I’m going back to Vietnam and although these are served all over Vietnam, rather specifically in this case I’m thinking of the Mekong Delta. We stayed in a wooden homestead on the delta and were served on our first night, make your own summer rolls with pineapple and a fish which looked a little like a piranha! I’m not going to show you that but suffice to say the addition of pineapple to the rolls is now something I always do as it brings a lovely sharp, sweet tang.

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Summer rolls are always fun to make, especially if you’ve got a little helper and can get a conveyor belt going. In terms of filling, anything goes. Usually it would be a combination of vegetables and fish or shellfish but you can make them completely vegan.  You can also add fresh herbs like coriander, mint and Thai basil but do so sparingly as the flavours are strong.

Serves: 3 as a light lunch, 5 as a starter,  or 20 canapé

5 a day: 1 per roll

Cooking time: 30 minutes

Ingredients

Rolls

  • 10 + small sheets of rice paper
  • 100g rice vermicelli noodles
  • 500g selection of matchsticks vegetables which could be
    • Carrots
    • Cucumber
    • Red cabbage
    • Red or green peppers
    • Spring onion or chives
    • Pineapple or mango
    • Baby corn
    • Butterhead lettuce
    • Mint, Thai basil, corriander

Dipping Sauce

  • Juice from 1 lime
  • 2 tbs sugar
  • 100ml water
  • 2 tbs light soy sauce (or fish sauce if not vegetarian)
  • 1 small birds eye chilli finely chopped – optional
  • 1 clove garlic finely chopped – optional

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Method

Make dipping sauce by combining all the ingredients in a small bowl and stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Taste and adjust the ingredient to balance the sweet, sour, salt and heat. Cover and refrigerate until needed.

Ensure your vegetables are sliced before starting the rolls.

Bring a saucepan of water to the boil and cook the noodles for a minute or two. Drain and rinse in cool water.

To assemble get a bowl of water big enough to dip the rice papers in. Dip one in and shake off the excess. Lay on a chopping board. Place a mixture of the noodles and vegetables on the centre of the paper. Wait until the paper has softened and dried a little (you can start another paper if you like to get a conveyor belt going) and then fold the sides in over the filling and then fold the bottom over and tightly roll towards the top until all the rice paper is wrapped around you roll. Repeat with additional papers until all the filling is used.

You can refrigerate now, covered well with clingfilm for a couple of hours if required.

Just before service slice each roll in half and serve with dipping sauce.

 

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