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Sunday, 4 December 2011

Vietnamese Rice Paper Rolls

 These rice paper rolls are from a true authentic Vietnamese recipe.  The recipe is, I admit, not my own but from a Vietnamese lady I worked with.  So thank you Lien - they are AWESOME!

INGREDIENTS:
1 packet rice vermicelli
1 green mango (don't like mango?  you can substitute cucumber)
2 carrots
1/2 bunch fresh coriander
1/2 bunch fresh mint
1/2 bunch thai basil
lettuce
rice papers (available from the supermarket - asian section)
grilled lemongrass chicken (see recipe below or use a bbq chicken from the supermarket - or alternatively, small peeled prawns)

METHOD:
Place vermicelli in a dish and pour boiling water over.  Wait about 5 mins until the noodles are soft, then rinse them under cold water and drain well.
Slice mango into thin slivers.
Slice carrot into long thin slivers.
Chop herbs finely.
In a large bowl mix together the noodles, mango, carrot and herbs, toss well.
Shred/chop your chicken into thin strips.
Break lettuce into shreds.
Have everything out ready to go... your bowl of noodle salad, your chicken(prawns) and your lettuce.  Have a large flat bowl with hot water in it and your rice paper sheets ready to go.  Have a chopping board or a large plate ready for preparing the rolls.  All this stuff can be made in advance - but you should really make the rolls on the day you are going to eat them.
 Here my little assistant Miss 5, places a rice paper wrapper in the hot water and gently softens it.  She then places the rice paper circle on to the prep board.
 She adds the chicken / prawn pieces (usually a few more than this is better - lol)
 Add a handful of the noodle salad
 Add a few pieces of lettuce
 Fold up the bottom...(or as Miss 5 says, "pull up it's pants")
 Fold over the top... (pull down it's shirt)
 Tightly roll the contents into the rice paper.
Place in your serving tray / dish / picnic box with baking paper to help stop sticking together (good to sprinkle with a little water between the rolls so they don't stick together too badly).

LEMONGRASS CHICKEN RECIPE

This just boosts the rolls to a higher level of deliciousness - if you have the time - DEFINITELY worth it.

1kg breast or thigh fillets
4 cloves garlic
4 tbs finely diced lemongrass (you can buy it already diced in the freezer section of asian grocery stores)
1/2 cup soy sauce
1 tbs sugar
1/4 cup oil

Throw everything in a bowl and marinade overnight - grill until brown.

AUTHENTIC HOISIN DIPPING SAUCE

1 bottle hoisin sauce - any brand is fine
1/2 cup of raw sticky rice (or cheat and use precooked rice from the supermarket)
2 tablespoons peanut butter (chunky is better)
1/2 garlic clove (or 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic from a jar)
2 cups of raw peanuts (or cheat and buy granulated peanuts from the baking section of supermarket)

Cook sticky rice up in pot with 1.5 cups of water.  Cook until porridge consistency (add more water as required).
In a blender or food processor add hoisin sauce, cooked rice, peanut butter, garlic and blend.  Or, mix well by hand.  If too thick, add small amounts of water to get a smooth consistency.
Roast raw peanuts in a dry pan over low heat.   Once brown, crush peanuts.
Add crushed peanuts to sauce upon serving.

These rolls are also delicious just by themselves, with soy sauce, or sweet chilli or hot sauce.

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