I love these rice paper rolls, you can wrap up loads of tasty things in them like a spring roll – but these don’t come with any guilt.
I’ve eaten them a few times in Vietnamese restaurants and have always really liked them, though the best time I tried them was in Thailand, not from a street vendor or somewhere only the locals go, but in Bangkok airport between flights.
You could put loads of different things in them, I decided to go for satay in these as it gives them a real richness and is a classic combination with the chicken. Homemade satay is infinitely nicer than shop bought, and as it’s really easy to do there’s no reason not to give it a go.
We like to make them then cut them in half, stand them on their ends and then drizzle a tiny bit of light soy sauce into them before eating.
For four rolls
- 4 sheets of rice paper – you’ll get this from an Asian supermarket
- 200g peanuts (plain)
- 2 tablespoons light muscavado sugar
- 3 tablespoons dark soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon rice vinegar
- Juice of 1 lime
- 1 garlic clove, peeled
- 100mls coconut milk
- 2 spring onions, cut into 3" length shreds (this is so they can fit easily into the rolls)
- Quarter of a cucumber, core removed, cut into the same slender shreds (like you see with hoisin duck pancakes)
- A handful of fresh coriander (leaves and stalks)
- A handful of fresh mint, leaves torn
- 1 red chilli, finely sliced
- 5 shallots, peeled and finely sliced
- Groundnut oil for frying
- Soy sauce to serve
- In a food processor place the garlic, peanuts, sugar, lime juice, rice vinegar, coconut milk and dark soy sauce and blitz until smooth, this is your satay done – easy see.
- Fill a large bowl with the hottest water your hands can stand to dip in to, then take one of the rice paper sheets (which are very brittle so be careful) and put it into the water for just 30 seconds, then remove.
- You need to be careful when you take them out to try to keep them from sticking to each other, it has a funny sticky texture so a light touch is needed.
- Lay the sheet flat onto a plate, then start to place your herbs, cucumber, onion, chillies, chicken and satay sauce lengthways at the side closest to you – don’t be scared to mix it up with your fingers instead of having them there in layers.
- Now as when making a spring roll, bring in the sides of the roll and then the end closest to you up over the top of the ingredients, the bottom piece of the rice paper will stick to the sides that you pulled up first making it really easy to finish the roll.
- Tuck the ingredients into the pocket you’ve created then turn it over to seal the roll. Place to one side and then repeat with the other three rolls until you’ve used all the ingredients.
- Once this is done these can sit and wait, they’re eaten cold after all. Heat the groundnut oil (about an inch deep) in a pan until its very hot and then add the shallots to the oil to deep fry them. Cook in the hot oil for a few minutes until the shallots turn golden, then remove them and drain on kitchen paper.
- Dress the top of the rolls with the crispy shallots then eat.