Vietnamese Rice Paper Roll Ingredients
1 cup of lettuce
½ cup of thai basil leaves
½ cup mint leaves
1 bunch of chives, chopped in half (approx. 10cm in length)
250g pork belly (you can also use barbecued pork or chicken)
200g tiger prawns
salt and pepper (whole)
rice paper (around 15 pieces)
vermicelli (white rice noodles( – 1 packet from the shops but just use around 3 bundles from the packet
Method/Steps to make Rice Paper Rolls
1. Prepare the vermicelli – add water to saucepan and put on heat. You can immediately add in the vermicelli so the water doesn’t need to be boiling hot (unlike most other pastas). Cook for around 3-5 minutes until al dente
2. Prepare the vegetables – wash all mint, basil and lettuce leaves and dry as much as possible. Display on a plate/platter as you’ll need to easily take each to use in each rice paper roll.
3. Prepare the meat
4. Grab a saucepan and add in peppercorns and salt to half a pot of water. Wait until water is boiled then add in pork belly. Cook until tender (around 30 mins on low simmer), remove from pot and leave to cool. If you’re out of time, quickly put the pork on a small plate/platter and freeze for a couple of minutes to immediately cool the pork belly. You’ll be slicing this soon and you don’t want it too hot to handle (or hot to eat as the main objective of the rice paper rolls is to eat these on a spring/ summery day and you want these cool and fresh tasting). Then slice around 2-3mm thick and leave for later.
5. Cook the prawns in boiling water. Wash under cold water immediately so stop the cooking process. Then peel the prawns and slice them in half (lengthways) and devein the prawn i.e. remove the poop chute and leave prawns to cool.
Ingredients for the Dipping Sauce
3 tablespoons of Hoi Sin Sauce
(You can buy these from Coles, Woolworths, Asian groceries. If you’re not a fan of hoi sin sauce, you can just use sweet chilli sauce as the main dipping sauce instead).
1½ tablespoons of smooth peanut butter (Any brand will do, but here we have used Coles smooth peanut butter)
Add the peanut butter to the hoi sin sauce to a pan or small saucepan, to give it a nice texture with a nutty taste to the sauce. This balances out the saltiness and sweetness flavor of the hoi sin sauce. Mix until both textures form one colour.
Then add around half a cup of water and stir until smooth consistency. It should bit a slightly thick but still runny consistency. Taste to your liking, and leave it to cool on the side.
Rolling the Rice Paper Roll
Now this is the fun part. It can however, sometimes get a bit messy if you put too many ingredients on your plate. The kids can make their own too, and you can always turn this part of the meal into fun/sharing time. Rice paper rolls as you may know can come in all sorts of sizes – there’s no right or wrong way of making these! Here’s one of the ways to do it:
1. Soak a sheet of rice paper in hot water in a big bowl
2. Then place rice paper sheet on a large plate
3. Add a bit of lettuce, mint and basil leaves on the rice paper, leaving a few cm (around 3cm) on either vertical side of the sheet.
4. Pop down a bit of vermicelli, add a couple of pork slices and prawns.
5. Fold both vertical sides of the rice paper sheet towards the middle.
6. Include the chives and leave a bit hanging out to the side – when you roll these they will add a nice extra touch to it.
7. Then roll from the bottom of the sheet up as firmly as you can without breaking anything from the inside (sometimes the sheet can break if you’re not careful) and then serve on a plate, ready to be eaten. Yum!
Rice paper rolls are always a great way to start off Spring with some healthy freshness. They look great and taste delicious, and the basil and mint gives them a beautiful zingy flavour. You can make these for dinner parties (can carefully slice them diagonally if you roll them firmly), canapes for Spring lunches, entree for dinners, or even just a Spring snack that’s great for the family. You can make them in all different sizes (fun sized for the kids too). We hope you enjoyed this recipe – any questions just let us know!
What other delicious rolls or Spring-type of meals do you like to make? We’d love for you to share.