Thursday, February 13, 2014

thursday recipe: a how to...make rice paper rolls

There's no real recipe to making rice paper rolls but there are a few little tips that can mean the difference between a memorable healthy bite to eat and a soggy mess. Here is your step-by-step guide to rice paper roll perfection!

Step 1: Boil the kettle. Place rice noodles in a bowl and cover with boiling water. Leave to stand for 8-10 minutes until soft (break apart with a fork). Drain and stand aside.

Step 2: Prepare your filling. The possibilities are endless here. Julienne (finely sliced 'sticks') carrot, cucumber, capsicum. You can add lettuce if you like and fresh herbs such as Vietnamese mint and or coriander mean the difference between tasty and bland. Choose your protein and cook it to your liking - fish, prawns, chicken, tofu, tempeh. For this batch I used chicken, I dusted it lightly in flour, salt and pepper and pan fried it. A winner! Avocado is a favorite addition at our place.

Step 3: In a flat shallow dish pour in a few centimetres of lukewarm water ready to dip your rice paper.

Step 4: (see below) A quick dip this is one of the keys to success. Don't be fooled into thinking you need to soak the paper until it is soggy. Just dip it through the water, ensuring it is completely wet to the edges but don't leave it sitting in the water.

Step 5: Lay your rice paper on a clean surface, the bench top is fine. We have a large wooden board that runs the length of our bench, the rice paper sticks slightly but it is manageable.

Step 6: Place your filling at the top end away from your body. The key here is not to overstuff the rice paper. The other tip is place the colourful ingredients on first so that you finish up with pretty rice paper rolls where you can see the colours through the paper. If you put the noodles down first you will end up with white rolls which will still taste yummy but not look as good. You will get better with practice at working out the ratio of noodles. Think less not more.

Step 7: Gently peel the top edge off your bench and fold it over your filling ingredients, tucking them in as you go.

Step 8: Gently peel the right hand edge off the bench and fold over to the centre.

 Step 9: Gently peel the left hand edge off the bench and fold to the centre.

Step 10: Roll towards you.

Step 11: Celebrate. Your rice paper roll is complete.

For a quick dipping sauce I mix a few big spoons of peanut butter and sweet chilli sauce together and thin it out with some water. Again you can be as imaginative as you like when it comes to making a dipping sauce. For two recipes - hoisin and peanut dipping sauce, or Vietnamese dipping sauce, check out One Handed Cooks.

These are best eaten close to the time you make them but if you are making them ahead of time store them in the fridge and cover with a damp cloth to keep them fresh. They are great for an afterschool snack.


1 comment:

  1. Thank you for linking up this week to the kitchen series over at poppyfoxathome. I've tried rice paper rolls and have to practise the perfect combinations I think the first batch had to many noodles I think.


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