I went through a phase where I thought Vietnamese summer rolls were the best thing since sliced bread. I was in my late teens, had never been to Vietnam (still haven’t…) and just thought they were so much more exotic than the stock standard spring rolls I had munched on all my life! I did and do love spring rolls, my parents make cracking ones, but I don’t think it was cool for a teenage girl to profess a love of deep fried foods back in the day.
Now, years later, I am still quite fond of summer rolls but I find myself ordering them less in restaurants and ordering spring rolls more. Mostly because I won’t let a certain someone get a deep fryer (that self conscious teenage girl had some sense) and summer rolls are so easy to make at home!
The beauty of summer rolls is that you can pop in whatever fillings take your fancy; the ingredients below are for my favourite combination but I’ve also made them with roast pork belly or poached chicken breast, and other salad vegetables. When the weather starts to behave and we can dine al fresco these would be perfect for those picnics in the park or a starter to nibble on while you’re firing up the barbeque!
Vietnamese Summer Rolls (Connie’s Version)
(makes 12 rolls)
- 12 rice paper sheets
- 24 prawns; peeled and deveined
- drizzle of olive oil
- 1 clove of garlic, crushed
- 1 teaspoon light soy sauce
- 100g vermicelli noodles
- 1 carrot, julienned
- 1/2 small lettuce, finely chopped
- 2 – 3 spring onions, finely sliced
- 1 capsicum, finely sliced
- hoisin sauce and sriracha sauce to serve
Heat the olive oil in a frypan and gently fry the prawns with the garlic and soy sauce until cooked through. Remove from the pan and set aside to cool.
Put the vermicelli noodles into a bowl and cover with boiling water; leave to soak for 5-10 minutes until the noodles have softened and turned white. Drain well and set aside to cool.
Fill a shallow dish with warm water (I find a frypan works perfectly as you can heat up the water if it gets too cold) and soak a sheet of rice paper until it becomes malleable and translucent. Remove from water and place flat onto a board.
Place your fillings in the middle of the sheet – I like to place the noodles at the bottom and pile everything else on top. Now fold the bottom of the sheet up and tightly over the filling, fold the sides in and continue rolling. You need to move fairly swiftly so the sheets don’t dry out and crack while you’re rolling them.
The rolls are best served straight away but you can cover them with a damp tea towel and pop them in the fridge for up to a couple of hours if you’re making them a little ahead of time.
I like to serve mine with a mix of hoisin and sriracha sauce but honestly, you can do whatever you like!
Are you a fan of Vietnamese summer rolls? Have you ever made your own?