Summer is here and there is really not many things more appropriate for a light, fresh summer day lunch as these amazing, fresh Vietnamese spring rolls. You just need a few simple ingredients, some cutting, a bit of rolling practice, and some nice dipping sauces and you’re good to go. And no worries if at first you’ll not be able to roll them as tightly as desired, you’ll get the grip soon enough. There are only two rules eating them: you have to use your hands to eat them, and secondly, don’t skimp on the sauces. Hope you like them!
For the rolls (makes 10):
- 10 rice papers
- rice vermicelli noodles
- 1 mango
- 1 large carrot or 2 smaller ones
- 500 g of chicken fillet (prawns are magic as well)
- fresh cilantro
Easy peanut butter sauce
- Crunchy peanut butter
- soy sauce
- hoisin sauce
- 3 tbsp sweet chilli sauce
- 2 tsp fish sauce
- 1 tsp soy sauce
- Lime juice
- dry ginger
- fresh cilantro
- chilli flakes (optional)
- Cut the chicken fillets into small pieces – the smaller they are more evenly you’ll be able to fill the rolls. For marinate put on some sesame oil, a bit of lime juice, chilli flakes (depending on how spicy you want it to be), some garlic, dried lemongrass, salt and soy sauce. If you prefer it any other way feel free to use your imagination. Mix it well and leave it to rest a bit, but if you’re tight on time you can just stir-fry it straight away. To do so just heat the skillet, put in the chicken and cook until it’s well cooked through. Put it in a separate bowl so the chicken cools off.
- For the noodles, just put them into boiling water for a few seconds and wash off with cold one.
- Meanwhile cut the mango and carrots into thin julienne slices. For the carrots I prefer to make thin slices with a peeler and then cut it into thin, see-through strips. Cut the salad into thin strips as well.
- Now it’s time to start rolling. I like to use a large bowl with warm water to soak and soften rice paper. I find it best to put in two sheets at a time, leave for around a minute (depends on the thickness of the paper) than transfer to a wet kitchen surface. Put on some salad, carrots, mango, chicken, noodles and cilantro to the middle of the paper, all turned in the same direction. I advise you to check out some tutorials to find some different ways to roll them. If nicely softened, the paper will be a bit elastic, so don’t be scared to stretch it a bit in order to roll it tightly.
Peanut butter sauce
- Put a large spoon of peanut butter in a bowl. Add some water and mix well. You should add enough water to get a nice smooth texture. Add some soy sauce, a bit of hoisin and voila. If you like a bit of crunch as I do, throw some chopped roasted peanuts in there as well.
*If I’m in no rush, I like to make this sauce from scratch, making peanut butter from roasted peanuts and adding a little pinch of brown sugar to it. But if not, this one works great as well.
- Put together the sweet chilli sauce, fish sauce, lime juice and soy sauce and add as much water to get a nice clear sauce. Season to taste with the rest of spices.