Rice paper rolls are a fantastic little bundle of flavour! They are a Vietnamese dish, which are so light, fresh and nutritious. The only negative is the time consuming nature that is rolling individual rolls, especially when making them for more than one. I used to make these every one or two weeks, but since having kids this is the first time we’ve had them. The kids enjoyed them a lot, but theirs did fall apart.
These rice paper rolls have been made with shredded chicken, but pork or chicken mince works well as does prawns, and they can also be made vegetarian. I also will sometimes include the peanut dipping sauce into the actual roll itself, for a greater spread of flavour, and other times use it as a dipping sauce.
There is an art to soaking the rice paper and successfully removing it from the water without it sticking to itself. This is something Aaron has always struggled with – this and getting the amount of filling right so that the rice paper doesn’t break :). The key, I have found, is to use hot, not boiling water, so that the rice paper slowly softens and you can handle it in the water without burning yourself. Less is more when it comes to the filling of the rice paper rolls. Too much filling and the rice paper will definitely tear, leaving quite a mess.
As far as portion goes, for dinner, I will usually have 3-4, Aaron will generally have one more than me, and the kids had 1.5-2 each. If you wanted to reduce the carbohydrate content, you could omit or minimise the vermicelli noodles and pack it out with the salad and add a bit more of the chicken.
If you’ve never tried rice paper rolls, please try these – you will not be disappointed!
- 1 chicken breast fillet
- Rice paper rounds
- 1 small packet rice vermicelli noodles
- 1 medium sized carrot, peeled and cut into matchsticks
- 1 medium red capsicum, cut into matchsticks
- 2 cups bean sprouts
- 1 cup mint leaves
- 1 cup coriander leaves
- 1 tbs sesame seeds
- 1 long red chilli (optional)
Cucumber and chilli salsa
- 1 Lebanese cucumber, diced
- 1 long red chilli
- 1 tsp fish sauce
- 2 tbs brown sugar
- 2 tbs lime juice
Peanut dipping sauce
- 1/2 tsp sesame oil
- 2 tbs soy sauce
- 2 tbs hoisin sauce
- 2 tbs brown sugar
- 2 tbs lemon juice
- 3/4 cup peanuts, chopped
- Heat a medium frypan over medium heat, add ~1tbs olive oil and cook the chicken for about 5 minutes on each side, or until cooked through. Set aside, and once slightly cooled, shred the chicken.
- To make the salad, place the bean sprouts, mint leaves, coriander leaves, chilli, sesame seeds into a large bowl and toss to combine.
- To make the salsa, place cucumber, chilli, fish sauce, brown sugar and lime juice into a small bowl and stir to combine.
- To make the peanut sauce, place sesame oil, soy sauce, hoisin sauce, brown sugar and lemon juice into a bowl. Mix to combine. Add the chopped peanuts and stir to combine.
- Prepare carrot and capsicum.
- Place vermicelli noodles into a medium sized bowl and cover with boiling water. Leave to sit for 5 minutes or until the noodles are soft. Set aside.
- To assemble the rice paper rolls, fill a large bowl with hot water. Place rice paper rounds, one at a time, into the water until soft. Remove, using two hands to keep it flat and place onto a plate. Place a small amount of noodles, salad, salsa, a couple of sticks of carrot and capsicum and peanut sauce (if desired) into the centre of the rice paper, being careful not to over fill.
- To fold the rice paper roll, fold the side closest to you over the filling, followed by the left hand side then the right hand side and roll away from you. Repeat with remaining rice paper rounds.