If anyone saw my last Instagram post of a cream-heavy meal then you understand why I was in desperate need of a light fresh meal. Enter these Veggie Rice Paper Rolls. This is exactly the type of food I love to eat, particularly in the Summer months. They are full of flavour while being a lot more filling than you might think.
Rice paper rolls have many names such as fresh spring rolls, Summer rolls, Vietnamese rolls. Whatever you like to call them, they are delicious. For these Veggie Rice Paper Rolls I have used carrots, peppers, cucumber and sugar snap peas. The beauty of these rolls is you can use whatever you like yourself. If you want to use protein, prawns or pork are the traditional fillings but they work equally well with chicken, beef, salmon or tofu. I like to make them with my Thai Beef Salad as a filling.
Don’t be nervous of using the rice paper wrappers. You might have to sacrifice the first couple of sheets but you will get the hang of it quickly and you’ll wonder what all the fuss is about!
Useful tips & links:
- One alternative filling if you want to keep these veggie is to use beansprouts, avocado and mango which is a delicious combination. The same dipping sauce goes well with them too.
- To make these gluten free, use tamari in place of soy sauce.
- To make these vegetarian, find a substitute for the fish sauce, I have seen people make their own sauce using seaweed flakes or dried shiitake mushrooms.
- I also served the peanut dipping sauce from my Beef Satay Skewers for a heartier sauce but the dipping sauce below was the favourite. If you don’t want to make a sauce use a decent sweet chilli sauce instead.
- For more rice paper roll inspiration have a look at Niamh’s Vietnamese Summer Rolls Two Ways on Eat like a Girl or Ethna’s Vietnamese Fresh Spring Rolls on the Burlesque Chef.
Veggie Rice Paper Rolls
Makes 12, Serves 4-6
For the dipping sauce:
- 2 tablespoons of boiling water
- 2 tablespoons of caster, soft brown or palm sugar
- 1 tablespoon of fish sauce
- 2 tablespoons of soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon of rice wine vinegar
- The juice of 1 lime, approx 2 tablespoons
- A clove of garlic, crushed
- 1 stalk of lemongrass, tough outer layer removed and the white part finely sliced
- 1 medium red chilli, finely chopped
For the rolls:
- 12 x 22cm rice paper wrappers
- 100g of vermicelli rice noodles
- 1 teaspoon of sesame oil
- 1 carrot
- ½ a small cucumber
- 1 red pepper
- 50g of sugar snap peas
- A small bunch each of mint and coriander leaves, chopped
- ½ a medium red chilli, finely sliced
- Start by making the dipping sauce as this will give time for it to stand and allow the flavours develop. Put the sugar in a small bowl and pour in the boiling water. Stir until the sugar has dissolved and then add the rest of the ingredients. Set this to one side while you assemble the rolls.
- To prepare the fillings for the rolls start by cooking the rice noodles. Follow the packet instructions but usually I place them in a bowl of boiling water and leave them for 3-4 minutes. Then drain and rinse them and season them with the sesame oil.
- Next prep the vegetables. Peel the carrots and slice into thin batons or julienne style approx 8-10cm long. To keep them fresh wrap them in damp kitchen paper. Slice the pepper to the same length and cut a chunk of cucumber the same length again. Scoop out the seeds from the cucumber and slice to the same size as the other veg. Finely slice the sugar snap peas.
- When ready to assemble the rolls have all of the filling ingredients easily to hand. Then fill a shallow dish large enough to hold the rice paper wrappers with warm but not boiling water. Place the wrapper into the water for approx 30 seconds until it has softened enough to roll. Don’t leave it in too long as it will become sticky and impossible to work with. It will also continue to soften after you take it out of the water.
- Hold up the wrapper to allow excess water to drip from it. Place it down flat on a damp tea towel or plastic chopping board.
- Start to place your fillings about a third of the way from the bottom of the wrapper. Make sure you have a bit of everything but don’t over fill. You’ll get a feel as you make them of how much filling to use.
- Roll from the bottom of the wrapper keeping the filling wrapped tight. When halfway up, pull the sides in and keep rolling until you have a tight parcel.
- Store the rolls under a damp tea towel or under cling film until ready to serve so that they don’t dry out. Make sure they are not touching on the plate or they will stick together. They are best eaten within a couple of hours of making them but will keep for up to 12 hours covered in the fridge.
- Taste the dipping sauce and adjust for seasoning as needed. Serve with the Veggie Rice Paper Rolls at room temperature.