Served cold and bursting with freshness, these Vietnamese summer rolls (known as goi cuon), have that authentic Asian taste. Great for when the weather starts to warm up…
This recipe is adapted using ingredients more readily found in the UK and the dipping sauce here is probably the most recognisable of them all, nuoc mam pha.
- King prawns (shelled)
- Fresh mint
- Fresh basil or Thai basil
- Rice vermicelli noodles
- Gem lettuce
- Rice paper discs (banh trang)
For the dipping sauce:
- Fresh lime
- Palm sugar (or brown sugar)
- Fish sauce
- Fresh chilli or dried chilli flakes (to taste)
Start by gently boiling the king prawns until they are just cooked. Immediately drain and run under cold water to stop further cooking and leave to one side.
Take a handful of dry vermicelli noodles and drop into boiling water. These will only need a minute to cook through. Like the prawns, drain and cool with a running cold tap and put aside.
As the prawns and noodles cool, prep your gem lettuce and cucumber – you’ll want finely sliced for both.
In a large bowl, dip a rice paper disc into warm water. Leave for a couple of seconds and place another rice disc on top. When softened, remove and allow to drain before putting both, one on top of the other, onto a flat surface. They should be translucent at this stage and quite ‘sticky’ to the touch.
Working backwards to build your rolls, take a few prawns and place them in a row centre of the soft rice disc (butterflied, if you want). Layer with one or two mint leaves, basil, cucumber strips, lettuce, beansprouts and finally a small amount of noodles. A bit of trial and error is needed here so as not to overfill and allow the rice paper to roll up!
Fold in your outer edges of the disc to overlap, and using a little warm water to adhere together before folding over the top and bottom to form your ‘roll’. Repeat with remaining ingredients.
For the dipping sauce, squeeze the juice of half a lime into a small bowl and mix with fish sauce of the same amount. Dissolve a tablespoon of palm sugar into the mix, adding a little bit of water if needed. Sprinkle in some finely sliced chilli to finish, and you’re ready to serve!
These make for a lovely light lunch, but will also store well in the fridge for a day if you want to keep them as a quick snack.
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