Thursday, March 11, 2010

Vietnamese rice paper rolls

2 x 100g packets vermicelli bean thread noodles
1 large (200g) red capsicum, halved, deseeded, thinly sliced
2 medium (200g) carrots, peeled, coarsely grated
1 1/2 cups chopped snow pea sprouts
1/2 cup roughly chopped fresh coriander leaves
1 fresh long red chilli, finely chopped
4cm piece fresh ginger, peeled, finely grated
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tablespoons salt-reduced soy sauce
2 teaspoons fish sauce (optional)
12 x 22cm round rice paper sheets
sweet chilli sauce to serve, for dipping

Step 1 Place noodles in a large heatproof bowl and cover with boiling water. Set aside to soak for 2 minutes or until softened.

Step 2 Drain noodles. Use kitchen scissors to cut into smaller lengths (this will make the noodle mixture easier to combine and divide among rice paper sheets).

Step 3 Add remaining ingredients (except rice paper sheets and chilli sauce). Toss to combine.

Step 4 Using one sheet of rice paper at a time, dip into a bowl of hot water and soak for 30 seconds or until pliable. Place on a clean chopping board or tea towel. Place some of the noodle mixture below the halfway mark of the round, leaving an edge, and fold in both sides. Securely fold the bottom edge over the filling to enclose, then carefully roll to the end. Repeat with remaining rice paper sheets and filling.

Step 5 Arrange on a large serving platter. Serve with sweet chilli sauce.

Wasabi chicken
Omit capsicum from recipe. Place 250g skinless chicken breast fillet in a frying pan. Cover with cold water and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Poach, uncovered, for 10-12 minutes or until cooked through. Transfer chicken to a plate and set aside for 10 minutes to cool. Shred. Add to noodle mixture with 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice and 2 teaspoons wasabi paste.

Nori and teriyaki beef
Omit capsicum from recipe. Place 200g sirloin steak in a glass dish. Pour over 1/3 cup teriyaki sauce and add garlic and just 1 tablespoon salt-reduced soy sauce from ingredients list. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Heat a medium non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Spray beef with cooking oil. Cook for 3 minutes each side for medium or until cooked to your liking. Thinly slice and add to noodle mixture with 2 tablespoons quality whole-egg mayonnaise and 1 shredded dried seaweed (nori) sheet.

Ginger and soy pork
Omit capsicum from recipe. Place 200g pork fillet in a glass dish. Combine 1 tablespoon oyster sauce and 2 tablespoons salt-reduced soy sauce and pour over pork, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Heat a chargrill over medium-high heat. Spray pork with cooking oil and grill, turning, for 8-10 minutes or until just cooked through. Transfer to a plate, cover with foil and rest for 10 minutes. Thinly slice across the grain. Add to noodle mixture.

Basil and prawn
Omit coriander from recipe. Add 1/3 cup shredded basil leaves to noodle mixture. Shell and devein 18 medium cooked prawns. Cut in half horizontally. Place 3 halves on top of noodle mixture in step 3.
For great results

The secret of success is to be well organised. Start with a clean bench and have all the equipment out that you will need.
Rice paper sheets come in a variety of shapes and sizes. You can purchase 16cm or 22cm round rice paper sheets as well as square rice paper sheets. They are available from the Asian grocery section of your supermarket or any Asian grocery store.
Nuts such as finely chopped cashews and slivered almonds are great to add to filling ingredients. Other ingredients that can be used in rice paper roll fillings include avocado, bean sprouts, mint leaves, shredded cabbage and shredded lettuce.