Summer is nearly coming to an end for all of us in the northern hemisphere. But if you are lucky enough to live in a climate where it is pretty much warm all the year around, like here in Dubai, then a few months more of delicious summer fare is still on the table.
When I think of food and summer, it involves a lot of colour, and these Vietnamese rice paper rolls are just that - summery and colourful. They are healthy, light (but addictive), and full of crunch. They look great on the table at a BBQ, or can be enjoyed with a salad for lunch.
Rice paper rolls are easy to find, either in your local supermarket or Asian food store. All you need then are everyday vegetables from your kitchen, some chopped peanuts and some frozen shrimp or prawns. Once you have chopped and prepared your ingredients, there is little else really to do. I suppose these are a cheats way of making rice paper rolls, as all I used for my dressing was a bottle of sweet chilli sauce, but I think you could add a little soy or fish sauce too. Regardless, the sweet chili sauce added just the right amount of sweetness and flavor.And if you are not a prawn fan, why not add a little shredded chicken or beef instead?
Serve with extra sweet chili sauce for dipping, and a few pairs of chop sticks. So versatile and so delicious!
Vietnamese Rice Paper Rolls
Makes 10 rolls
Packet of rice paper roll sheets, to make 10
1/2 carrot, small
1/2 cucumber, small
1/4 red bell pepper, medium sized
1/4 green bell pepper, medium sized
3-4 spring onions/scallions
3 tblspns sweetcorn (frozen or canned)
Lettuce leaves, a handful
Cabbage leaves, a handful
Prawns or shrimp, a handful (fresh or frozen)
2 tblspns roughly chopped peanuts
Sweet chili sauce, bottle to taste
Prepare your sweetcorn - drain if using tinned, or lightly cook for a couple of minutes if using frozen. Chop your prawns/shrimp into small pieces, or leave as they are if using small prawns. Cook the prawns/shrimp for a couple of minutes, till cooked through and leave to cool. Now cut all of the remaining vegetables into long and thin strips. Heat some water in a pan, and pour into a heat proof bowl, large enough to soak your rice paper sheets. Keeping all your ingredients at hand, take a sheet of rice paper and soak in the warm water for 30 seconds or until soft. Place on a surface and add a little of each ingredient along the centre of the roll, adding the sweetcorn, prawns and peanuts last. Spoon a little sweet chili sauce over the filling. Fold the ends in, and carefully roll up the rice paper to enclose the filling. Repeat again with the other rice paper rolls and filling. Serve with sweet chili sauce for dipping.