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Friday 26 March 2010

Sluttishly Savoury: Vietnamese Summer Rolls

After being taught to make summer rolls like a pro last week, I thought I should share my wisdom with you. Although they seem quite fiddly, once you get on a roll (so to speak!) they are really quite easy and look impressive. They make a snazzy (if chunky) canape if sliced diagonally, or just pop a few in your lunchbox for a healthy midday snack.

The vegetable quantities are all fairly rough and ready - it's really up to you how much of a particular ingredient you put in. Do put plenty of herbs in though - that fresh zingy taste is what Vietnamese cuisine is all about.

If you wanted to ring the changes you could always replace the prawns with shredded cooked pork or tofu. You can find the rice paper rounds in an Asian supermarket or online from Wing Yip.

Vietnamese Summer Rolls (makes 8)

You'll need:
  • 16 cooked and peeled tiger prawns
  • 8 rounds of rice paper
  • 100g beansprouts
  • 1 grated carrot
  • 1/4 lettuce, shredded
  • 100g rice vermicelli
  • Handful of mint leaves
  • Handful of Thai basil leaves
  • Handful of coriander leaves
Make it!
  • First make sure all your ingredients are ready, as you need to work reasonably quickly to assemble the rolls. Cut the prawns in half lengthways. Cook and drain the rice vermicelli.
  • Dampen a clean tea towel and put it on the worktop - this stops the rice paper drying out while you are working.
  • Fill a bowl with hot water. Dip a round of rice paper into the hot water until it's soft and put it onto the tea towel.
  • Add the ingredients in a row in the bottom third of the round. Start with a layer of four prawn halves, top with some bean sprouts, carrot and lettuce, then add the vermicelli and finally the herbs.
  • Now roll up your roll! First tuck the bottom of the rice paper over the ingredients. Then fold the sides in. Now roll up tightly, tucking the sides in as you go to make a neat roll.
  • Repeat for the other 7 rolls.
  • Serve on a bed of shredded lettuce, with some soy sauce for dipping.


  1. Wahey, fantastic! We used to go to a pub that served these, and since we moved we miss them. Never occurred to me to make at home.

  2. Thanks Kate - they're surprisingly simple, and you can pretty much bung in whichever veges you want.

  3. These are great - it always takes me a few goes to stop ripping the delicate pancakes, but once you get the hang of it, it's pretty straight forward.

    I like to use finely shredded cabbage tossed in sesame oil instead of beansprouts or lettuce for some added crunch and nutty undertones.

  4. If you mix together some fresh lime juice, a little fish sauce & some palm sugar (soft brown will do!) it makes a nice dipping sauce....not schmancy, just a little bit fancy!


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