Vietnamese summer rolls are very tasty rolls traditional of Vietnamese cuisine. They are easily found in every part of the country, and some of the flavours inside depend very much on the region in which they are eaten. In the north of Vietnam, they are often stuffed with mint, while they are prepared with basil in the south. The choice is yours to use the herbs you like best.
They are simple to prepare. The key is to have all the ingredients readily available, ensuring that the prawns and the rice noodles are well chilled. They are usually prepared at the time of eating them, but they can be kept in the fridge for a couple of hours without losing their freshness.
For 8 rolls, preparation time 20 minutes, cooking time 5 minutes:
- About 24 prawns
- 8 sheets of rice paper
- 1 medium carrot
- Salad leaves
- Fresh chilli
- 2 spring onions
- 50g fine rice noodles
- Fresh herbs (parsley, coriander, mint and basil)
- Soy sauce
1 – Place the rice noodles in a bowl, cover them with boiling water and let them “cook” for 3 minutes. Drain and rinse them with cold water and leave them aside.
2 – Clean the prawns and blanch them in salted boiling water for 4-5 minutes or until cooked. Place them in a bowl and let them cool. Then wash all the vegetables you will need for the rolls: salad leaves, fresh herbs, and cut the carrots into thin julienne strips (you can also grate the carrot), the chilli, and the spring onion. Place everything on a plate so that it is easily accessible.
3 – Assemble the rolls, starting with the rice paper soaked in cold water for a few seconds, then place it on the chopping board covered with a damp cloth. Arrange the ingredients in the centre: salad, carrots, herbs, spring onion, chilli, rice noodles and prawns.
4 – Fold the rice paper side over the prawns, then fold the outer flaps inwards and onto the prawns and finally roll up to close the roll. Prepare all the rolls and serve with soy or fish sauce seasoned with chilli and fresh spring onion.
– Once soaked, handle the rice paper with slightly damp hands. Otherwise, it will stick to your fingers.
– Avoid that the rice paper comes into contact with oil as it will make it more difficult to seal the roll.
– Given the impracticality of rice paper – which becomes sticky and difficult to handle – preparing impeccable-looking rolls will take some time and practice.