Vietnamese rice paper spring rolls (Gỏi cuốn)

I’m slowly getting organised and ready to return to work after a long period of maternity leave and I’ve decided that I need to prepare easy, nutritious and delicious lunches to keep me going through the day. In the past I’ve usually resorted to buying my lunch, but the price of lunch in the city is exorbitant. In my old working days, I’d often buy a couple of rice paper rolls or sushi rolls, but I’m sure I could manage to make these myself at home.

The following ingredient list comes from the back of my rice paper packet (it’s very authentic!) and makes 16 spring rolls…that’s 14 too many for my lunch! Rice paper spring rolls are also wonderful served as party food on a platter or as an appetiser before your main meal.

Ingredients

  • 16 pieces rice paper
  • 200g rice vermicelli (rice sticks), soaked in hot water until soft
  • 32 cooked prawns (can substitute with cooked chicken or duck breast)
  • 1 carrot, grated
  • 1/4 lettuce, shredded thinly
  • 100g bean sprouts
  • Fresh mint leaves
  • Vietnamese spring roll sauce or hoisin sauce for dipping

Fill a large bowl with warm water (not hot water) and lay down a moist tea towel. Wet one rice paper sheet in the warm water and lay it on the tea towel to soften. If you leave it to soak the rice paper will fall apart.

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At one end of the rice paper add the filling in the middle. Start with adding a couple of mint leaves, followed by the rice vermicelli, lettuce and carrot. Finish by adding the prawns. I cut the cooked prawns down the middle to remove the digestive tract.

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Fold the bottom edge up over the filling, then fold in both sides and then roll all the way up.

Repeat until you’ve made enough and serve with dipping sauce. You can change the ingredients to what you would prefer or what you can find locally – Thai basil and cooked asparagus would be nice additions.

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