DIY dinner : Vietnamese Paper Rolls

Vietnamese rice paper has to be one of my favourite “containers” for food. It’s a bit fiddly to work with initially, but once you get the hang of it, it’s a wrap 😉

The basics are just this: some veggies, preferably with crunch; protein; a paste, to brush on the rolls before you start rolling; some herbs. Ideally you shouldn’t even need a dipping sauce.. I served these with just soy sauce. Adapted from this recipe. I use this as a jumping off point to launch into experiments.

Vietnamese Paper Rolls


Ginger: to taste
Green chilli, sliced (leave the seeds in if you’re feeling adventurous): 1
Coriander: a handful
Thai basil: a few leaves
Shallots, chopped: 1
Spring onions, chopped: 2-3
Palm sugar: 1-2 tsp
Toasted sesame oil: 3 tbsp


Feel free to experiment and use whatever you have to hand.
I used grated celeriac; chopped shallots; carrots and roquito peppers, both sliced into matchsticks; coriander; Thai basil and tofu.

For the relish grind all the ingredients together using a hand blender and salt to taste.

Drain the tofu. Wrap the tofu in kitchen towels, place it between two chopping boards, and place some heavy weights on top. A lot of the water will have drained away in about 10-15 minutes. Then slice and marinate in soy sauce and chilli, for at least 30 minutes. Shallow fry.


To assemble, dip the rice paper in water for a few seconds. Spread the relish, and then add in the vegetables, tofu and some of the herbs. Wrap tightly.


Here’s a quick tutorial on prepping these rolls.


Prep time: 45 min; Cook time: 10-15 min. Assemble at the table. Adapted from 101 cookbooks.
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