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.