This isn’t the first time I’ve written about rice paper rolls. But since the weather is getting warmer, I’ve noticed they’re slowly but surely creeping back into my meal choices.
And with summer time, comes summer foods. No one wants to sit down to spicy curries or heavy soups when it’s hot outside – let alone cook them. I’ve always found it easier to eat better in summer because the healthy foods available make you want to eat healthy. I’m talking about smoothies, salads, sorbets, wraps, and of course my favourite, rice paper rolls.
I think my favourite thing about rice paper rolls, besides the taste, is how simple they are to throw together. If you’ve never rolled before, this might be a stressful prospect at first. But I promise, you’ll get better. Just keep practicing. As you can probably tell from my meal pictures, I’m no professional when it comes to rolling these creations. However, this how-to helped me immensely:
There are so many ingredients that work in this dish, so it’s a great recipe for when you have lots of ingredients that need to be used up. Simply, you need a few types of salad, a protein, vermicelli noodles and a sauce, and you’re in business.
Fresh herbs such as basil, mint, lemon grass and coriander also make a great addition. I’m a coriander fanatic. I could eat the stuff by the handful and love it in almost everything, especially rice paper rolls. It adds a fresh and zingy flavour that just can’t be matched.
Proteins can include: chicken, beef, pork, duck, prawns (shrimp), tofu and egg omelette. Try marinating meat or tofu beforehand for even more flavour.
Sauces can be as simple as sweet or hot chilli sauce; or you can easily achieve a delicious sauce by mixing different amounts of soy, fish, hoisin and oyster sauces. Peanut butter is great for a satay taste, while lemon and lime juices can also freshen up a sauce. Experiment until you find a combination you like. My favourite combination is lime juice, soy and sweet chill sauce. But don’t go too crazy with these ingredients because they’re usually high in sodium and sugar.
This dish can be served as a casual lunch or dinner, or as a fun entertaining meal where guests can choose their own fillings. They’re also great for picnics or as appetisers. If preparing ahead of time, make sure you cover them to avoid the delicate rice paper from drying out.
What are your favourite summer recipes?
What’s the best filling combination for rice paper rolls?