To make these yummy prawn and chive dumplings last week required a special trip to my local Asian supermarket. While I was there, I got a little carried away with all the fantastic things they had in stock.
One of the (many) things not on my shopping list, which came home with me that day was a packet of rice paper wrappers. Seeing them in the store reminded me of how, a very long time ago (well before I moved to the UK), I used to regularly make my own Vietnamese spring rolls, and how much I enjoyed them.
If you haven’t made these before, Vietnamese spring rolls (also known as Summer rolls) are really simple to make. Don’t be put off by the long list of ingredients, they require little preparation at all.
I think they’re great to whip up on your own, but are also a fun dish to serve when you’re having friends around for a casual dinner, because everyone can assemble their own and experiment with the fillings.
Vietnamese spring rolls are traditionally made with pork, prawns, rice vermicelli and a selection of herbs. But for my filling today, I skipped the pork and couldn’t resist adding some mango with my prawns, given they’re so juicy and ripe at the moment! Feel free to mix it up a bit if you like, that’s half the fun!
I served my rolls with Luke Nguyen’s dipping sauce, but a satay sauce could work equally as well.
- 12 tiger prawns, cooked
- 90 g vermicelli noodles
- 8 sheets rice paper wrappers
- 1 mango, peeled, deseeded and flesh thinly sliced
- a handful of mint leaves
- a handful of coriander (cilantro) leaves
- a handful of basil leaves
- ½ cup roughly shredded baby cos lettuce
- 3 tbsp fish sauce
- 3 tbsp white wine (or rice) vinegar
- ½ cup water
- 2 tbsp caster brown sugar
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 red birds eye chilli, finely chopped
- 2 tbsp fresh lime juice
- Cook the rice vermicelli noodles according to package directions and leave to cool.
- While cooling, start on the dipping sauce.
- Heat the fish sauce, vinegar, water and sugar in a saucepan over a medium heat, stirring often.
- When the mixture is just about to boil, remove from heat and allow to cool.
- Add the garlic, chilli and lime juice to the sauce and stir well. Set aside until ready to serve.
- Next, peel and devein the prawns. Slice lengthways so that you have 24 halves.
- Making one roll at a time, start by dipping one sheet of rice paper wrapper into a bowl of warm water until it softens (make sure not to soak for too long), then place the sheet on a plate.
- In the half of the wrapper closest to you, place 3 prawn halves (cut side up) in a row just in the middle, making sure to leave about 3 cm on each side.
- Place one or two slices of mango along the top side of the prawns, forming a single line the length of the prawns.
- Place a portion of each remaining ingredient on top of the prawns, finishing with the lettuce. Make sure not to overfill the roll.
- Fold the bottom half of the wrapper over the filling, then the left and right edges of the wrapper inwards towards the centre, over the filling.
- While holding the filling in position with your fingers, carefully roll the wrapper and filling upwards to form a tight roll.
- Serve two rolls per person with the dipping sauce in individual bowls.
- Makes 8 rolls.
- You might like to add some chives or thinly sliced spring onions (scallions) when assembling the rolls.
- In case you can’t make any sense of my directions on how to assemble the rolls, don’t despair! Most packets of rice paper wrappers come with illustrations on how to roll these spring rolls.
- Dipping sauce recipe by Luke Nguyen (see link to source in post content).
- These would also work well served with satay sauce.