We are finally getting the sort of hot days and nights where all I want to eat is lovely cold food. Salads, sandwiches and quiches are all very good, but sometimes I crave a little spice – and what could be better than the spicy little morsels known as Vietnamese Prawn Spring Rolls? Not deep-fried like their famous Chinese cousins, but rather filled with fresh herbs and chilled. Served with spicy peanut dipping sauce, this is hot weather food done right.
Vietnamese Prawn Spring Rolls have a bit of a reputation for being fiddly, though that’s not really the truth. As long as you keep your work surface damp, and use a gentle hand, they are not difficult at all. I’ve filled them with prawn here, but they are especially delicious with pork, duck or even chicken too. Coriander and mint is the classic herb combination, though some Thai basil with its notes of aniseed would be delicious.
These spring rolls will keep for 12-16 hours in the fridge, so they’re great to pre-prepare if you have guests coming around. Any longer and they are still tasty, but they start to get a bit gluey. If you fancy, these are great fun at parties where everybody makes their own, just bring the ingredients out to the table and let your guests construct their own masterpieces. It’s good for entertaining kids during the summer holidays too.
Hopefully, June has been kind to you and things have settled down. What a rollercoaster this year has been. Dare we hope for a more relaxed second half to the year? Take care out there and happy cooking! x J.
Let me know if you try this recipe in the comments below, or using the hashtag #daysofjay on Instagram. Happy cooking!
for the Spicy Peanut Dipping Sauce:
- 50g peanuts
- 3 Tbsp Hoi Sin sauce
- 2 Tbsp lime juice
- 1 Tbsp soy sauce
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 tsp chilli flakes
- 1 tsp fish sauce
- 2-3 Tbsp water, as necessary
for the rolls:
- 100g rice vermicelli noodles
- 200g small prawns or shrimp
- 1 red pepper / capsicum, finely sliced
- 1 small cucumber, finely sliced
- 1 small carrot, finely sliced
- small bunch mint
- small bunch coriander
- 2 small baby gem or butter lettuce
- 8 sheets of spring roll rice paper, 22cm diameter
Make the sauce by combining all ingredients in the bowl of a food processor with the blade attachment fitted. Process to a chunky sauce, adding water as necessary to thin it out. Refrigerate until needed.
Place the noodles in a heatproof bowl, cover with boiling water and allow to soften for 20 minutes. Meanwhile cut and prepare all your vegetables.
Drain the noodles and refresh under cold water, then use a pair of scissors to chop them into shorter lengths. Wet a large chopping board or work surface, then working one at a time, dip one piece of spring roll paper in a large bowl of cold water. Place on the work surface.
Lay several of the prawns in a line across the bottom third of the rice paper. Top with mint and coriander leaves. Take a lettuce leaf, fill with rice noodles, pepper, cucumber and carrot, then roll into a cigar shape. Lay parallel above the prawns (see pictures).
Fold in both the sides, then the top of the rice paper. Roll up tightly, from top to bottom. You should end up with the line of prawns displayed on the top. Repeat with all remaining rolls, keeping your work surface slightly damp to stop the paper from sticking.
Chill until needed, up to 12 hours. Serve with Spicy Peanut Dipping Sauce.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 2 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 1055Total Fat: 41gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 32gCholesterol: 264mgSodium: 2972mgCarbohydrates: 123gFiber: 11gSugar: 14gProtein: 52g
Nutrition information is calculated automatically and isn’t always accurate.
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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Do I have to use prawns in these spring rolls?
No! Use chicken, pork, tofu or whatever other filling you like. It’s fun to mix and match.
How long in advance can I make these spring rolls?
12-16 hours. Any longer and they either dry out or get a bit gluey.
Can I make smaller spring rolls? These seem really big!
Yes, spring roll paper generally comes in two sizes 22cm and 14cm. The bigger paper is easier to roll if you are a beginner though!