I hope you all had an enjoyable evening celebrating the end of 2012. I am feeling rather dusty today so I will try my best to write a coherent post but I am afraid it may be rather short and sweet.
Last night we had a few friends around and I made one of my favourite dishes – Vietnamese rice paper rolls served with a peanut dipping sauce. I visited Vietnam about 5 years ago and I fell in love with the cuisine with its fresh, zesty flavours. The fillings for the rice paper rolls can be changed to whatever you like but I must insist that you try the sauce which I’ve borrowed from Bill Granger.
I’ve used poached chicken in my rolls but tofu, prawns or any other meat would also be excellent. These are easy to make and are an impressive dinner party snack. For my chilli loving friends I also served the rolls with a Chinese chilli sauce that you can find at most supermarkets.
Vietnamese rice paper rolls.
- 400g organic chicken breast
- 1 tbsp black peppercorns
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 6 coriander stalks
- 375g packet of 22cm round rice paper wrappers
- 1 packet bean sprouts
- 1 yellow capsicum
- 2 carrots
- 2 small cucumbers or 1 large
- 1 bunch fresh coriander
- 1 bunch fresh mint
- Fill a large saucepan with cold water. Add the peppercorns, coriander stalks and salt and bring to the boil. Add the chicken breast, cover with a tight lid and remove from the heat.
- Leave the chicken in the pot for 20 minutes and then remove and slice. Put the chicken in the fridge until you are ready to use it for the rolls.
- Julienne the capsicum, carrots and cucumbers.
- Fill a large bowl with hot water and dunk one of the rice paper wrappers in the water for around 5 seconds or until soft and pliable and place on a plate.
- Arrange the chicken, bean sprouts, capsicum, carrot and cucumber in the centre of the rice paper wrapper and top with a few leaves of mint and coriander.
- Fold the ends of the rice paper in and roll tightly from left to right to finish your rolls.
- Repeat until you have used up all the fillings.
- Serve with the peanut dipping sauce and if desired a small bowl of Chinese chilli sauce.
Number of servings: 20 rice paper rolls
Peanut dipping sauce.
- 2 tsp peanut oil
- 2 garlic cloves, sliced
- 3 dried red chillies, chopped
- 2 tbsp smooth peanut butter
- 1/2 cup hoisin sauce
- 2 tbsp Chinese chilli sauce
- 2 tsp brown sugar
- Heat oil in a small saucepan and add the sliced garlic and chopped chillies.
- Cook for 2 minutes, watching carefully as the garlic can burn quickly.
- Whisk in 1/2 cup water along with the remaining ingredients and bring to the boil.
- Cook for another minute and allow to cool.
- Transfer to a bowl and garnish with chopped coriander.
Recipe adapted from Bill’s Everyday Asian, page 24.