Herby parcels of wonderfulness, summer rolls are just what you need on a sunny summer’s day. So when we had not one but two mother’s round today for mother’s day with this lovely sunny day, this felt like just the thing to make.
They’re definitely a bit fiddly and time consuming to make but the effort definitely pays off. You could also make them as a bit of a DIY party and mix and match fillings if you don’t fancy making lots yourself.
Here’s our recipe and method, with a few hints and tips we’ve picked up from some great sites and blogs.
I’ve made these with a very cheaty pre fried tofu, but you can fill them with a variety of ingredients from prawns to pork to strips of chicken (try and keep whatever you put inside not too spiced or strong flavoured as the herbs and dipping sauce should be the heroes here). But I’d urge you to consider these tofu ones as they’re still really satisfying and actually taste quite meaty.
Ingredients (makes 14 rolls):
Large bunch fresh coriander
Large bunch mint
Cooked and cooled glass noodles (large bowlful or one packet supermarket precooked)
Rice paper wrappers (you can get these from all good Chinese supermarkets)
Large bowlful of beansprouts
Other fillings you fancy (could be red cabbage slivers or lettuce or cucumber or whatever you want to try)
1.5 packs Cauldron pre fried organic tofu
For dipping sauce:
1 garlic clove
Golden caster sugar (or palm sugar)
(Peanut butter – if you want Sarah style sauce with your summer rolls).
1. Cook the rice noodles and cool with some cold water (this also helps to stop it sticking).
2. Prepare a chopping board with all the filling ingredients easily to hand. Chop the tofu in halves, thin long slices.
3. Heat water in a large pan (at least as large as your rice papers) until just above room temperature – this is the key to making sure the rice papers don’t stick together too much.
4. To assemble the rolls start by dipping one rice paper in the water (it must be done one by one or they stick together). Try to keep it flat and once softened pull it out and lay flat on the chopping board, unwrinkling edges as necessary.
5. First lay a small vertical strip of tofu down the left hand centre of the paper.
6. Then take 2 large mint leaves, laying the flat on your hand one above the other and place a small amount of rice noodles in the centre of the mint leaves. Place the leaves with noodles next to the tofu on the rice paper.
7. Layer a few stalks of coriander, a tiny bit of any other filling you fancy on top and finish with 4 or so short beansprouts, then press the filling together so it’s narrow.
8. Fold the top and bottom edges of the rice paper over the ingredients (as per image below).
9. Finally, take the far right hand edge of the paper and fold it as tightly as you can over the ingredients so the edge touches where the tofu is. Then continue to roll through until it’s fully rolled.
11. Serve with either Vietnamese dipping sauce (made with chilli, garlic, sugar, lime and fish sauce) or peanut dipping sauce (made with the same sauce but mix in some peanut butter).
If you struggle with rolling it’s worth having some practice runs first as it can be fiddly!