Saturday, 16 March 2013

Vietnamese Rice Paper Rolls with Nuoc Cham



I know you probably think most of my life is spent chomping on S'more Brownies. Or that my breakfasts consist of pure butter held together by more butter and chocolate. That between lunch and dinner I'm stuffing my face with Chocolate Mud Cupcakes. That my dinners are a constant parade of burgers, pizzas, pastas and tacos... And you'd be right 95 percent of the time. But there are those times when I eat something totally healthy, totally pure... totally lacking in cheese. Okay so yes, I usually do it with a cold beer in one hand and the intention of eating Salted Chocolate and Peanut Butter Ice Cream straight after, but I never said I was an angel.

Vietnamese Rice Paper Rolls with Nuoc Cham
adapted from Bill Granger's Bills Open Kitchen
Makes 16

For the Rice Paper Rolls:
16 cooked green prawns, sliced in half lengthways
16 large round rice paper wrappers
2 Lebanese cucumbers, cut in half and quartered lengthways
200g rice vermicelli noodles, soaked in boiling water for 6-7 minutes, drained and rinsed under cold water, drained, again
Handful of basil leaves
Handful mint leaves
Small bunch of chives, cut into about 8cm lengths

Soft Lettuce leaves (butter lettuce, bib lettuce or oakleaf lettuce), to serve

For the Dipping Sauce:
60ml fish sauce
60ml lime juice
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon caster sugar
1 clove garlic, minced
1 long red chilli, finely sliced

Make the Rice Paper Rolls:
Making one roll at a time, fill a large bowl with hot water. Dip the rice paper wrappers in the hot water briefly and shake off any excess water. Place the wrapper on a plate and arrange two halves a prawn, pink/orange side down in the middle of the wrapper. (This will allow you to see the colour of the prawn through the translucent wrapper once assembled... pretty!)  Top the prawns with a small bundle of noodles, a few basil and mint leaves, a piece of cucumber and a few chives. Roll it up like you would a burrito, tucking in the sides as you go. The rice paper will automatically stick together and seal shut. (The trick is not to overfill - I'm a serial overfiller.)

Make the Nuoc Cham:
Place all the ingredients into a bowl and stir until the sugar is dissolved.

To Serve:
Place the rolls on a large serving platter along side a plate of lettuce leaves. Place the Nuoc Cham in individual bowls (because you are going to want to double dip, trust me).  Take a rice paper roll, wrap it in a lettuce leaf and dip away.


  1. What a wonderful idea for a nice light summer meal. Could you change up some of the ingredients inside and what would you recommend?

  2. I love those kind of rolls. It's so good and just arff...healthy :) Sometimes, you have to do it mouahah! Your pictures are stunning!

  3. Thanks Patty. I sometimes replace the prawns with strips of rare roast beef, or poached or roast chicken. You can add strips of capsicums, zucchini and carrots, been shoots, add coriander leaves. You can pretty much make it to your on taste - the wrapper and the noodles are the only constant.

  4. Thanks Gabrielle: These would be perfect snack or lunch food for a busy uni student.

  5. This look so refreshing and yummy! And your pictures are GORG!

  6. Thanks Little Kitchie - These are perfect hot weather munchables and a perfect precursor to ice-cream. That is what I call a win-win

  7. Oh my gosh, these look amazing! I don't often use rice paper, I'm not patient enough :-)

  8. Hey Heather. Thanks for visiting. Rice Paper is easier to work with than it looks. Sometimes I just put all the fixings out on the table and let people make their own. That way they can make their own custom made roll and you don't have all the work to do. Kids love it.