How to: Vietnamese Rice Paper Rolls with Peanut Sauce

Hey Nibblers!

I’m super excited today to be sharing one of my favourite dishes of all time! It’s really easy to make and great for when you have a small group of friends over for a chilling session. It also gets everyone involved and you can personalise them to any way you like. It may seem like a whole lot of ingredients and too much work but, this dish is mostly prep and the cooking is in your guests hands so no hard work there. So let’s get cracking shall we?

What you’ll need: [Approx. 4 servings]
The peanut sauce component:

– 1 jar of Hoi Sin sauce
I used to ‘Tung Chun’ 14 oz. jar
– 1/4 – 1/2 cup of crunchy peanut butter
– 1 tsp. of sliced garlic
– 1 1/2 Tbs. of tomato sauce
– 1 tsp. of chilli sauce (optional)
– 1 Tbs. of corn flour
– 1 Tbs. of water
– 1/4 cup of crushed toasted peanuts
– 1 Tbs. of olive oil

The rice paper roll component:

– 1 pack of rice paper rolls
– 4 squares of small Vermicelli rice sticks

I used this ‘Peacock Brand’

Meat/ Seafood:
– 1.5kg of boiled pork
 I used pork loin & shoulder but you can used your favourite cut
– 1kg of cooked medium tiger prawns
 De-veined and halved
Vegetables:
– 1 shrub of lettuce
  I used boston lettuce (at least I think that was it, I had to google it and still can’t tell the difference. Learnt there are a tonne of lettuce types though!)
– 1 bunch of mint
– 1 bunch of Thai basil
– 1 bunch of Asian chives
  Note:  Feel free to add any other herbs you love such a perilla, coriander etc. (I couldn’t find any at my local store nor love the taste of them in my rolls. My Mum and Dad love all the different herbs but, I find having the above three herbs with lettuce my favourite combo.)

How to:
The Peanut Sauce
The peanut component is completely optional. But if you don’t have allergies or are feeling adventurous, I definitely think you should add this in. It gives it a creamy, sweet kick that blends well with the saltiness of the hoi sin.
1. Saute garlic and olive oil in a small pot under medium  heat until garlic is slightly brown

 

2. Add the jar of hoi sin sauce getting as much out of the jar as you can
3. Fill the hoi sin sauce jar half-full with water and screw back on the lid
4. Shake the hoi sin jar vertically, vigorously for approx. 10 seconds to grab all the excess sauce and then add it into the pot  (we don’t want to waste a drop!)
5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 except adding a jar full of water instead of half
6. Stir hoi sin/ garlic contents in the pot until combines for about 1 minute
7. Add peanut butter into the pot (start of with 1/4 cup)
It may look a tad funny and make not look like it’ll dissolve but don’t worry, it mostly will!

This looks funny, don’t worry!

8. Add tomato and chilli sauce (optional) into the pot and stir continuously for 2 minutes
9. Taste your sauce
  Note: If this is your first time trying it should taste like a diluted hoi sin sauce with a peanut buttery aftertaste. If you feel it is too salty, add more water.
           Want it a tad sweeter? Add tomato sauce
           Hotter? Add the chilli!
          If you love peanut butter, add more, it definitely won’t ruin the sauce.
10. Stir the Tbs. of water and corn flour in a small bowl until dissolved and then add to the hoi sin mixture pot
11. Allow the sauce to boil on a medium to low heat and check the consistency of the sauce
Note: It should be about the thickness of yoghurt in a tub. Not too runny and not too thick like greek yoghurt. Just enough that it can coat your rice paper roll well but not drip so much that it’s messy. 
            If you find it’s too thick: add water (it’s all trial an error)
           Too thin? add some more corn flour/water mixture
           Every time is different but the taste will always be the same so the tasting step is important
12. Switch off the heat when you’re happy and quickly re-heat before serving

The Rice Paper Roll Component
1. Pluck your lettuce leaves and herbs and give them a good wash and leave to drip dry
2. Boil your pork and slice thinly in about 3x5cm rectangles
My pork took about 30 minutes to cook with the lid on, simmering
                All depends on your meat, cut it any way you like
3. Prep your prawns while the pork is cooking (de-vein and slice them in half vertically)
This may take a while if you’re on your own so put on some music / movie while you’re peeling away OR pre-prep prawns
4. Prep your vermicelli
It’s really easy to make these soggy so my trick is;
                   Pop them in the pot when the water is at a hard boil
                   Turn off the heat and leave the noodles in for 5 minutes / stirring occasionally
                   Pop them out into a colander and give a quick rinse (they should be still kind of raw looking/ slightly in tack but will be perfect after)
5. Heat some water to dunk the rice paper rolls sheets in and roll away!

Here’s how I roll them:

1. Start with adding two prawns in the bottom third of the paper, in the centre, faced down. It’ll make the finished roll prettier
2. Add your meat
3. Add your noodles
4. Add your herbs and lettuce
5. Fold left/ right side like so
6. Left/ Right sides should be folded in but it was hard to take a picture of it
7. Holding the left/right sides in place, start firmly rolling from the bottom
8. Keep rolling until the end! Look at those pretty prawns showing themselves

       And voila! Re-heat that sauce and pop on those crushed peanuts. Amazing rice papers rolls anyone can enjoy! If you want a vegetarian option: shred some cabbage, carrots and sliced mushrooms. Saute them with some mushroom/ vegetable stock and use that instead of pork/prawn mix. It goes so well with the the peanut sauce!

Hope you liked this recipe and give it a go!
My little uni break is over and it’s back to the books but I’m glad I was able to put this out there.
Hope you’re all have an amazing week.

Nibble Away,
Jo x.

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