Fast, fresh & full of flavour, these Vietnamese style rice paper rolls with both sweet chilli and traditional dipping sauces are the perfect healthy lunch, snack or dinner option.
In case you missed it, Josh & I took a trip to Vietnam last year. We travelled from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City, saw amazing sights, had my wedding dress made, met incredible people and most importantly...ate some of the best food I've ever eaten in my life. We both fell head over heels in love with the whole country. Unfortunately we can't just pop over whenever we would like so the next best thing is to bring a taste of Vietnam here.
I've been making these rice paper rolls and the 2 delicious dipping sauces that go perfectly with them for a while now. They were my first attempt at Vietnamese style food at home and are still one of my favourites. The ingredient list is minimal and once you get the hang of the rice paper they are a breeze to make. Throw in a couple of tasty dipping sauces and you have a complete and ridiculously healthy & satisfying meal.
I tend to make mine vegetarian, solely because I don't tend to have cooked chicken, pork or prawns on hand and if I'm making these, I'm generally too lazy to cook any! Plus I had the dilemma the other day of not actually knowing what sort of prawns to buy to put in these as I'm a recent convert to seafood...Fresh? Frozen? Still with all the spiny and feeler-y things on? Um, help! I stuck with vegetarian.
The most time consuming part is preparing the vegetables. I slice the peppers, cucumber, carrots or whatever I feel like while I'm soaking the rice noodles so that I can have a little production line when it comes to assembling the rolls. Once the noodles are ready I stir chopped fresh mint & coriander through them - they add a really fresh flavour to the rolls.
The rice paper wrappers can be tricky - they feel weird and can be quite sticky but play around with them until you know how to best handle them. The key is to just keep practicing - the first rolls I made were a mess and totally fell to pieces, but after I made them a few times I figured it out. Mine are still not perfect, but they stay together which is the main thing! Just roll em like a burrito - fillings on the bottom, fold the wrapper up over the fillings, fold in the sides and then roll it up tight. The wrapper will stick to itself at the top.
As much as I love the freshness of the rice paper rolls, the thing that makes them truly amazing is the dipping sauce!
I have 2 dipping sauces that I use - one is a sweet chilli sauce and the other is Nuoc Cham, the traditional Vietnamese dipping sauce that accompanies almost every meal in Vietnam. It is out of this world good. Traditionally it has chilli flakes or sliced chilli in it but I am a complete softie so I leave that out. Feel free to add it for heat though!
I love making these rolls to have with dinner or to take as a healthy & delicious week day work lunch. They're so summery & the flavours take me right back to the streets of Hanoi!
Vietnamese Rice Paper Rolls
- 100 grams rice noodles vermicelli
- 12 rice paper wrappers
- Chopped veges - peppers carrots, cucumber, etc
- Chopped fresh herbs mint & coriander
- Chicken/pork/prawns optional
Vietnamese dipping sauce (Nuoc Cham)
- 2 tablespoon fish sauce
- 2 teaspoon rice wine vinegar
- Juice of ½ lime
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 garlic clove finely chopped
- Optional: chilli flakes or a finely chopped chilli
Sweet chilli dipping sauce
- 2 tablespoon fish sauce
- 2 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoon sweet chilli sauce
- For each dipping sauce, whisk all ingredients together.
Rice paper rolls
- Cook the noodles according to the packet directions. While doing this, prep the veges - chop them into matchstick size pieces.
- Chop the fresh herbs and mix them in with the noodles.
To assemble the rolls
- Prepare the rolling surface - I like to make my rolls on a clean, damp tea towel as the paper can be delicate and they don't tend to stick to the tea towel.
- Prepare the wrapper - take a bowl large enough to fit a rice paper wrapper in, and fill it with lukewarm water. Take 1 rice paper wrapper and soak it in the water for about 30 seconds until it starts to feel soft. Remove from the water and place on the prepared tea towel or other flat surface e.g. a chopping board.
- Fill the wrapper - add noodles, veges and meat (if using) to the bottom third of the wrapper.
- Roll it - just like a burrito - fold the bottom over the fillings, fold in the sides and then roll it up tight
- Repeat with remaining rice paper wrappers.
- Serve with dipping sauces. Any leftover rolls, store in the fridge for a couple of days, but they are best eaten that day.