Luke Nguyen’s soft rice paper rolls with prawns and pork are perfect for a tastebud trip to Vietnam, minus the jet lag
“This particular dish, ‘Goi cuon’, is probably one of the most well known of all Vietnamese dishes. You’ll find it served on streets throughout the country.
These rice paper rolls are extremely healthy, really simple to prepare and boast wonderful colours, but making nice tight rolls can be a bit challenging.
The trick is to not have your water boiling hot, not leave your rice paper in the water bowl for more than three seconds, and not to overfill your rolls.
Practice makes perfect.”
• 18 dried round rice paper sheets, about 22 cm in diameter
• 18 small cooked tiger prawns, peeled, deveined and sliced in half lengthways
• 1/2 bunch perilla, leaves picked
• 75g iceberg lettuce, shredded
• 125g cooked pork neck, thinly sliced
• 1 bunch mint, leaves picked
• 80g rice vermicelli noodles, cooked according to packet instructions
• 24 garlic chives
• Nuoc mam cham dipping sauce, to serve
1 Fill a large bowl with warm water. To assemble the rolls, cut six sheets of rice paper in half and set aside.
2 Dip one whole rice paper sheet in the water until it softens, then lay it flat on a plate. 3 Dip a half-sheet of rice paper in the water and lay it vertically in the middle of the round sheet.
4 This will strengthen the roll, preventing the filling breaking through.
5 In the middle of the rice paper, place three pieces of prawn in a horizontal line about 4 cm from the top.
6 Below the prawns add some perilla leaves, lettuce, pork, mint and noodles.
7 To form the roll, first fold the sides into the centre over the filling, then fold the bottom of the rice paper up and over.
8 Roll from bottom to top to form a tight roll, and just before you complete the roll, add two pieces of garlic chives so that they stick out at one end.
9 Serve with nuoc mam cham for dipping.
Recipe courtesy of Luke Nguyen, extracted from The Food of Vietnam © Hardie Grant.