Vietnamese Spring Rolls
Fun and tasty, this is a great little canapé for grey January and it ticks lots more boxes too. It is gluten free and vegan. It is make ahead, has easy to source ingredients, needs very little cooking, is easy to make and doubles up as a starter. I hope it is as much a winning combination for you as it is here. Just looking at it makes me feel virtuous and healthy.
Ingredients - makes 12
6 rice paper spring roll wrappers (from Waitrose, Asian supermarkets or Amazon)
3 large spoonfuls of cooked vermicelli rice noodles
0.5 small red pepper, de-seeded and cut into thin long matchsticks
0.25 cucumber, peeled, de-seeded and cut into thin long matchsticks
1 medium carrot, peeled and cut into long thin matchsticks.
1 small salad onion, cut into long strips
2-3 radishes, thinly sliced
2-3 romaine lettuce leaves, shredded thinly
Or any other salad vegetables (avocado, sugar snap, asparagus, beans etc., whatever you fancy)
For the dressing:
1 tbsp lime juice
2 tsp fish sauce
1 tsp rice wine vinegar
1 tsp caster sugar
0.5 small red chilli, finely chopped
For the peanut dip:
2 tbsp smooth peanut butter
2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp runny honey
Pinch of chilli flakes and a pinch more to sprinkle on top when serving
To make the salad dressing, simply mix the 5 ingredients together until the sugar dissolves.
To make the peanut dip, gradually add the 4 other ingredients to the peanut butter and mix until smooth.
Cut all the vegetables. Put them in a large dish, but keep the different piles separate. Sprinkle with the dressing.
Boil a kettle of water and take a large flat dish (it needs to be a tiny bit larger in diameter than the wraps).
Pour a little water into the dish and when it’s cool enough to put your fingers in, put a spring roll wrapper into the water. Leave until the wrapper has become soft, turning once. Take the wrapper out, let the excess water drip off and then place it on a large plate.
Spread the centre of the wrapper with a line of mint leaves, then a strip of noodles and then a complete selection of the prepared vegetables. Follow this with another line of the noodles and few sprigs of coriander.
Fold the ends of the wrapper in and then roll up as neatly as possible. Store on and under damp kitchen towel and covered in cling film until required.
To serve, for a starter size or lunch, simply cut the rolls in half with a sharp knife and serve with with the delicious peanut dip on the side.