My best friend just visited me last month. As always we had lots of fun hanging out in the city, enjoying the last warm moments of sunshine, taking photos and of course cooking. We made some absolutely amazing summer rolls that I wanted to put on the blog for a long time, plus our little shooting gave me a good chance to share some wonderful pictures of the making as well.
It is fun to make summer rolls, I love the colours and the prepared little portions waiting to be rolled. Play around with all the ingredients, experiment with proportions! As you need the vegs to be cut small and thin (julienne) I guess you could use more fancy tools cut the to make it even, nice and thin, but I just cut them with a good sharp knife. And don’t make a big fuss about making them perfect. Even if they are a little uneven they still taste amazing!
I used to think you have to make spring rolls right before serving, because the thin rice paper would dry out, but I actually found a good tip on the internet on how to keep it fresh. You simply need to make a clean kitchen towel wet and put it on top of the rolls. Don’t put the rolls in the fridge because then the rice paper will absorb the smells of the fridge. If you really need to, then get a large airtight plastic box to keep the air of the fridge outside.
Rice paper is my new favourite gluten-free pasta option. It is very convenient that you don’t even have to cook them but just soak for a minute. Also, you have endless options with the fillings: it can be sweet, savoury or both. But because you use almost no fat and a lot of raw vegetables (or fruits) this becomes a light pasta option packed with vitamins. You can serve this as finger food on parties, have it as lunch, as a snack, or as an appetizer.
In the following recipe you will get instructions for 2 different tastes. One of them is with prawns, which has a really nice light taste, and the other one has a chicken fried with soy sauce giving it a nice boost. I used a sweeter gluten-free soy sauce, so they got a bit caramelized, which gave a much deeper taste to the rolls matching really well with the raw red cabbage that has a bit of natural sweetness.
Ingredients (makes 12)
For the dip:
- 1 clove of garlic (peeled and minced)
- 1/4 hot chilli pepper (finely chopped)
- 1 spring onion (finely sliced)
- 2 teaspoon coconut blossom sugar or brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce
- 2 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 1/2 lemon (juiced)
- 75 millilitre water
The base of the rolls:
- 12 rice paper
- 100 grams mihoen (rice noodles)
- 12 coriander leaves
- 12 mint leaves
- 1 bell pepper
- 1 small carrot
- 1-2 spring onion
- Half a cucumber
Plus for 6 rolls with prawns:
- 12 small – or 6 bigger prawns (cleaned, cooked)
Plus for the 6 rolls with chicken:
- 1 teaspoon of coconut oil
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 100 grams of chicken breast
- 1/6 small red cabbage
First mix all ingredients for the sauce in a small bowl and set aside.
Cut all vegetables julienne (you will need thin and approximately 5 cm long pieces). Cook the prawns for a few minutes in boiling water and clean them if needed.
For the chicken filling marinate chicken in the soy sauce. Heat oil in a non-stick pan and fry the chicken for 6 minutes, turning it frequently so that it doesn’t get burnt. Take out of the pan, let it cool slightly, and cut into 5 centimetre long thin pieces.
Prepare the mihoen according to the package instructions (depending on the type you using it can vary from short cooking to soaking).
To assemble the rolls with prawns, put warm water in a large bowl and let one rice paper soak in it for a few seconds. Take it out onto a clean, flat surface and put a mint and a coriander leaf on the middle. Put 2 prawns on top and a few slices of bell pepper, carrot, cucumber, spring onion in a small pile. Lastly, top it with a bit of mihoen. Roll the rice paper by flipping one side of the paper over the filling, then fold the sides inwards and keep rolling it tightly. Do it the same way for the remaining prawn rolls. Cover with a wet kitchen towel until serving.
To assemble the rolls with chicken, dip one rice paper in warm water and let it soak for a few seconds. Place on a clean, smooth surface and put a mint and a coriander leaf on the middle. Place a few slices of the chicken on top and then add small amounts of all vegetables (including the red cabbage) and roll it the same way as the prawn rolls.
Serve with the dip on the side.