For the dipping sauce
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 small red chilli (deseeded if you don't like it too hot), finely chopped
- 1 tbsp finely chopped ginger
Mainly grown in Jamaica, Africa, India, China and Australia, ginger is the root of the plant. It…
- 1 tbsp golden caster sugar
- 3 tbsp fish sauce
A seasoning often used in Vietnamese and Thai cooking. In Vietnam it is usually made from shrimp…
- juice 1 lime
The same shape, but smaller than…
For the rolls
- 100g vermicelli rice noodle or bean thread noodles
- 12 x 20cm round rice paper wrappers (see tip, below)
Rice is a grain, the seed of a type of grass, which is the most widely grown and the most…
- handful mint leaves
There are several types of mint, each with its own subtle difference in flavour and appearance.…
- 18 cooked prawns, cut in half lengthways
There are thousands of different species of prawn, but tiger, king and North Atlantic are the…
- 2-3 large iceberg lettuce leaves, torn into 12 pieces
- 1 carrot, cut into thin batons
The carrot, with its distinctive bright orange colour, is one of the most versatile root…
- a handful coriander
- a handful Thai basil
Most closely associated with Mediterranean cooking but also very prevalent in Asian food, the…
- a handful long chives
- 50g beansprout
Widely seen as a major, somehow magic, ingredient, beansprouts…
Make the dipping sauce by pounding the garlic, chilli, ginger and sugar together using a pestle and mortar, then stir in the fish sauce and lime juice. Alternatively, just blitz everything together in a mini blender.
Soak the rice noodles in a bowl of hot water for 15 mins, then drain well. Assemble all the prepared filling ingredients – once you start, you will need everything to hand.
When you are ready to make the rolls, dip one of the rice papers in a bowl of hot water, moving it around until the whole wrapper is soft – about 10-15 secs – then drain on a tea towel.
Place a rice paper wrapper on a board and at one edge of the wrapper, add a few mint leaves, then three prawn halves.
Place some lettuce on top of the prawns, followed by some noodles, a few strips of carrot and cucumber, some more herbs and finally some beansprouts. Don’t overfill the pancakes or they will be hard to roll.
Lift the edge of the rice paper wrapper nearest to you over the filling and, holding the filling in position with your fingers, start rolling up tightly.
When you’re about halfway, fold the ends of the rice paper in and over the filling so that it is completely enclosed.
Keep on rolling tightly until the whole rice paper wrapper is rolled up. To serve, cut the rolls in half on the diagonal.
Rice paper pancakesRound rice paper pancakes – also called rice paper wrappers – come in various sizes. The larger 20cm pancakes (try Chinese and Thai food shops) are ideal, as they give you lots of excess pancake to help with the rolling technique. If you can only find 10cm pancakes, you’ll need to make your rolls a bit smaller and thinner, and wrapping them will be slightly more fiddly.