Serves: Makes 6 - Time:
If you travel around Vietnam you’ll see rice papers being dried in the sun on woven bamboo strips. Don’t confuse spring roll wrappers with these rice papers-which require no cooking. You simply soak them in water for a few seconds to soften them. If you haven’t got a local Oriental shop nearby you can find them on www.souschef.co.uk amongst other stockists. These rolls are exactly what I want to eat in the summer: light, healthy food with fresh, zingy flavours. You can stuff the rice papers with pretty much anything you fancy-prawns, cooked chicken or duck, or-keep them vegetarian and add a few beansprouts and finely sliced carrot.
- For the dipping sauce
- 1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed
- 1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
- 4 tablespoons Thai fish sauce
- Juice of 1 ½ limes
- 3 heaped tablespoons soft light brown sugar
- For the rolls
- 250g white crabmeat
- 15g mint leaves, finely chopped
- 15g finely chopped coriander
- 1 teaspoon Thai fish sauce
- 6 radishes, finely sliced, preferably on a mandolin (but watch your fingers)
- ¼ iceberg lettuce, finely shredded
- 2 ripe avocadoes, halved, stoned, peeled and finely sliced
- 6 large rice papers, (22cm diameter)
- For the dipping sauce, mix together all the ingredients and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Set aside.
- For the rolls, in a small bowl mix together the crabmeat, mint, coriander, and Thai fish sauce. Make sure all the other ingredients (radishes, lettuce and avocadoes) are prepared before you start to assemble the rolls.
- Lay a slightly damp, clean tea towel on the work surface. Find a dish big enough to lay the rice papers in and fill it with 2-3 cm water. Submerge a rice paper in the water for about 20-30 seconds until just soft enough to be able to fold and roll it. Lay the rice paper on the damp tea towel. Spread a good tablespoon of the crab mixture over the centre and top with a few slices of radish, avocado and some shredded lettuce.
- Fold in the two sides to stop the filling from spilling out. Roll up from the side nearest you. Place on one half of another damp, clean tea towel and cover, folding over the remaining half. Repeat for the remaining 5 rice papers. Serve as soon as possible with the dipping sauce on the side.