Vietnamese Summer Rolls
Ever since I learnt how to make my own Vietnamese fresh summer rolls, I have been making them endlessly. They are easy to prepare, healthy and tasty. While summer rolls are usually made with fresh prawns (shrimps), I love to use all sorts of fillings for them – I even made summer rolls with leftover KFC chicken and they were delicious!
The wrapped rolls keep well in the fridge so I often pack the leftovers for my bento lunch to bring to work the next day. For this recipe, the summer rolls are served with a really easy peanut hoisin sauce dip.
There are various ways of wrapping these fresh spring rolls but the tutorial below shows my favourite way of wrapping. The summer rolls look beautiful with the scallions sticking out of the wrap. If I am bringing them for work, I used mini wrappers instead without the stick-out scallions so that they can fit in easily into my lunchbox.
These are the wrappers I used. There is a smaller version but I prefer to use the bigger type (22 cm) as they are much easier to wrap. To use, I quickly dip the rice paper in a shallow plate of water, and remove it as soon as it is wet on the surface. There is no need to soak the rice paper until softened, in fact doing so will make them too soft to wrap and the skin will break more easily. The rice paper should be still semi hard when wrapping.
Place a damp and clean kitchen cloth on top of the chopping board or work surface. This makes it easier to remove the summer roll and minimize tearing the skin, but it’s optional. Place a few lettuce leaves near the bottom of the wrapper nearest to you. Add a small handful of cooked vermicelli and two prawn halves, followed by some hand-torn mint leaves. This is the basic filling. You can add 2 thin slices roast pork and/or fish cakes if desired.
Fold the edge nearest you towards the center, followed by the two sides.
Roll the wrap away from you, while keeping the fillings tight.
Arrange 3 scallions stalks, two shrimp halves and two small mint leaves in an aesthetic way as shown. This will be the top of the summer roll. Feel free to arrange the ingredients in your own way.
Continue rolling the last portion of the wrap.
Flip the summer roll over to reveal the “beautiful side” and it’s done!