Saturday Recipe: So Easy Rice Paper Rolls

Amber Sewell-Green teaches you how to make the perfect Vietnamese Rice Paper Rolls.

Rice Paper Rolls

Rice paper rolls are a great alternative to sandwiches. You can make them the night before, they are quick to make and easy to pack and take on the run. You can add just about any combo of veggies, meats, grains and sauces inside, even leftovers, and they are low fat but will fill you up! They can be made vegan, vego or meat lovers. A packet of these babies costs around $1.69 (Woolworths) for 20 or so rice paper rolls.

As mentioned, you can add just about any combo of meats, veg and grains inside. Below are some general ideas followed by a few good combos and some sauces to have with them.

Method:

Follow the instructions on the packet, but generally, it will involve:

  1. Prepping and cutting up all the ingredients you want to fill your roll with
  2. Soaking the rice paper sheet in a shallow bowl or pan of warm water for around 10 seconds, or until just soft (don’t over-soak as they will be harder to roll)
  3. Laying rice paper out on a plate and smooth out any creases
  4. Filling your rice paper roll in the centre
  5. Rolling the rice paper roll

 

Fillers:

Protein:

  • Steamed chicken
  • Roast Beef
  • Grilled Prawns
  • Tinned Salmon or Tuna
  • Marinated Tofu/Tempeh
  • Tinned Beans

Veggies & Fruit:

  • Almost any veggie works, such as carrot, eggplant, tomato, lettuce, beetroot, kale, pumpkin, bean sprouts, mushrooms, cabbage, cucumber, sweet potato. Roast, sauté, slice finely or grate raw.
  • Grated or sliced apple or pear also works well
  • Avocado is amazing in these!

Grains & Noodles

  • Brown Rice
  • Noodles: udon, vermicelli, try brown rice vermicelli for a wholegrain option
  • Quinoa
  • Buckwheat
  • Millet

Herbs & Spices:

  • Fresh mint, basil, oregano, parsley, chives and fennel seeds all go well.

(Cook as per instructions on the packet)

 

Yummy COMBO IDEAS

Rainbow:

This combo is fresh and bursts with flavour and colour, great for vegans and vegos and super cheap!

  • Sliced lettuce
  • Red cabbage
  • Grated carrot
  • Chopped tomato
  • Sliced Avocado
  • Thinly sliced capsicum

Ancient Grain:

This is a more filling option, great for using left over grains, rices and noodles.

  • Grains (method see below)
  • Avocado
  • Carrot
  • Spinach or Silverbeet, sliced into strips
  • Tomato

Grain Method:

For the grains, cook as per packet instructions, roughly ½ a cup of grains.

Once cooked, mix in juice and zest of ½ an orange (or ¼ cup of bottled orange juice), ½ cup raw nuts (I like to use cashews, pepitas, sunflower seeds or almonds), 1 tsp of fennel seeds (or preferred herb/spice, paprika works well too), tsp currants or raisins, 1 tsp olive oil, ½ tsp reduced salt soy sauce or tamari, season well with salt and pepper.

Can’t ‘Beet’ this:

For a sweeter option, this combo hits the spot! It’s a real pick me up, with iron from the beetroot, it’s refreshing and will wake up your senses.

  • Raw beetroot, cut into sticks
  • Grated Apple
  • Grated carrot
  • Lettuce
  • Avocado, sliced

Protein Packed

For the meat eaters out there, this is like a healthy revamp of the chicken and lettuce sandwich, light but still filling, and super tasty!

  • Steamed Chicken
  • Carrot
  • Lettuce
  • Bean Sprouts
  • Plum sauce or similar sweet sauce
  • Mint leaves

 

Dressings:

In a bowl or jar, simply mix all the ingredients together using a fork, and serve with the rice paper rolls. Too easy!

Honey soy:

  • 2 tsp Honey or 2 raw dates (fresh or soaked in hot water for 20minutes)
  • 2 Tbs reduced salt soy sauce or tamari
  • Ginger
  • 1 tsp Chilli (optional)
  • Can make thinner by adding a little bit of water.

Nutty Dipping sauce:

  • 3 Tbs tahini or nut butter
  • 1 Tbs lemon juice or apple cider vinegar or white vinegar
  • 1 tsp honey or raw maple syrup
  • 1 tsp salt reduced soy sauce or tamari
  • Sesame seeds (optional)
  • add 1 Tbs orange juice or similar juice (Optional)
  • Adjust to make thinner with water
  • Adjust to taste

Miso dressing:

  • 1 Tsb miso paste
  • 2-3 Tbs lemon juice
  • ½ Cup water
  • 1 tsp olive oil

Curry Sauce

  • 1/2 cup apple juice
  • 2 Tbs apple cider vinegar or white vinegar
  • 1 Tbs tahini or nut butter
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • ½ tsp curry paste

Herbal Dressing

  • 1 tomato
  • 1 Tbs Olive oil
  • 2 Tbs white vinegar or apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp basil
  • ½ tsp oregano
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • ½ cup water

 

Image: Amber Sewell-Green