Thursday, 11 December 2014

Summer Rolls in December

These little appetiser rolls are a nice antidote to wintry weather. The ingredients are fresh and colourful and very healthy. Serve them with a Thai Sweet Chili dipping sauce or Ponzu sauce (a Japanese citrus soy sauce). I am rather heavy handed, so my rolls are not very elegant and I tend to overfill them, but they taste good. Next time I might try tossing the noodles with a little soy sauce just to add a bit of extra oomph.

You need to get hold of some rice paper wrappers and some rice vermicelli. Fortunately there's a Thai shop in our town. If you are really stuck, they can be ordered online. The other ingredients are more readily available.

Rice paper wrappers

Summer Rolls

12 rice paper wrappers, 6 inch diameter are good.
75g instant rice vermicelli, soaked for a few minutes in boiling water, then rinsed in cold water
a red, yellow or orange pepper (or a mixture of the different colours)
a medium carrot
half a cucumber, peeled and de-seeded
half a mango
a couple of tablespoons of chopped salted peanuts
fresh coriander, basil, mint or Thai basil (any combination), washed
sweet chili dipping sauce or ponzu sauce

1. Cut up all the veg into matchstick strips (julienne as it is referred to in cheffy circles)

2. Put some warm water in a bowl large enough to take the rice paper wrappers.

3. Soak one of the wrappers for a couple of minutes until softened. Take out and place on a clean tea towel, putting in the next one to soak.

4. Put a couple of the herb leaves across the centre of the wrapper, then place 2 or 3 sticks of each vegetable/fruit and about a tablespoon of noodles on top, leaving a couple of centimetres on each side. Sprinkle over the peanuts, then roll up tightly, folding in the sides to form a neat roll. I have trouble with this.

Fold in the edges to make a neat roll

5. Put on a plate covered with cling film (to stop them sticking). Continue in this way until you run out of ingredients.  Be prepared to slap away hands that try to take the rolls as quickly as you can manufacture them. Cover with cling film and chill until you're ready to serve them.

6. Seafood eaters might appreciate the addition of a prawn or two with the herbs...

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