Some time ago, the mere thought of making rice paper rolls made me scared and daunting. That’s because they break easily and difficult to roll (they turn soft after a while).
So, after a few mishaps of really really un-good looking rolls, I found a few simple tips that I’d like to share with you:
1) Rice paper comes in sizes. Buy the large one.
2) Do not soak the rice paper until soft. Instead, soak for about 5-6 seconds, remove and place on a clean surface. The rice paper will continue to soften while you roll.
3) When rolling, keep them tight by pushing the edges back while rolling forward. This keeps ingredients intact when you have your first bite of goodness.
Sounds good? Now, let’s try to get some rolls out, shall we …
My lil’ one adores rice paper rolls. It makes a good lunchbox meal and because there are no boundaries, you can go wild with just about anything in them. She would choose what she wants in her rice paper roll and she would roll them herself 🙂 I like to make it fresh because from experience, rice paper rolls don’t keep well after 3-4 hours – the rice paper will start to harden and the ingredients will begin to dry up (even with refrigeration).
In this recipe, I used poached chicken breast as a healthy choice of protein and paired it with sweet mango slices, rice vermicelli, fresh lettuce, mint leaves and crunchy cucumber sticks. Drool.
Chicken & Mango Summer Rolls
Makes 6 rolls
1 skinless, free-range chicken breast fillets (100g)
1 tsp black peppercorns
1 spring onion (scallions), roughly chopped
1 slice of ginger
1 tsp sea salt
6 large Vietnamese rice paper
Iceberg lettuce, washed & shredded
Mint leaves, washed & shredded
Rice vermicelli, soaked in hot water for 5 mins and drained
12 mango slices
6 cucumber sticks
(Nuoc Cham Dipping Sauce)
1 tsp rice vinegar
3 tsp sugar
1 1/2 tbsp fish sauce
1/2 red chilli, chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice
1. In a medium pot, add peppercorns, ginger, spring onion and salt. Then fill sufficient water to cover the chicken breast. Bring to boil over high heat. Once the water is boiling, gently place the chicken breast into the boiling water. Heat off and cover with a lid. Leave the chicken to cook in the pot for 45mins. Remove and set aside to cool. After that, shred them to pieces.
2. Now, set up the work station. Place each ingredient – shredded iceberg lettuce, mint leaves, rice vermicelli, mango slices, cucumber sticks and shredded chicken – in separate plates. Then fill up to a third of a large flat-bottom plate with warm water, and place that on your left hand side. Position a clean board in front of you and a clean hand towel on your right hand side. There, ready, set, roll … !
3. Take 1 piece of rice paper, gently submerge the rice paper into warm water for 5 seconds. Place on the clean board. Put a few shredded chicken on top, centred and covering about a third of the bottom of the rice paper. Add shredded lettuce and mint leaves on top of the chicken. Then place 1 cucumber stick and 2 mango slices towards the centre of the rice paper, spreading evenly towards the side.
4. Fold 3.5 cm of the right and left side of the paper over the filling. Then, take the bottom part of the paper and fold towards the ingredients. Continue to roll tightly until the cylinder is complete. Set aside.
5. To make the dipping sauce, mix all ingredients together. Serve with rice paper rolls.