5 August 2017

Vietnamese Salad Rolls

We recently went to Australia and while at Brisbane Airport early in the morning of our return, Lundulph and I went our separate ways to hunt for breakfast. The food court we were in, didn't seem to cater much for breakfast. While Lundulph ended up queueing at three different food outlets just to put together something in the vicinity of a sandwich and a tea, I marched straight to the corner where the Vietnamese street food outlet was located and bought a lovely looking roll thingy with tofu and greens and opted for a spicy Hoisin sauce to go with it.

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This turned out to be a revelation and a flood of ideas in my head for various fillings. So nice and fresh and filling and no guilty feelings of gobbling an unhealthy item!

Therefore, I set off for my two nearest supermarkets and their "special ingredients" sections, only to find disappointment - there was no rice paper to be found. Luckily there are a couple of Asian food markets in my nearest town, so as the heat wave kicked off in the South East of England, I armed myself with a Frappucino and went in search of rice paper. I struck gold in the second of the two shops and bought two packets, just to be on the safe side.

I'd also bought several fresh herbs that I like - basil, tarragon, dill, mint and chives. And a packet of stir-fry veg because it's a good mix of things and cut at the right size; some ready cooked and peeled king prawns for Lundulph and halloumi for myself. I'd also been to my local Pick-Your-Own and brought home a back of broad beans. So I searched on google about how to fold the rolls and got to work, following one of the many the instructions available.

After de-podding the broad beans, I fried them with a little butter and salt. I cut the halloumi into slices and fried in the same pan as the broad beans, then cut into strips and had everything else ready. Using my large pie dish, I half-filled it with room-temperature water. Using a large chopping board as base, I dampened the surface about the size of one of the rice paper rounds. I then dipped one of the rounds into the pie dish and "massaged" it a bit to get it pliable - this took only a few seconds. Then quickly onto the damp circle on the chopping board, line up a selection of the broad beans, stir-fry veg and herbs, then fold. For Lundulph, I lined up 3 prawns on per roll, and for me a couple of halloumi sticks for me. Then a couple of chives before completing the final fold of each roll.

It's good to work reasonably fast in putting the rolls together, or the rice paper wrappers will tear I found, so no photos of the folding process. I also found that the rolls would happily stick together, so I tried to keep them in one row only and not touching too much. I covered them with cling film and kept in the fridge until lunch. Lundulph and I ate 4 rolls each and Lundulph was surprised at how filling they were. At which point I realised that they were also very low carb, since I'd not used any rice or noodles inside. This of course made it difficult to dip and we ended up using tea spoons to drizzle sauce instead.

For dipping, I'd bought a ginger-chilli sauce and a Hoisin sauce and we also tried a satay sauce as well. Lundulph liked the ginger-chilli sauce best, while the Hoisin worked best for my spring rolls with the salty halloumi. We tried the satay sauce, but weren't too impressed with it in this instance.

Some further googling has revealed a lot of other ideas for rice paper wrappers that I'd love to try.

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