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Summer Rolls

by . Featured in NIGELLA SUMMER
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Introduction

I'll be honest with you: I had longed to make some version of these little rolls for years but either essential laziness or fear that they would be frighteningly complicated put me off. Now that I've made them, I can't quite see what I was on about. Fiddly they may be, but they are undeniably easy and there is something about the light, unwheatenness of rice pasta (which in effect these sheets just are) and the bundles of fresh herbs within that make them compulsive and uplifting eating.

You can often find the rice pancakes, or rice sheets (emphatically not rice paper) in the supermarket. If you're unlucky in this respect, you will have to track down an Asian store, which offers a gastro-reward of its own.

And should you want to make these vegetarian or vegan-friendly, then just substitute the regular fish sauce for vegan “fish” sauce.

And if you’re not vegan, these are also lovely with a few cooked prawns, little shrimp, leftover cold shredded meat, or whatever else you might wish. But I do adore them just as they are!

For US cup measures, use the toggle at the top of the ingredients list.

I'll be honest with you: I had longed to make some version of these little rolls for years but either essential laziness or fear that they would be frighteningly complicated put me off. Now that I've made them, I can't quite see what I was on about. Fiddly they may be, but they are undeniably easy and there is something about the light, unwheatenness of rice pasta (which in effect these sheets just are) and the bundles of fresh herbs within that make them compulsive and uplifting eating.

You can often find the rice pancakes, or rice sheets (emphatically not rice paper) in the supermarket. If you're unlucky in this respect, you will have to track down an Asian store, which offers a gastro-reward of its own.

And should you want to make these vegetarian or vegan-friendly, then just substitute the regular fish sauce for vegan “fish” sauce.

And if you’re not vegan, these are also lovely with a few cooked prawns, little shrimp, leftover cold shredded meat, or whatever else you might wish. But I do adore them just as they are!

For US cup measures, use the toggle at the top of the ingredients list.

Rice Paper Rolls
Photo by Petrina Tinslay

Ingredients

Makes: 48 rolls

Metric Cups
  • 100 grams rice vermicelli
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce or tamari if you need this to be gluten-free
  • 1 tablespoon thai fish sauce (nam pla) or vegan "fish" sauce if you need this to be vegetarian/vegan
  • 1 bunch fresh mint (roughly chopped)
  • 1 bunch thai basil (roughly chopped)
  • ½ cucumber (cut into thin batons)
  • 6 spring onions (finely sliced)
  • 12 rice paper spring roll wrappers
  • soy sauce for serving (optional)
  • 4 ounces rice vermicelli
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce or tamari if you need this to be gluten-free
  • 1 tablespoon thai fish sauce (nam pla) or vegan "fish" sauce if you need this to be vegetarian/vegan
  • 1 bunch fresh mint (roughly chopped)
  • 1 bunch thai basil (roughly chopped)
  • ½ cucumber (cut into thin batons)
  • 6 scallions (finely sliced)
  • 12 rice paper spring roll wrappers
  • soy sauce for serving (optional)

Method

  1. Soak the vermicelli according to the instructions on the packet, and drain once the translucent threads are rehydrated.
  2. Flavour the vermicelli with the rice vinegar, soy and fish sauces, and then add the chopped herbs, cucumber and spring onions. Mix gently with your hands to try to combine the noodles, herbs and vegetables.
  3. Soak the rice pancakes (again, according to packet instructions) in a shallow bowl of hot water and then lay each one on a tea towel to pat dry. Run a fairly narrow strip of noodle mixture down the middle of the pancake, fold over one half and then carefully roll it up as tightly as you can. Slice each roll into four and then arrange them on a plate.
  4. If you want, pour some soy sauce into a few little bowls for dipping the rolls into as you eat.
  1. Soak the vermicelli according to the instructions on the packet, and drain once the translucent threads are rehydrated.
  2. Flavour the vermicelli with the rice vinegar, soy and fish sauces, and then add the chopped herbs, cucumber and scallions. Mix gently with your hands to try to combine the noodles, herbs and vegetables.
  3. Soak the rice pancakes (again, according to packet instructions) in a shallow bowl of hot water and then lay each one on a tea towel to pat dry. Run a fairly narrow strip of noodle mixture down the middle of the pancake, fold over one half and then carefully roll it up as tightly as you can. Slice each roll into four and then arrange them on a plate.
  4. If you want, pour some soy sauce into a few little bowls for dipping the rolls into as you eat.

Additional Information

For gluten free use tamari instead of soy sauce.

MAKE AHEAD / STORE:
It is not advisable to make ahead or store.

For gluten free use tamari instead of soy sauce.

MAKE AHEAD / STORE:
It is not advisable to make ahead or store.

Tell us what you think

What 1 Other has said

  • Mae Ploy (Thai sweet chili sauce) and rice vinegar also makes a good dipping sauce for the fresh rolls. The Vietnamese restaurants here serve them with that combo.

    Posted by EdgarFriendly on 29th July 2021
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