Vietnamese Rice Paper Rolls
Servings: 4 people
Carbohydrate Serves: 2.5 per person
(1 carbohydrate serve = 15 grams of total carbohydrate)
For the short amount of preparation time, this recipe has a big return on flavour. It’s also fun because you can serve up the ingredients and leave it to others to prepare their rolls. So it’s almost a night off cooking! Don’t feel you have to stick to the protein ingredients suggested below (tofu or chicken). You could also use strips of lean red meat or prawns. And because most of the ingredients are carb-free, when you’ve eaten your share of 4 rice papers wraps, use large salad leaves instead and wrap and roll until your heart (and tummy) is content. This is also a good gestational diabetes friendly recipe to have up your sleeve for picnics or to prepare in advance and bring along to a gathering. Enjoy! (Main carbohydrate containing ingredients are listed in bold.)
- Light cooking oil
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 350g/ 11 ounces fresh firm tofu, cut into long thick strips or 400g/ 13 ounces chicken thigh or breast fillet, trimmed, sliced into strips
- 40g/ 1.5 ounces vermicelli rice noodles, soaked in warm water for a few minutes then well drained
- 1 large capsicum/ pepper, halved, trimmed and hulled, sliced thinly into strips
- 2 large cucumbers, peeled, sliced lengthways
- 2 medium carrots, grated
- 1 bunch fresh coriander/ cilantro, roughly separated into individual stalks
- 1 bunch fresh mint, roughly separated into individual stalks
- 1 bunch fresh garlic chives, cut into 10cm lengths
- 1 head of lettuce, roughly divided up, rinsed, pat dry (substitute with baby spinach or salad leaves)
- 16 round (22cm/ 8″ diameter) rice paper sheets (4 per person)
For dipping sauce
- Juice of 1 lime (around 50ml/ ~2 fl.ounces)
- 2 tablespoons peanut butter
- 1 teaspoon fish sauce (Nuoc Mam)
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
- Warm water
Heat a small, lightly oiled non-stick frypan over medium-high heat. Pour in egg and without stirring, cook for around 4-5 minutes. Allow to cool slightly before turning out onto a plate. Slice it into long strips approximately 2cm x 10cm/ .8” x 4”)
Lightly oil the same pan and heat on medium-high. Add the tofu or chicken and cook in batches until golden brown (6-10 minutes). Turn out onto a plate covered in paper towel to remove excess fat. Set aside.
Prepare dipping sauce by combining lime juice, peanut butter, fish sauce, sesame seeds and a tablespoon or two of warm water. Then add more warm water little by little until you like the consistency.
I find the best way to make rice-paper rolls is to let everyone create their own.
Place dipping sauce, vegetables, herbs and cooked tofu or chicken on a large serving platter in the middle of the table.
To cook the rice-papers:
You’ll need a large heatproof dish. Place this on the table and out of reach of young children. Pour in recently boiled water and soak rice papers one by one for less than 1 minute. Carefully remove from water and place flat on a plate. Put your choice of fillings in the middle then fold the ends in, and roll up like a tube. Don’t forget the fresh herbs!
NB: If you are following the GDM diet 4 rice papers will be your limit. Use large salad leaves in place of rice papers for extra rolls.
Post GDM suggestion: Replace tofu or chicken with or add cooked prawns to the mix. Add some crushed peanuts to your dipping sauce. And bean sprouts are always a delicious addition however they’re not recommended during pregnancy due to risk of listeria bacteria.