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Pork and Prawn Vietnamese Rice Paper Rolls


Very early in the life of this blog I posted a recipe for Vietnamese Rice Paper Rolls, the filling my Vietnamese Coleslaw combined with roasted Five Spice Chicken. The photo has been kicking around Pinterest for close to 2 years and is still a regular source of traffic to these pages.

Using the leftover meat, carrots and sauce from our meal of grilled Lemongrass Pork inspired this rice paper roll filling, a lively combination of pickled carrots, sweet garlicky pork, some fresh prawn meat, finely cut vegetables and herbs folded into a lettuce leaf then wrapped in rice paper.

During my catering days Peking duck with batons of spring onion and cucumber and a dab of hoi sin sauce wrapped into a rice paper roll was a popular canapé. Often the sauce would seep through the rice paper if it was prepared too far in advance so I began using a section of cos lettuce leaf as a barrier. This is still the best way I know to make neat rice paper rolls, but I was surprised recently to read this method in a Vietnamese cookbook.

The ubiquitous Nuoc Cham is the perfect dipping sauce for these rice paper rolls, though thinned peanut sauce is also excellent.

1 grilled lemongrass pork cutlet
5 cooked prawns, peeled and deveined
1 cup pickled carrot julienne
1 Lebanese cucumber
1 cup finely shredded Chinese cabbage
2 tablespoons snipped garlic chives
2 tablespoons finely chopped coriander

7 cos lettuce leaves, halved across the stem

14 rounds of dried Vietnamese rice paper

Cut the pork, prawns and cucumber into long thin strips.
Mix together all the filling ingredients.
Wash and dry the lettuce leaves. Trim off the bottom section of the stem then cut each leaf in half across the breadth.
Fill a bowl with a rim wider than the rice papers with tepid water.

Concentrate on making one roll at a time.
1. Dip the rice paper into the tepid water until just pliable, 5-10 seconds, then lay it on the bench.
2. Take a section of lettuce leaf and using tongs fill it with the prepared salad.
3. Fold the leaf to enclose the filling, then place it on the edge of the rice paper closest to you.
4. Fold over the bottom edge of the rice paper to enclose the lettuce
5. Fold in the sides then roll the remainder into a fat cigar shape

Continue making rice paper rolls until the filling is complete. Don’t let the rolls touch one another while they are fresh as they’ll stick together. Put a sheet of plastic wrap between the layers if you want to stack them up.
The rice paper rolls will keep refrigerated covered in plastic wrap for several hours.
To serve, cut each roll in half on the diagonal and arrange on a platter.
Serve with a dipping sauce


About ladyredspecs

I wear two blogger hats, food and photos. My inner Melbourne kitchen, the heart of my home, is concurrently art/craft studio, workplace and sweatshop. I am a slave to my cooking passion and to my cameras. My love of good food holds me in a lifetime of bondage, as a cook, a reader, a traveller, an artist and but mostly as an eater. I feel privileged that my sixty years of experiences have mirrored both the cultural homogenization of Australian food and the digital progression of photography. While my love of food is acquired and my creations transient, the artistic genes I inherited and my photographic record permanent. These two loves are a natural yin and yang. I cooked professionally for many years but have no formal training. Simply guided by a love of eating, respect for ingredients, an abhorrence of artificial additives and a good palate, I cook instinctively applying the technical know how acquired by experience. I hope you enjoy what I share Sandra AKA ladyredspecs

20 comments on “Pork and Prawn Vietnamese Rice Paper Rolls

  1. Pingback: Pork and Prawn Vietnamese Rice Paper Rolls | Please Pass the ... - Celebrity Chefs TV | Celebrity Chefs TV

  2. ohlidia
    February 21, 2014

    I make a version of these too but would love to try yours.

    • ladyredspecs
      February 21, 2014

      I make them differently every time, it just depends what’s in the fridge!

  3. Unwind Cooking
    January 29, 2014

    Beautiful presentation.

  4. saucygander
    January 26, 2014

    Wonderful looking Vietnamese rolls, and another great summer dish! I like to use a couple of leafy herbs in a similar way, to create a neater roll and to get that bit of green through the rice paper, which can be very pretty contrasting with red carrots and such.

    • ladyredspecs
      January 26, 2014

      Thanks, yes they are good and you can be quite creative with the filling

  5. tinywhitecottage
    January 25, 2014

    Amazing! Seriously, at least once a month I get a craving for fresh “spring rolls”. And with Seattle having a huge Asian population (International District) you just know you can find some really good ones out there…somewhere! I don’t know where though! Just two weeks ago I actually googled it and found a little vietnamese deli and thought “of course!” Went there, picked up four freshly made spring rolls, got home, took one bite and threw the whole lot in the garbage! :) They were horrible! Your rolls look fantastic! What about your dipping sauce? What do you use?

    • ladyredspecs
      January 25, 2014

      Fresh rice paper rolls can be quite bland if not made with a well seasoned filling, but of course the dipping sauce can make or break the experience. My Nuoc Cham recipe is at the bottom of this post Peanut sauce thinned with a little water is also good, recipe here Seana, once you’ve made rice paper rolls and got the hang of handling the wrappers, you’ll be able to whip up a batch very quickly. If you plan ahead, and it’s more a summer than winter option, you can make one dinner and morph extras into rice paper rolls for the next day.

      • tinywhitecottage
        January 25, 2014

        Oh great. Thank you! I love to dip in peanut sauce so I’ll head over and take a look. :)

  6. thehungrymum
    January 24, 2014

    what a perfect summer meal. I haven’t had these in ages but you’ve just inspired me :)

    • ladyredspecs
      January 25, 2014

      Yes, perfect for a hot night, it had been 44C the night we had these! Enjoy!

  7. Eha
    January 24, 2014

    Shall copy those! Your inclusion of the double ‘protein’ makes these a much more filling dish and I have never made a double ‘covering’ of both lettuce and rice paper for the mixture ~ find it appealing!!!

    • ladyredspecs
      January 24, 2014

      Thanks Eha,mother were perfect with a cold beer on a hotter than hot night!

  8. Shanna Koenigsdorf Ward
    January 24, 2014

    Yes, these are just gorgeous. No wonder they were popular during your catering days! :-) Such great flavors and textural components. I agree – they would be great with a peanut sauce or your Nuoc Cham. Warm wishes! Shanna

    • ladyredspecs
      January 24, 2014

      Thanks Shanna, Vietnamese rice papers are incredibly versatile, let your imagination run wild…..

  9. chef mimi
    January 24, 2014

    These are beautiful!

    • ladyredspecs
      January 24, 2014

      Thank you Mimi, delicious in the hot weather too!

  10. trixpin
    January 23, 2014

    What gorgeous photos! This recipe looks amazing – it’s not the sort of cooking I usually do, but the ingredients are all so delicious. I’m very tempted :)

    • ladyredspecs
      January 24, 2014

      Thanks, sometimes the food just cries out to please the camera! The hot summer weather is so conducive to Vietnamese style food, with fresh flavours and minimal cooking

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