Rice paper rolls
Every now and then, usually in spring or summer, when I want something fresh but a little different, I make rice-paper rolls. I’m not all that good at rolling them yet, but I am getting a little better. At least they don’t fall apart when I bite into them, the way they did when I first tried. I think I was trying to put too much filling in them, but now I think I’ve reached the ‘just right’ amount. I also don’t soak the rice paper too long. I’ve learned that it continues to soften after you’ve wet it, and if it’s too wet, it’s hard to handle.
These are not exactly the traditional Vietnamese ones — I generally use whatever I have in the fridge so; grated carrot, lettuce, slivers of capsicum and cucumber, sometimes an egg (which I cook into a flat pancake kind of thing first and slice up) and whatever noodles I have handy.
Sometimes I use soba noodles, but today I used angel’s hair pasta, and I also used up some caviare I had leftover from making stuffed eggs the other day — you can see the black speckles in some of them. I also only had coriander (cilantro) on hand, so not many herbs this time — usually I’ll use basil and mint as well.
These are vegetarian, but I’m planning to take some to a “bring a plate lunch” soon, and will probably make some with smoked salmon and avocado, and the various salad bits. The ones with caviare and egg and salad were lovely, but not everyone likes fish eggs.
They’re a little bit fiddly, but once you have the ingredients sliced or grated, they’re quite quick and fun to make so I enjoy making them. And eating them, of course. It doesn’t take long, and on hot days it’s nice not to have to use the stove.