Fresh Vietnamese Spring Rolls
Serves four as a starter.
you will need
75g vermicelli noodles
50g bean sprouts
300g chicken or tofu
1 dsp sunflower oil
8 pieces rice paper
100g carrots, shredded
100g iceberg lettuce, finely sliced
8g mint leaves, roughly torn
10g sweet basil leaves, roughly torn
15ml hot chilli sauce
1 dsp peanuts, crushed
For the dip 100g white sugar
½ tsp salt
To make the spring rolls: Bring two large saucepans of water to the boil. Soak the vermicelli noodles in cold water for 25 minutes, until soft and drain.
Put the noodles in a saucepan and boil for one minute, then strain, run under cold water to prevent further cooking and keep to one side. In the other saucepan, cook the bean sprouts until soft -- about one minute -- then strain and run under cold water.
Cut the chicken fillets into thin strips of 4cm x 2cm, or the tofu into strips of 4cm x 2 cm.
Heat the wok with the oil, add the chicken or tofu and toss until cooked, approximately four minutes for chicken, two to three for tofu.
Dip the rice paper into boiling water, one piece at a time, for about five seconds and remove with tongs, then place individually on a wet tea-towel and flatten.
Layer a little of each of the ingredients horizontally in the centre of the rice paper, starting with the noodles followed by the carrots, bean sprouts, lettuce, mint and basil leaves, leaving a 1-2cm edge on each side and 5cm at the top and bottom.
Finish with the chicken or tofu on top, then roll it away from you, folding in both sides first.
To make the dip: Put the ingredients in a saucepan and bring to the boil and reduce until it begins to thicken. Let it cool slightly.
Pour a little of the dip into small individual serving dishes, add some hot chilli sauce and sprinkle the crushed peanuts on top.
To serve: Put two spring rolls on each plate with some iceberg lettuce, fresh mint and a little dipping sauce on the side.
Tip: When shopping for rice paper, check that there are no crumbs in the packet, which would indicate that they are dry and will crack when you are rolling them.
These rolls can be made a few hours ahead of time. Wrap them in a damp paper towel and clingfilm but keep at room temperature.