Recipe of the day: Chicken rice paper spring rolls
These are easy to make, really delicious and super healthy.
The kids will love them, especially if you get them involved in making them. Choose any fillings that take your fancy really. I always choose a good mix of colours, textures and flavours as well as thinking about what's in season. Instead of the chicken, you could use cooked prawns, or leftover cooked meats such as pork, duck or beef, or simply leave them vegetarian . Use a sweet chilli sauce as a speedier, less fish saucy dip if preferred.
¼ cucumber, cut into matchsticks
3 tbsp rice wine vinegar
1 tsp sugar
25g bean thread noodles
10 small dried rice paper discs (about 16cm wide)
100g cooked chicken, shredded into small pieces
1 small carrot, cut into matchsticks
2 spring onions, sliced
1 small red chilli, deseeded and finely sliced (optional)
Small handful of fresh mint leaves
50g bean sprouts
For the dipping sauce
2 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp lime juice
4 tbsp water
2 tsp sugar
1 small red chilli, finely sliced (optional)
First, place the cucumber in a small bowl and stir the vinegar and sugar through. Leave to pickle for about 10 minutes and then drain well.
In the meantime, place the noodles in a medium bowl and pour over enough boiling water to just cover. Leave to soak for a few minutes and then, once softened, drain and rinse them in cold water.
Now, with all the remaining ingredients prepared also, begin to assemble the rolls. Pour a few centimetres of cold water into a bowl wide enough to take a rice paper sheet and, working with one at a time, pop it in to soak for about 10 seconds until soft and pliable.
Being careful not to tear it or stick it back on itself, lift it out of the water and place on a clean surface. Arrange a little of each ingredient in a sausage shape in the centre and then fold in the left and right sides of the rice paper to just come over it.
Pick up the edge nearest you, fold it over the filling and continue to roll it away from you to give a neat spring roll.
These can be quite sticky, so store them between parchment paper to keep them separated from each other. These will keep in the fridge for up to a few days, depending on your filling.
To make the dipping sauce, simply pop all the ingredients in a small pot or jar and pop on a tight fitting lid. Shake well and you're all set for your picnic.