You know those occasional moments of inspiration you have when staring a beautiful ingredient? Well today I was inspired by the stunning Irish gem lettuce (below) to make – for the very first time – Vietnamese rolls. I just happened to have some rice paper I bought months ago, and a lovely bit of smoked tofu in the fridge. Food serendipity!
I’ve always loved Vietnamese rolls since my years in Melbourne in the mid Nineties. They make a delicious low calorie but filling lunch. I’m sure there are purists (ahem *killjoys*) out there who insist on authentic ingredients, but I think it’s fine to play around with whatever is in season.
First chop up your ingredients and have them ready to roll. I used lettuce, coriander, finely sliced carrots and avocado and smoke tofu (I’m sure smoked duck or freshly cooked prawns would be equally delicious).
Then get a wide shallow dish and add 1-2cm of lukewarm water. Then simply dip the paper in the water for 10 seconds (1 at a time) and assemble the rolls to your liking. This is fun for little kitchen helpers and a great way to get them to eat veg.
The sauce I made was a mixture of 2 tablespoons light Teriyaki (not the sweet kind) with a dash of vinegar, a teaspoon of sesame oil, a tablespoon of water and a few drops of tabasco. Some grated ginger would have been a nice addition. Alternatively if you’re having the duck version I think plum sauce would be scrumptious, and likewise a light chilli sauce would go great with prawns. Add water to your sauce to keep them light and not too sticky.
I can assure you these rolls were delicious – I’m definitely making them again!