File this under ‘things I never get tired of eating’. It’s Friday night, I’ve had a crazy week, I bet you have too. We want to eat something quick. I’ve got half a capsicum, some borderline lettuce, a cucumber, and $10 to buy a rotisserie chicken, and all the Asian condiments in the WORLD!
Baby, we’re eating rice paper rolls.
These rice paper rolls are of course, traditionally Vietnamese goi cuon. There are a lot of great authentic (I’m told) Vietnamese restaurants in my town, and I absolutely love eating these bad boys.
I, however, am not Vietnamese and I’ve never been to Vietnam (sad face). So I take inspiration from traditional goi cuon, and then I totally take all the shortcuts, and make a cheap-o, inauthentic version that I find nonetheless completely delicious.
In other words, instead of pork, prawns, carefully selected herbs, dressed noodles and maybe crushed peanuts (the usual fillings), I essentially use these as a dumping ground for whatever odds and ends of crunchy vegetables I have going.
Cabbage, spring onions, lettuce, capsicum, carrot, radishes, red onion – if it’s even remotely crunchy, in it goes! Then I add a little cooked chicken (see above, re: rotisserie) and roll ’em, roll ’em, roll ’em. Which really isn’t hard, because SPOILER ALERT, you were using too much water.
Yeah, there’s two things that are essential to a tasty rice paper roll experience – the condiments and the wrappers. On the wrappers? Just don’t use too much water. They really only need a brief dunking in some lukewarm tap water, and then lay that sucker out and start filling it – it will absorb the water as it sits and become just soft enough. If your rice paper is already soft when it comes out of the water, you’ve gone too far.
On the condiments, there are probably rules, but not in my house. Whip up some nuoc cham if you’ve got time (lime, garlic, chilli, fish sauce, salt, sugar, water, maybe a little rice vinegar) – it’s totally delicious. If not, get out the hoi sin sauce and stir in a tiny teaspoon of peanut butter. Get out your sweet chilli sauce, your soy sauce, chinese black vinegar and, of course, sriracha. And if all else fails…ketchup and mustard y’all. Ketchup. And. Mustard.
OK, you can find the recipe (such as it is) for these bad boys over on Kidspot! And you have a great weekend!