How to make rice paper rolls

These soft, uncooked rolls make a refreshing change to deep-fried spring rolls. Nutritious fillings including shrimp, fresh vegetables and aromatic herbs are wrapped in delicate rice paper sheets and served cold with a traditional Vietnamese dipping sauce. You can prepare these rolls up to 4 hours ahead and chill them in the refrigerator, covered with a clean dampened dish towel to keep them moist, until you're ready to serve. These rolls can also be steamed or fried.


Soak the rice noodles

Soak 1 oz (30g) dried rice vermicelli noodles in boiling water for 5 minutes. While the noodles are soaking, mix together 1 tablespoon rice vinegar, 1 tablespoon water, 1 teaspoon superfine (caster) sugar, ½ teaspoon salt and 1 clove crushed garlic in a small bowl until the sugar dissolves. Rinse the noodles under cold water, drain well, then cut into 3-inch lengths.

Prepare the fillings

Finely shred 1 cup of cabbage, grate 1 carrot, finely chop 1 tablespoon cilantro (fresh coriander), and thinly slice 1 scallion (spring onion).

Mix together ingredients

Mix the noodles, prepared dressing and vegetables together in a bowl until thoroughly combined.

Soak a rice paper sheet

Soak a sheet of rice paper in a large shallow dish of warm water for about 15 seconds, then drain well.

Place the fillings on the rice paper

Delicately place the sheet of rice paper out on top of a clean damp dish cloth. Place 2 tablespoons of vegetable and noodle mixture towards the lower edge of the rice paper (as shown in picture). Next, place 2-3 precooked shrimp on top of the mixture.

Fold over the bottom edge of rice paper

Neatly fold the bottom edge of the rice paper over the filling.

Fold in the sides

Then fold in the side edges of the rice paper.

Roll up

Roll up the rice paper roll to form a neatly packed cylinder (like a fat cigar). Repeat the above process until you have made 8 rolls, or enough to serve 4 as an appetizer.

Serve with dipping sauce

Arrange the rice paper rolls on a plate with Nuoc cham dipping sauce to serve.