Vietnamese summer rolls (Bánh tráng)

Vietnamese summer rolls
Vietnamese summer rolls

These healthy summer rolls are scrumptious! I’ve used prawns in this recipe but grilled fish and tofu work just as well. Filled with rice noodles, plenty of herbs and vegetables, these fresh and crunchy summer rolls make for a great starter or light lunch and are perfect for wowing friends. Also fantastic served alongside my crab and sweetcorn soup for a quick and healthy mid week supper.

Store the rolls in a dish or plastic container that’s roomy enough to hold them without touching. Cover tightly with cling film.

You can make the peanut sauce a day ahead. Just keep it refrigerated in a covered container. Let it sit for a bit at room temperature before serving.

Use whichever veggies and herbs you can get hold of but the recipe below is pretty traditional. Makes around 16 rolls.

Vietnamese summer rolls

For the peanut sauce:

Half a jar creamy peanut butter
1/3 cup warm water
3 tablespoons hoisin sauce
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice (from about 1 1/2 medium limes)
4 1/2 teaspoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 medium garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil

For the summer rolls:
24 king prawns, peeled and deveined
4 ounces dried rice stick noodles or rice vermicelli (use a bag of ready to eat noodles for lazy days)
16 medium round rice paper wrappers
1 cup bean sprouts
Bunch fresh mint leaves
Bunch fresh basil or Thai basil leaves
Bunch fresh coriander
1 medium cucumber cut into mini sticks
Half a red onion thinly sliced
Bunch of lettuce leaves, gem or iceberg work wel

Whisk all the peanut sauce ingredients in a bowl and set aside.

Bring a medium saucepan of water to a boil over high heat. Add the prawns and cook until bright pink and just opaque, about 1 1/2 minutes. Drain in a colander and run under cold water until cool. Pat the prawns dry with paper towels and place on a cutting board.

Holding your knife parallel to the cutting board, halve each prawn horizontally.

Cook the rice noodles according to the package directions. Drain and set aside.

Place all of the ingredients in separate containers/and arrange them in the following order around a work surface: rice paper wrappers, prawns, rice noodles, bean sprouts, mint, basil, coriander, cucumber, onions, and lettuce.

Fill a large bowl with hot tap water. Working with 1 wrapper at a time, completely dunk the wrapper until it is soft and pliable, about 10-15 seconds.

Working quickly, lay 3 prawn halves in a row, cut side up, just above the center of the wrapper, leaving about 1 inch of space on each side. Layer a small handful of the rice noodles over the prawns, followed by a few bean sprouts, and the herb selection, onions and cucumber. Layer a lettuce leaf on top.

Fold the bottom half of the rice paper wrapper over the filling. Holding the whole wrap firmly in place, fold the sides of the wrapper in and finish rolling, as tightly as possible.

If not serving immediately, keep the summer rolls tightly covered with cling film at room temperature for up to 2 hours. Serve with the peanut sauce for dipping.

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