Vietnamese Summer Rolls

I adore Vietnamese Summer Rolls. They are one of my favourite summer dinners. One summer I think we ate them several times a week all summer and still did not get fed-up with them. They are the ultimate summer weekend lunch or dinner. I love to bring the filling to the table with the wrappers and a bowl of water so everyone can get stuck in and make their own (and often misjudge the filling – always too much!!!).

You can use whatever vegetables you like in them and adjust the spicing if you don’t like the heat of the chilli (you can use a pinch of white pepper instead). I often add tofu instead of avocado. Thai basil is almost aniseed in flavour – if you cannot get Thai basil just leave it out.

Vietnamese Summer Rolls are easy and quick to make.

Perfect for lunch, dinner or fantastic for a picnic or a packed lunch Vietnamese Summer Rolls are the ultimate in versatile and adaptable. The Vietnamese Summer Rolls go great with a simple salad such as Cabbage and Carrot Salad.

Vietnamese Summer Rolls are gluten-free and vegan as well as… celery free, coconut free, garlic free, lupin free, mustard free, nightshade free*, onion free, sesame free*, tree nut free.

*For nightshade free leave out the chilli (or replace with a pinch of white pepper).
*For sesame free leave out the sesame seeds.

Rice paper wrapper are available from Oriental supermarkets (super cheap) and online. They are made from 100% rice and great value for money. To use them they are soaked in luke-warm water for seconds and they become pliable.

I always remove the watery, seed-filled centre from cucumbers. They taste better that way and your dish will not be diluted by the water from the centre of the cucumber.

Difficulty easy
Serves 4-6
Preparation time 15 minutes
Cooking time 0 minutes

Ingredients
1 iceberg lettuce
1 medium-large carrot
150 grams radishes
1 cucumber
10 grams mint – finely chopped
15 grams coriander – finely chopped
10 grams Thai basil– finely chopped
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
1 red chilli finely chopped
2 avocados
1.5 tablespoon rice vinegar
Zest and juice of 1 lime
1.5 tablespoon tamari
12 rice paper wrappers

Ingredients – Dipping Sauce
120 grams (~ 6 tablespoons) peanut butter (unsalted, unsweetened)
2 tablespoon rice vinegar
2 tablespoon tamari
Zest and juice of 2 limes
1 teaspoon chilli flakes

Method
1. Finely shred the iceberg lettuce, peel and grate the carrot, clean and grate the radishes and add to a large serving bowl. Slice the cucumber in half length-ways and scoop out the watery, seed-filled centre with a teaspoon. Grate the cucumber and add to the serving bowl with the finely chopped mint, coriander, Thai basil, sesame seeds and chilli. Mix very well
2. Add the rice vinegar, zest and juice of the lime and tamari to the bowl and mix well
3. Peel, de-stone and slice the avocado length-ways and add to the salad bowl. Sprinkle with lime juice (to stop browning and set aside
4. To make the dipping sauce mix all the ingredients in a small bowl. You will probably need to add a a few tablespoons of water to get the texture you prefer
5. To assemble to rolls (follow the instructions of the packet), soak each wrapper in luke-warm water for just a few seconds, lay flat on a plate, place one slice of avocado in the middle of the rice paper and add a couple of tablespoons of the filling to each wrapper. Fold in the sides, fold up the bottom and roll tightly. It might take a few attempts to get this perfect!