Monday, 2 September 2013


In general I am not really the kind of person who likes to make long preparations for dinner, half an hour max, normally a quick wok, salad, a 15-minute pasta or something I an easily put together and let set in the oven is what I tend to go for. But sometimes I do enjoy cooking with longer preparations, if I know the result will be good.

So, today I made vietnamese style salad summer rolls. One of my absolute favourite taste combinations, fresh, salty and sour. They do require some preparation, as in chopping and setting up, but compared to a lot of other things they still are quite easy to make.

There are most likely hundreds of ways and variations on how to make these, some more correct than the other; here's how I make mine:

 I use lettuce and china cabbage (or just either one), avocado, cucumber, carrots, fresh coriander, fresh thai basil and tofu. Spring onions are a good add to this too; I had none so I picked some parsley and chive from the garden.

I buy my rice roll sheets from an asian store in Tapiola; you get a huge pack for just 2,50e. (Some supermarkets stock ready-to-make sets too but at a higher price and with much less content, so I recommend visiting the ethnic supermarkets!). You can make rolls similar to these by rolling the filling in big lettuce leafs too. Hell, you can just skip the rolling and make this a salad!

Slice the vegetables very thin and chop the herbs, prepare the tofu. I squeeze out the extra water from the tofu and crumble and fry it in a pan. Today I mixed the tofu crumble with mashed peanuts.

Set everything up in order so working will be easy for you. Take one pot with hot, boiled water and another one with cold water for the rice paper.

Soak the rice paper in hot water for a while first, then dip it in the cold water and place on your working surface. I find it's best to do the rolls one-by-one, putting a new paper to soak while I roll the previous one. If you do many rolls you might want to change both waters in between and heat the hot one up again.

I've seen lots of nicely folded open rolls but for me the easiest way to roll is to do a tight closed one, which also turns out looking fairly decent:

Place your filling on top of the paper. Don't be greedy and put too much - well that's what I always do with everything that should be folded or rolled- but with these ones you can put pretty much though, as the rice paper will stretch a bit.

Fold the top over and roll around once, then fold and tuck the sides inwards and roll the rest up.

You can stretch the paper a bit so that you get a firm roll, but watch out so that you don't break it though.
Ta-da, roll done!

I sprinkle my rolls with natural sesame seeds before serving.

Then, mix a dressing of about 50/50 rice vinegar and soy sauce. I add a little coconut sugar (brown sugar will most likely do fine too, or just leave it out.  A little dash of lime and garlic is good as well). Dip the roll in the sauce or pour it on.

That's it! Eat and die the happy food death!


Anonymous said...

Yummy! Thanks for the recipe Ulrike. I just copied it and pasted it into a Word doc and printed it (without the pics as though they are beautiful I am at work). I made these a while back but they didn't work out so well - sauce in particular was all wrong. Now I'll try again with your recipe and see how it goes - a lot better is my guess : ) We eat these at our local Vietnamese restaurant but they've just TRIPLED their prices so probably won't be going there as much. Thanks again! Justine

Purrfect Kat said...

mmmmm this looks sooo yummy!!!!

Natasha said...

We eat a lot of salad, but when I get bored of salad I get out the rice paper to make it a little different again :)

vouchers london said...

that's yummy! Tks for your great recipe

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Anh | HelloHelsinki said...

It's great to see how you like Vietnamese rolls because I myself am a Vietnamese :) Actually we don't rolls with soy sauce but using fish sauce (and mostly fish sauce for any kind of dipping sauce) or hoisin sauce for this kinds of rolls. But I like how you are creative with soy sauce, probably I would give it a try myself!

Sarah said...

Love these!
I've made them before, with all sorts of fillings, but never with tofu and peanuts, but I definitely want to try these!
I still have lots and lots of the rice paper things left, they are so cheap, and you get a LOT of them!