Rice paper rolls with pork and herbs
Prep 1 hour
Cook 10 minutes
Makes about 8
These rice paper rolls are based on the Vietnamese-style of rice paper roll, though they’re not traditional. The addition of soy bean sauce adds a lovely umami note to the rolls and you can find this at Asian supermarkets. If you want to leave this out, you can just add a tablespoon of soy sauce. The beauty of these rolls is that while they require a few components, if you have everything prepped and ready to go, the rolling is really quite straight forward. You can even prep your fillings and have them ready in the fridge for a quick lunch that only required finishing the rolls. If you cover them with a damp tea towel too you can keep them in the fridge for a few hours before serving.
300g piece of pork fillet, thinly sliced
2 tbsp soy bean sauce (see note)
1 tbsp fish sauce
1 garlic clove
Pinch caster sugar
1 tbsp grape seed oil
8 butter lettuce leaves, halved
1 Lebanese cucumber, cut into thin batons
3 cups mixed herbs such as coriander, mint and Shiso and Vietnamese mint (see tip)
8 large rice paper rolls
Roasted peanuts, to serve
5 tbsp caster sugar
4 tbsp white vinegar
2 tbsp fish sauce
Juice of 1/2 - 1 lime
2-3 small red chillies, thinly sliced
1 garlic clove, crushed
1. Thinly slice pork fillet and place into a bowl with soy bean sauce, fish sauce, garlic and sugar and rub marinade into the pork. You can leave for up to overnight in the fridge to marinate if you like, or use straight away.
2. Soak vermicelli in a large bowl of hot water until tender (about 10 minutes), then drain and cut into slightly smaller pieces.
3. For dipping sauce, bring sugar and vinegar to a simmer in a saucepan. Set aside to cool, then add remaining ingredients. Season to taste with extra lime juice or fish sauce.
4. Heat oil in a wide frying pan over high heat. Add pork slices and turn occasionally until just cooked (1-2 minutes). Set aside into a plate to cool.
5. To make the rolls, fill a bowl with very hot water (boiling water form the kettle can be used with a cup of two of cold water added, it’s important to have the water hot, to soften the paper quickly, but too hot and it will shrivel and too cold it will take too long to soften). Working with one rice paper at a time, dip into the water to submerge then when softened remove to a slightly moistened surface (this will help the paper to not stick).
6. Place two halves of lettuce to the side. Add vermicelli on top (about 2-3 tbsp), then cucumber and a few herbs and then pork. Fold in edges, then roll over the filling to enclose into a log. Set aside on a tray, cover with damp absorbent paper to keep moist and repeat with remaining paper and filling.
7. Serve rolls with dipping sauce and extra herbs and peanuts for topping.
N O T E
When using a mix of herbs like this in a recipe, we like to pick all the bunches of herbs (if using bought bunches) and wash them, then dry them well. Any leftover herbs can be store in a ziplock bag or airtight container. When you store herbs ready to go like this, you’ll find yourself more likely to grab a handful here or there to finish a salad or various dishes and therefore finish the whole lot to avoid waste. Asian herbs are great scattered over simple garden lunch salads, or even just to finish fried rice or soft boiled eggs and avocado for breakfast.
Recipe by Lisa Featherby and image by Eatable.