I was feeling particularly domestic last night and after cleaning my entire house decided I would prepare this delicious and easy to share meal. Much like other recipes I've posted it is entirely open to interpretation and I only work with the ingredients I have on hand. Your favourite ingredients may differ so feel free to use what you like. The most important thing to make this process easy is preparation.
a packet of 22cm round rice paper sheets
1 skinless chicken breast, cooked and sliced
1 carrot, cut julienne (into thin sticks)
1/2 cucumber, cut julienne
handful of fresh bean sprouts
handful of fresh coriander
100g vermicelli noodles
Recommended dipping sauce
2tbsp sweet chilli sauce
1tbsp soy sauce
1/2tsp fish sauce
1 drop pure sesame oil
The most efficient way of creating these little rolls of joy is to prepare everything before starting assembly. I like to get my chicken in a grill or fry pan first and cut up the vegetables while it is cooking. Then cook your vermicelli noodles as per instructions on the packet (generally a few minutes in boiling water does the trick and then drain well).
Once the chicken is cooked all the way through, slice it up in a similar style to the carrot and cucumber so it fits in the roll.
Now the next step is entirely up to you. In a social gathering it is really fun to lay out the ingredients for everyone to create their own but because I was alone I set up my own production line. You'll need a large bowl of close-to-boiling water either way you do it to soften the rice papers. I like to take the, now floppy and translucent, rice paper and lay it as flat as I can on a round plate and start to get the ingredients in a quickly as possible. Start with a small amount of vermicelli and then layer on the ingredients in small amounts. I used about two pieces of the chicken, carrot and cucumber per roll. Follow with a small portion of the bean sprouts, a sprig or two of coriander and a sprinkle of fried shallots.
The step that scares some people is the rolling. If you've put the right amount of ingredients in the paper it should come very easily i.e. if you have great difficultly change the filling size. Start by covering the ingredients with the bottom of the paper, fold in the sides and continue to roll through the middle. The first few are a little tricky but you find what portion sizes work and get into a good rhythm (especially if you're making them all yourself).
Making the sauce is exceptionally easy - put all the ingredients in a jar, shut the lid tight and shake until combined. Feel free to alter the quantities to taste and if you have a lime on hand, half or a quarter of that would be brilliant in it too (sadly, I had no lime for mine).
These are probably one of my favourite summer foods because they taste good with all the ingredients slightly cooled. Beware of putting them in the fridge though because the rice ingredients do tend to harden up again as I just discovered eating my leftovers. They work great as entrees and as party food and are less messy than you think.
As a side note, this is our 200th post! We've almost been blogging for a year now so look out for something special as we approach that milestone. Thanks for reading our rambles, we really appreciate people joining us on the journey that is life.