This is my go-to rice paper roll recipe. It's simple, it's the original and it's the best!
- 500 g (1 lb 2 oz) pork belly
- 1 lemongrass stalk, white part only, thinly sliced
- 6 garlic cloves, halved
- 1 long red chilli, split
- 50 g (1 ¾ oz) bun (rice noodles)
- 12 large round rice paper sheets
- 1 bunch mint, leaves picked
- 1 bunch Vietnamese mint, leaves picked
- 1 coral (frisée) lettuce, washed and trimmed
- 12 medium cooked prawns (shrimp), peeled and deveined, sliced in half lengthways
Hoi sin dipping sauce
- 200 ml (7 fl oz) hoi sin sauce
- 50 ml (1¾ fl oz) coconut cream
- 1 tbsp sriracha chilli sauce
- 3 tbsp roasted peanuts
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F).
2. Place the pork belly in a saucepan and cover with cold water. Add the lemongrass, garlic and chilli and place over high heat. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes or until the pork is cooked through. Remove the pork from the pan, set aside to cool, then slice into thin pieces.
3. Cook the noodles according to the packet instructions, then drain and run under cold water until cool. Set aside.
4. Fill a large bowl with cold water. Lay the rice paper sheets, sliced pork, cooked noodles, herbs, lettuce and prawns in front of you.
5. Dip one rice paper sheet in the bowl of water, turning over and making sure that the sheet is completely wet before shaking off any excess water. Lay the rice paper sheet flat on a clean workbench. Starting with the noodles, place a small quantity of each of the filling ingredients along the middle of the rice paper (I like to leave some of the lettuce poking out the ends).
6. Starting with the side nearest to you, carefully lift the rice paper over the filling, then roll away from you to create a tight rice paper roll. Repeat with the remaining ingredients until you have 12 rolls. Cut the rice paper rolls in half, if desired.
7. Place the hoi sin sauce, coconut cream and sriracha in a small saucepan over low heat and warm, stirring the ingredients to combine. Remove from the heat and divide the sauce among dipping bowls. Sprinkle the peanuts over the top and serve with the rice paper rolls.
Recipe from Street Food Vietnam by Jerry Mai, Smith Street Books, RRP $39.99