These tacos were a revelation to me when I went to Vietnam and totally delicious. Use the freshest rice sheets you can find. 

Serves
4

Preparation

20min

Cooking

20min

Skill level

Easy
By
Average: 4 (2 votes)
Yum

What I didn’t understand before I went to Vietnam is that rice paper come in many different forms. In this case you need thicker sheets, otherwise they will fall apart on the grill.

I also didn’t realise that the “fresh is best rule” applies to rice paper sheets too.  Often the rice paper we get in Australia is already considered old by many.  So check the use by date and pick the freshest sheets you can find.

 

Ingredients

  • peanut oil for cooking
  • 200 g pork mince
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 small piece of ginger, minced
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • pinch salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 50 ml fish sauce, or to taste
  • 1 tbsp annatto oil (a red peppery oil)
  • 8 thick rice paper sheets
  • ½ cup water chestnuts, chopped
  • 4 spring onions, thinly sliced
  • ½ tbsp dried shrimp
  • 8 quail eggs
  • 1 tbsp soft butter
  • 2 tbsp hot Vietnamese chilli sauce or Sriracha
  • handful of shisho, coriander, water spinach and/or Vietnamese mint leaves, picked and washed

Cook's notes

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.

Instructions

Pre heat or BBQ on high for 10 minutes (or use a portable charcoal clay grill).

Heat a good non-stick frying pan over a high heat and add a dash of peanut oil. Add the mince to the pan and fry the pork for 3-4 minutes until lightly caramelised. Turn the heat down and add the shallot, ginger and garlic and stir fry for 30 seconds to release the flavours. Add a pinch of salt and a twist of pepper, a dash of fish sauce and the annatto oil.  Stir and remove from the heat. Place into a small bowl and set aside.

Place a tablespoon of the pork mixture onto the centre of a rice sheet, spread thinly out towards the edge and sprinkle with a few water chestnuts and some of the spring onions and dried shrimp.

Crack two quail eggs onto the pork mince and stir to combine, it is not necessary to be too thorough.  Place the rice paper sheet onto the bars of the BBQ and cook for 20 seconds or so, turn gently and continue to cook until the rice paper sheets being to blister, puff and char a little.

Turn again and smear a little butter down the centre of the taco. Squeeze a think concentric circle of chilli sauce over the taco and sprinkle liberally with the herbs.  Gently fold the taco along the same line you spread the butter and serve.