Vietnamese Rice Paper Rolls

..aka Summer rolls or more accurately, Gỏi cuốn, these little Vietnamese beauties are super-fun for younglings and still quite an exotic concept in the UK. They were staple lunchtime fayre back in our Australia days due to the proximity to South East Asia and its heavy influence in the region.

They’re a pretty healthy alternative to the ubiquitous sandwich, and well worth adding to your repertoire as there’s an infinite list of variations that makes them versatile and accessible for all.

The most challenging thing about this recipe is getting hold of the rice papers themselves – I’d head for your nearest Asian supermarket although some big chains are catching on and starting to stock them too. You’ll probably find them labelled as bánh tráng. I’ve just ordered some from Amazon of all places.

The concept couldn’t be simpler; just re-hydrate the rice paper in some warm water for 10 to 15 seconds, lay it flat on a plate or clean surface, top it with your favourite combination of flavours and roll it all up (as neatly as you can). Serve the rolls with a dipping sauce of your choice and prepare to be delighted by the clean, light and vibrant appeal of this delectable little dish.

Get the kids involved and you’ll be amazed by their intrigue and willingness to get stuck in. Imagine making a sandwich for the first time!

Ok, so you’ll probably find that there’s a bit of a knack to handling the delicate rice papers, but persist and you’ll master it in no time at all. The trick is to work quickly but calmly. They’re incredibly cheap so you won’t beat yourself up about the ones that you tear or throw across the room..

Here’s a classic recipe to set the scene.

Ingredients:

(makes about 10)

  • 100g vermicelli noodles
  • 10 rice papers
  • 10 large cooked prawns
  • ½ carrot
  • Lettuce
  • ½ chilli
  • Fresh coriander leaves

Method:

  1. Place the vermicelli noodles in a bowl and cover with boiling water. Leave them to stand for 15 minutes until softened (or follow the packet instructions), then drain.
  2. Meanwhile, wash and prep all the vegetables by slicing them into roughly even matchstick-sized pieces.
  3. Butterfly or halve the prawns along their length.
  4. Slide a rice paper into a shallow bowl/dish of warm water and leave it to soak for 10 to 15 seconds until softened.
  5. Carefully place the rice paper onto a board or plate.
  6. Lay a few strands of each ingredient on the rice paper. (Not too much – you’ll get a feel for how much will fit).Vietnamese Rice Paper filling
  7. Fold the side nearest to you over the filling.
  8. Fold the sides in.
  9. Roll away from you to close the parcel.
  10. The tacky rice paper will seal itself.
  11. If larger than bite-sized, slice diagonally across the middle and serve with a dipping sauce.

Variations to think about include pork (perhaps cold belly pork), avocado, fish, tofu, beansprouts, sugar snap peas, beetroot, peppers, shredded chicken, pea shoots, cucumber, lettuce, spring onion, any soft herbs you fancy – Thai basil or mint work really well. Try a few combinations and make them your own!

Here’s a top tip that I read about recently – to make it less fiddly, wrap all of your filling together in a lettuce leaf before placing it on the rice paper and rolling it up.

Dipping sauces

Hoisin, Soy, Kecap Manis, oyster, plum or Sweet Chilli sauces are all easy to buy in bottles, but you may like to try a simple homemade dipping sauce.

Here’s a quick authentic Nước chấm recipe that will take your taste buds to the next level.

Ingredients:

  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 tbsp chopped ginger
  • 1 small chilli
  • 1 tbsp palm sugar (or brown sugar)
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 3 tbsp fish sauce (nam pla)

Method:

  1. Place everything in a food processor.
  2. Blitz.
  3. That’s it.

Pop a few slices of chilli on top if you’re feeling fancy.

Vietnamese Dipping Sauce

Nuoc Cham

 

Let me know how you get on!!!!

 

Vietnamese Rice Paper Rolls

Ambassador Of The Month

I’m really very pleased about this article; feeling honoured.

Ambassador of the month

Fri 23 Oct 2015

Story by Jamie Oliver Food Foundation
Ambassador of the Month is a feature which highlights the amazing volunteers we have around the world. Ambassadors who have been chosen show an unwavering desire for change in their communities. They are fighting for real food and food education skills and donate their time every month to make this happen.

This month we’re highlighting super ambassador Alex Hodgkinson-Last from Cheltenham, Gloucestershire in the UK. Alex is a constant inspiration to us with his positive attitude, constant enthusiasm and his brilliant pictures shared across social media, showing a real family food revolution in action.

Tell us a little about why you wanted to get involved in the Food Revolution

The Food Revolution was a no-brainer for me. With two younglings at home and a passion for good food and healthy living, it allowed me to be a part of something that I really believe in. I was really lucky as it was actually my wife that suggested it to me, so all credit goes to her. The thought that I could do something I love whilst being part of something so significant was irresistible. Above all, the path that we’re on needs to change.

How has the Ambassador Program helped you accomplish your goals?

Becoming an Ambassador was the catalyst to realising my culinary and philanthropic aspirations. The cookbook I intended to write when my son Felix was born finally materialised as a blog (www.foodfitforfelix.wordpress.com) as I needed a platform to support my Food Revolution endeavours; I’ve never looked back. I adore being able to give back to the community and I get a huge amount of satisfaction from being able to help and inspire others.

What have you been able to achieve since being an Ambassador?

The Food Revolution has enabled me to reach out to so many people and spread the word about food education. Every time I explain the movement to someone new, the conversation feels like a little win. Cumulatively, we’re all making a difference which will propagate and enrich the lives of many more in the future. I’ve also been lucky enough to become a Super-Ambassador, and together with the core team around the world, we act as the eyes and ears on the ground and help to coordinate efforts in our respective countries.

Social media coverage has gone from strength to strength, and the Food Revolution Ambassador status has galvanised my role in the community, providing the gravitas required to engage with a wider audience.

I’ve made great relationships with Whole Foods Market in Cheltenham and A.Vogel UK as likeminded companies and generous sponsors. Together we’ve managed to provide germinators for classroom demonstrations throughout the country and the most beautiful produce to enable the children to take part in Food Revolution Day cooking classes.

The work with St James’ Primary School continues with gusto, and I’ve even had the pleasure of helping to tutor a group of children for a regional junior masterchef competition (which I’m delighted to say that one of our students won!).

What real food initiative(s) are you currently working on in your community?

Right now I’m ramping up and reaching out with more vigour than ever before. I’m starting a swathe of initiatives in my day-job with a view to improving overall wellbeing in the workplace and at home. I’m building contacts in other local schools and already thinking about where we can go with Food Revolution Day 2016. I have a stand at a Community Day later this week and I’m looking forward to providing interviews to local newspaper journalists and radio presenters.

I honestly didn’t think that I’d get accepted as an Ambassador, and I’m humbled and so very pleased that I applied. It feels fantastic to be a part of such a wonderful global movement which has a sole aim of improving the lives of millions of people.

May it continue to empower and prosper. #FoodRev

Check out previous ambassadors of the month here. To register your interest in becoming a voluntary Food Revolution ambassador, visit www.foodrevolutionday.com/ambassadors.

Massive thanks to all of our amazing ambassadors for keeping the food revolution alive!

The Jamie Oliver Food Foundation
@jamiefoodfdnusa | @foodrev

– See more at: http://www.jamieoliverfoodfoundation.org/usa/news-content/ambassador-of-the-month-alex-hodgkinson 

Food Revolution Day 2015

With great excitement and anticipation, it’s time to start planning for the big day…

The date for this year’s Food Revolution Day has now officially been set: Friday 15th May 2015

Last year was epic.  It’s mind-blowing to think that over 10,400 events took place across 121 countries during that single day. The global media campaign reached at least a billion people, spreading the word of food education and getting back to basics in the kitchen for a happier and healthier lifestyle.  Last year’s gathering of hearts and minds also culminated in the breaking of a world record: “largest cookery event (single venue)”, with 2,150 school children learning how to make Jamie’s rainbow salad wrap.

Check out the site – www.foodrevolutionday.com for information and ideas on how to get involved and make a difference.

Follow across social media with #foodrevolutionday 

More to follow…

Food Revolution Day 2015