Wednesday, 8 August 2007

Vietnamese Transparent Pork & Prawn Rolls with Bean Sauce

I would have to say Vietnamese food is one of my favourites cuisines. It is so fresh, so inviting and so yummy. I love these pork and prawn rolls. Lots of ingredients, lots of flavour, a little fiddly to make but absolutely worth it.
Firstly you need rice paper. You can pick it up pretty much at most supermarkets. I buy mine at the Asian supermarket.
Firstly you make the bean sauce. Very simple to do. Empty out the contents of one jar of Hoi Sin Sauce into a saucepan, then fill the jar with two thirds water, shake it about to get out the remainder of the Hoi Sin and pour into the sauce pan. Then add one large tablespoon of peanut butter. Bring to a simmer stirring all the time. Once everything has combined into a smooth thick glossy sauce, take off the heat and refrigerate covered until it is nicely chilled.

Char Sui Pork is your next main ingredient. Slice it into about 5 ml slices ready to put into your rolls.

You will need about 500 grams of lovely fresh prawns. Peel and devein if you wish. I don't unless they have sand in them. You can tell if they do have sand in them, if your like me and eat every third one that you peel ;) You will also need a small bag of bean shoots and some shredded iceberg lettuce.

The vermicelli noodles are next. Ignore what the packet says and throw them into a pot of boiling water for only two minutes. Strain and allow to cool in a covered bowl.

You will need some blanched peanuts, about 100 grams. I find you can only really get them at Asian supermarkets. Don't use presalted roasted peanuts, it's not the same. Roast them yourself and don't add salt to them. Give them a good bash with your mortar and pestle. These are used to top your lovely bean sauce.
Now that all your ingredients are cooled down and everything is spread out ready for assembly. Pop the kettle on. In a bowl half fill with boiling water. Dip your rice paper into the water and turn it round so that the whole circle of rice paper has been submerged in the hot water. Watch your fingers. I know that the packets on both the rice paper and the rice noodles say to soak in cold water but this is not the way the Vietnamese do it. The noodles and the rice paper become to wet and slippery. It makes assembly very difficult with your fillings slipping all over the shop and your rolls not sealing properly.
Lay out your rice paper on a cutting board. Place noodles, a piece of pork, a prawn or two, some bean shoots and three or four fresh mint leaves. Fold over just like making spring rolls.

Serve with your gorgeous bean sauce, topped with peanuts and your done. Allow three per person. These are very filling. They are very deceptive. They swell in your tummy.

There so fresh and so low in fat, without feeling like your eating something that is low fat. You can make them with chicken, my kids love them with chicken. They are great finger food and once you try them you will be totally addicted like we are. Hope you like them and my step by step photos?
Cheers Amelita