(Picture – Rice Paper Prawn Rolls with Noodle wrapped Prawns)
I first in love with these fresh, crunchy babies at Taste of Thai in Pietermaritzburg a few years ago. Their version is a starter dish called ‘The Little Mermaid’ – carrot, cucumber, prawn and rice vermicelli loosely bound in a rice paper wrapper served with a dipping sauce.
During my pregnancy in 2016, I decided to attempt my own version with some advise from my great aunt who is vegetarian and makes her own versions as well.
Portion size 3 starters or 1 main course
3 rice paper wrappers (comes in a pack from Asian grocers)
6 Large prawns or 12 small prawns (shelled, deviened and fried) Note I fry my prawns on a high heat in margarine with garlic salt and cayenne until just cooked. Around 2 minutes.
1 large carrot, cut into julienne strips
1 large piece of cucumber (10 cm), cut into julienne strips
Few sprigs of coriander (depending on your taste)
1. Lay out all the prepared ingredients
2. Moisten a clean dish cloth with water and lay flat. (I keep a new dish cloth specifically for food prep such as this)
3. Fill a bowl large enough in diameter to accommodate the rice paper sheets with lukewarm water
4. Working quickly, immerse a single rice paper wrapper in the water for 7 to 10 seconds
5. Remove wrapper from water. Shake off excess water and lay on dish cloth.
6. Working towards the bottom edge of the wrapper, lay out one third of the coriander in a row, allowing for at least 2 cm border on the edges.
7. Place one third of the prawns on top of the coriander and repeat this process with one third of the carrot and cucumber.
8. Roll up the bottom of the wrapper to completely cover the layer of filling
10. Fold the sides of the wrapper inwards to cover the rolled filling tightly
11. Roll the filled portion from.the bottom up to create a spring roll and transfer to a plate
12. Using a sharp knife, cut rolls in half
13. Serve immediately with sweet chilli or plum sauce
Note: These rolls can be made with any filling of your choice. Other options such as crab sticks, bean sprouts, beetroot, ginger, peanuts etc can be used. I have tried a few variations and my favourite is the one shown above. The rolls are best eaten as fresh as possible as too much time in the fridge will change the texture of the wrapper.
Serve one per person as a starter or 3 or more as part of a main course.