I think everyone should have a packet of rice paper in their pantry. It is so easy to make fresh and delicious rice paper rolls for a snack or light lunch. You can pretty much wrap anything in it; the choice of fillings is only limited by your imagination.
For these vegetarian rice paper rolls I have gone for the more traditional Vietnamese fillings of jicama, carrot, shitake mushroom, tofu, vermicelli noodles and herbs. I love jicama which is wonderfully sweet and crunchy. Jicama may be hard to find so you may want to substitute it for cabbage.
Gỏi Cuốn Chay – Vietnamese Vegetarian Rice Paper Rolls
1 large jicama, peeled and julienned
1 carrot, julienned
4 shitake mushroom, rehydrated in hot water, very thinly sliced
200 fried bean curd puffs, julienned
1 clove garlic, thinly diced
1 tablespoon sugar
1.5 tablespoon soya sauce
1 tbsp oyster sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
Hoisin Peanut Dipping Sauce
3 teaspoons hoisin sauce
3 tablespoons crunchy peanut butter
4 tablespoons water
15 rice paper rounds
100 g rice vermicelli noodles
1 cup of mint leaves, roughly sliced
1/2 iceberg lettuce, break into small pieces
For the filling, in a saucepan over medium heat add oil, then add garlic, carrot, jicama, mushroom and bean curd. Cook until soft, stirring gently frequently. Add soya sauce, sugar and oyster sauce. Add a couple pinches of salt. Set mixture aside to cool.
For noodles, cook noodles in a saucepan of boiling water until soften, then rise in cold water, drain well and leave to cool.
For hoisin dipping sauce, in a small saucepan add hoisin sauce, water, sugar and peanut butter. Leave on a low simmer and constantly stirring. Taste test adjust the flavour if required. Remove from heat and let cool.
Prepare all the ingredients (fillings, noodles, rice paper, herbs and lettuce) on the table when you are ready to roll. Prepare a large bowl of boiling water for dipping the rice paper. Dip the rice paper in the water and place on a flat surface (chopping board or large plate). Place a small amount of filling in the centre of the rice paper, add noodles and herbs lettuce on top of the filling. Fold the two sides of the rice paper into the centre over the fillings, then fold the bottom up and roll over to form a tight roll. Repeat the process.
Serve the rolls with hoisin dipping sauce (with each person having their own bowl for the dipping sauce and sprinkled with crushed peanuts).