These are a lot of fun to make but I wouldn’t let children participate, as a big bowl of scalding hot water is required.
Not really a recipe; you can add whatever you like and below are just some suggestions. At one point, I’d even thought about making a sort of Mexican ceviche version but I always come back to the tried and trusted Vietnamese type of roll.
The benefit of having your guests make their own is that it saves you all the work, not that it’s really work but unless you’re an experienced roller, they won’t start looking neat until you’ve practiced and made a few. They’ll taste great nonetheless and making your own will serve as a great icebreaker, assuming there’s any ice to break.
Here’s a ‘how to wrap rice paper rolls’ – guide for you.
Vietnamese rice paper is inexpensive and can be bought from Amazon or any good Asian supermarket.
Yes, the little chive ties I used here are a bit pretentious and completely unnecessary – there was just so much growing in the garden that I couldn’t resist it, just this once.
(Make as many as you want)
Vietnamese rice paper rounds
Rice vermicelli noodles cooked and chilled
Cooked shrimp (split in half lengthwise), tofu or chicken
Shredded basil, mint and cilantro (coriander) leaves
Carrot, hothouse cucumber, daikon radish and/or jicama, cut into fine matchsticks
Lettuce leaves, shredded
Minced red chili (for the brave)
To serve – your favorite Asian dipping sauce (I made my favorite spicy peanut satay sauce)
To have your guests make their own, put the large bowl of very hot water in the center of the table, surrounded by the assorted ingredients in small dishes. Here’s where one of those ‘lazy Susan’ things would come in handy. Study the instructions in the link above before they arrive so that you’ll look like an expert. Offer an assortment of sauces to dip into.
The eating process with involve a bit of fumbling and be slower than usual but you’ll have a ton of laughs, especially with the first few attempts.