Summer calls for thinking crisp, light and easy when it comes to what we eat. On those 35 degree nights (ugh!), we’re all looking for something good, not too hot or heavy, healthy, downright delectable and we want to be able to eat as much as we want without feeling guilty! Sounds like a pretty tall order, huh?!? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered!
This recipe is all about soft, fresh and light rice paper. If you’re not familiar with rice paper – and not the type the ancient Chinese used to write on – don’t worry, it’s simple, cheap, and actually super fun to use.
Vietnamese rice paper, or ‘Banh trang’ is light translucent paper or wrappers made from rice flour batter that is steamed and dried for us to eat all around the world.
Making rice paper is quite a craft, so don’t stress, for time and ease, we recommend just grabbing the supermarket packaged version!
These great snacks are perfect for summer park or beach picnics or outside concerts and festivals, they call for easy prep and can be made quickly before a hang out, or for more fun, take all the bits and get everyone to make their own!! Sharing is caring when you can make food together with your friends.
First things first, gather your ingredients:
- 100 grams of rice vermicilli noodles – the ones that look really thin like white cotton.
- 250 gram packet of 22cm banh trang – rice paper wraps!!
- A bunch of mint leaves
- 16 or more Australian cooked prawns with their little tails cut off – its ok they’re dead.
- 3 spring onions cut in to long pieces
- 1 red capsicum cut into thin strips
- 2 tablespoons of zesty lime juice
- About 80 mls or a 1/3 cup of sweet chilli or Hoi Sin sauce for dipping your banh trang in.
To prepare your feast, you’ll need these items:
- A large heatproof bowl, kettle to boil your water (or thermos if you’re prepping them outside at a picnic!)
- A shallow dish for giving your banh trang a bath
- Clean board
- Small bowl for the dipping sauce
- Serving plate or tray and a strainer
- If you’re wanting to assemble these outside, then think about all of these items being in easily transportable forms.
Method of attack
1. Place your noodles in the heat proof bowl, cover with boiling water and leave for about 5 minutes so they get soft. Drain them and give them a refresh with cold water, drain excess water.
2. Fill the shallow dish with warm water and give a rice paper sheet a bath by full immersion. Drain and place on your clean board once it feels softer. It will get even softer as it stands still on your board.
3. In the centre of your softened rice paper, place and arrange your piece of spring onion, piece of capsicum, mint lea,f 2 or three of your aussie tasty tail-less prawns and your stringy cotton looking like noodles. Looking lovely and artsy?
4. Fold the bottom half of the softened rice paper over, now it feels like a sticky piece of material, wrap it over the placed filling. Then, fold each side over and roll over to create a good seal (just like rolling a soft taco, but tuck the top in!). Place and arrange on your serving plate or platter. Wollah! Maybe not for your first one, as the sticky texture of the rice paper is a little tricky to get used to. Practice makes perfect – that’s more on your plate for a good reason!
5. Repeat the same steps for your remaining rice paper wrappers, mint, prawn, capsicum spring onion and noodles. Give them a little space on the serving plate as you arrange them as they are prone to stick.
6. Squeeze your 2 tablespoons of zesty lime juice into another small bowl and mix with your sweet chilli sauce (or just use Hoi Sin). Serve with your banh trang by dipping them in, but no double dipping if you can help it! Best served with great friends and a summer holiday on a warm Aussie night!.
7. Ăn tốt Thưởng thức – That’s ‘Eat well enjoy’ in Vietnamese!