Recipe: Sai Gon Summer Rolls

By Leluu

These are great. I don’t know a person who doesn’t love them. They are eaten fresh. They do not need to be fried or cooked in anyway. The prawns and the pork inside is poached beforehand. Its the Vietnamese answer to a sandwich but much healthier.

You can add whatever you like to these rolls and make them your own. In Vietnam, each region has a different version. This is the typical Sai Gon roll:

Rice Paper – (Brand with Green Bamboo)
Vermicelli – (Pour boiling water over and soak for about 5 – 10 mins, then drain)
Cooked Prawns
Poached Pork Belly (or other cuts of pork, thinly sliced)
Cockscombe Mint
Vietnamese Chives (not shown in picture)

Cockscombe Mint

This is the traditional Sai Gon version. The mints and herbs in this roll turns the whole thing into some delicious delight of flavour. Fresh notes hitting all over your mouth along with the textures of pork and prawns.

These are very easy to do, you may need to do a couple of wrong ones and then its like riding a bicycle.

Dip the rice paper into some warm water, make sure all areas are moist. Lay the paper on a flat surface and at the bottom centre of the paper, line your prawns, some lettuce leaves, noodles, pork and all the herbs. Make sure you layer them just so when you bite into it you can see the different layers but this doesn’t really matter if its just for yourself and you’re not trying to impress anyone.

Fold the sides in, then turn the bottom flap up to cover the ingredients. As tightly as possible, roll the whole thing up.

TIP: Put a leaf or more at the top of the paper, after you have rolled it, it will be entirely visible on the roll. Makes it look very appealing.

For Dipping Sauce
Garlic & Chilli – Finely chopped
Hoi Sin Sauce
White Wine or Cider Vinegar

Slightly brown off the garlic and chilli in a little oil in a frying pan.
Pour in the desired amount of hoi sin sauce and bring to a gentle boil. Add a splash of vinegar and a few spoons of sugar. Taste the mixture, add more vinegar if you need more sour, if too sour, add more sugar and vice versa.
If its too rich, add a little water. If desired, you can add a little fish sauce.

Pour the sauce onto dipping bowls and sprinkle crushed peanuts on top.

Now hold your summer roll and dip it into the bowl and enjoy them – they are amazing. You can use left overs in them, such as steamed fish, chicken or anything you like. Just make sure you always have a lot of herbs in them as well.

TIP: If you are preparing these in advance, keep them in a air tight container otherwise they will dry out. You can also wrap them in cling film.

TIP: Don’t get the paper too wet, ie leaving them soaking in water, this will make them break easily. Just dip the paper in water. Don’t leave it in there.