Prawn & Pork Summer Rolls

This famous, deliciously healthy street-food dish is originally from Saigon; however, over the years, different regions have developed their own take on the ingredients. Definitely one of the beauties of this dish is that you are the creator of your summer rolls, so be as creative as you like.
Makes 8 rolls
Total Time
1 Hour 25 Minutes
For the rolls
6-8 sheets of rice paper
Fish dipping sauce, to serve
For the filling
4 pinches of salt
250g of pork loin
250g of raw king prawns
100g of dried rice vermicelli noodles
½ a head of lettuce, washed and dried
2 carrots, finely sliced
100g of coriander, washed and dried
100g of mint, washed and dried
100g of Thai basil, washed and dried
100g of garlic chives
Step 1

Bring a saucepan of water to the boil, and add two pinches of salt and then the pork loin. Leave to cook for 15 minutes, then drain and plunge into iced water for two to three minutes. Drain again, pat dry with kitchen paper and slice very thinly.

Step 2

Rinse the pan and fill with fresh water, adding two pinches of salt. Bring to the boil, add the prawns and cook for two minutes. Drain and plunge into iced water for two to three minutes. Drain again, remove the shells and then slice in half.

Step 3

Cook the noodles in a saucepan of boiling water, following the timings on the packet. Drain, rinse in cold water, then drain again.

Step 4

Let the rolling begin… Have a bowl of lukewarm water to wet the rice paper, and a chopping board or plate that is big enough to hold your rice paper for rolling.

Step 5

Dunk the rice paper into the water very quickly and then lay flat on the board. Leave for about a minute, until almost dry before rolling. An easy way to set up is to work with three rolls at once. By the time you've laid the filling out on the third one, the first will be ready to roll.

Step 6

Place your filling ingredients except the garlic chives in a line along the centre of the rice paper. Fold each side inwards towards the centre and then fold the paper from the bottom up, like an envelope. Place a stem of garlic chive across the envelope, with about 2.5cm sticking out of the roll. Press firmly using your fingertips and start folding. Be gentle but firm, controlling the movement and not allowing any of the filling to come out, making sure that the roll is tight. Continue to repeat the process until all your ingredients are used up.

Step 7

You should have eight rolls in total. Once made, you can store the rolls in an airtight container to keep them moist for up to two to three hours. Serve with the fish dipping sauce.

Recipe from The Little Viet Kitchen by Thuy Diem Pham, photography by David Loftus (Absolute Press, £22)

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