As human beings, we can surely all agree on at least one thing: spring rolls are ace.
But while their tastiness is inarguable, their calorific content is somewhat less satisfying. Which brings us to summer rolls.
Delivering all of the deliciousness but with less deep-frying, they're a fresh and healthy alternative that will make you feel all summery, despite the rain. To unearth a perfect recipe, we spoke to Stephen and Juliette Wall from Vietnamese street food restaurant Pho (www.phocafe.co.uk) who shared their summer roll secrets with us.
Take this to your grave, okay?
Finely shredded lettuce
Coriander or Vietnamese herbs, perilla (Tía Tô)
Carrot and mooli pickle (recipe below)
Cooked thin vermicelli rice noodles
22cm rice papers
Cooked tiger prawns sliced lengthways
Dipping sauce (nuoc cham) for serving (recipe below, or available to buy)
• Wash hands
• Dip a rice paper in warm water to soften and place on a clean, damp tea towel
• Place mint leaves in a line across the lower third of the rice paper
• Lay prawns across width of rice paper leaving a sufficient amount at the end to fold in
• Add a little of the other ingredients on top
• Fold in the sides of the rice paper around the pile of ingredients and roll away from you, from the bottom
• Store chilled under damp clean tea towel
• Serve whole or sliced in two with nuoc cham or your favourite dipping sauce
For the Carrot and Mooli pickle
230g mooli (white radish)
½ teaspoon salt
12 fl oz water (around 330mls)
2 fl oz rice vinegar (around 60 mls)
2 tablespoons white sugar
• Place the rice vinegar, sugar and water in a pan and bring to the boil. As soon as boils, allow to cool to room temperature
• Julienne the carrot and the mooli to matchstick thickness
• Place together in a sieve and mix
• Sprinkle with salt and allow to stand for at least 30 minutes. This will draw some of the liquid out of the vegetables. Place the sieve over a bowl to catch and drips.
• Rinse the vegetables under cold water to remove the salt and squeeze dry in a clean towel.
• Place in a clean bowl and pour over the vinegar solution and allow to stand for at least one hour before serving.
• To serve remove pickled vegetables from the vinegar. Any extra can be left in the liquid and stored in a sealed container in the fridge for around 3 days.
For the Nuoc Cham dipping sauce
2 1/2 tbsp fish sauce
3 tbsps rice vinegar
2 tbsps sugar
2-3 tbsps water
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 Red chilli, thinly sliced (or to taste)
• Combine and serve with fresh summer rolls
Visit www.phocafe.co.uk to find your nearest Pho restaurant – and sign up to the “Pho-natics” members’ area for the chance to win two free return Vietnam Airlines flights.