Quick Recipe: Vietnamese Rice Paper Rolls (Student Version)

Our flat splits the cooking roster which means three nights a week I eat pasta and take aways, three nights I eat substantial and delicious meals and the last night I am burdened with trying to match my flatmates expert cooking.

Food is not my forté. Flavours are and eating definitely are – but the actual planning and preparing and making of meals is less a labour of love and more just brute labour. Nevertheless a food roster is a food roster and on my night I had to cook. Here is the very shorthand recipe (like not an actual recipe you should use, but exactly what I did improv and all) of what I made:

Vietnamese Rice Paper Rolls + Baked Tofu
(Total Price: $25.20 (20c over budget but I bought too many carrots so could be cheaper)
Feeds Four

Ingredients:

Rolls:
Two Carrots
Half a Cabbage
Bag of Spinach
6 Cloves of Garlic
1 Thumb of Ginger
Sliced Almonds
Sliced Coconut Flakes
One Packet of Rice Paper

Tofu:
2 packets or so of Tofu
A bit of Flour
Cayenne Pepper lmao

Dressing (all to taste, and disclaimer that these were not included in the budget because I owned them already):
Light Soy
Dark Soy
Sweet Chilli
Actual Chilli
Rice Vinegar
Lime Juice

Method:

Tofu:
1. Drain Tofu of liquid and try and get rid of as much of the excess liquid as possible. I squeezed it, cut it into cubes and squeezed and then in the end placed my toy  half of a clean tea towel on top of my chopping board, folded up the other half of the tea towel over it and placed another chopping board on top in a kind of sandwich and then left it like that for a while (as long as possible but at least 10 mins).

2.Put tofu into a dish and then spoon in some flour (as much as needed to cover) and toss around.

3.Chuck in oven for about 25 minutes and laugh because what a bad side dish. Ideally the tofu will be crispy but mire realistically it will just be cooked. I panicked and put cayenne pepper on mine to add flavour but it was spicy so I don’t know if I would recommend.

Rolls:

1. Finely grate your carrots and chop your spinach and cabbage – combine in large bowl.

2. Lightly fry sliced garlic cloves, slices ginger, coconut and almond slivers in sesame oil (or whatever oil you have I actually used rice bran) until toasty and golden – add to bowl.

3. Cook Vermicelli noodles – I usually cover with boiled water from a jug for 3 or four minutes or until cooked to consistency – add to bowl.

4. Mix ingredients!!!

5. Make rolls! Set up a station with your mixture bowl, a clean chopping board, a large mixing bowl of warm water  and a tray covered in baking powder. To make the rolls submerge a rice paper sheet in your bowl of warm water until its soft and clear and then place on chopping board.
Put a handful of mixture in the middle and fold up the bottom of the circle to cover it, fold in both sides and then roll. These instructions are confusing so I took some clumsy photos.
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6. Once rolled place on baking tray. You are done!!

Dip:

1. Legitimately just add a bit of everything and see what you like – its a bit touch and go but i don’t have a set recipe, I just make to taste and likely with all delicious ingredients it will turn out ok!

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If I was a better blogger I would have taken photos on the night I cooked instead of the next day when I used my leftover mixture to make some extra rolls! Obviously this dinner is a budget version of a really beautiful and delicious dish but also for a student budget it tastes good and lasts ages – I made about 25 rolls for us four for dinner and had leftovers to last for a long time. It is also fresh and healthy to give a good break from all the normal bread and cheese in our diets so would recommend.

New month! I couldn’t be more pleased – though still in a bit of shock at daylight savings ending!

Much love xx

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