So the first week back to school and work craziness has passed (whoo hoo!) and our family is getting back into the swing of the usual weekday routine. Sunday is our market day, as well as lunchbox prep and cooking day. We like to make our meals so that they will last at least 2-3 days which means less time in the kitchen after a long day at work (or for Mr Stay-at-home Dad – a long day running around after the kids, being a chauffeur, not getting a chance to sit down for 2 seconds, etc – how nice it is to swap stay at home parent duties 😉 ). We also like to include the kids as much as possible in buying food and cooking. Cold rolls take some time to make so we don’t make them often, however they are sooooo worth it. So as this Sunday was a rainy day we made cold rolls (aka Rice Paper Rolls, or Summer Rolls). Although our version is far from authentic Vietnamese, it is very kid and fussy eater friendly. Using just the mince and noodle mix also makes it easier for little hands to help make the rolls. Just think of them as a cold (and healthier) version of spring rolls 😀
Cold Rolls (Rice Paper Rolls)
Servings 20 | Prep Time 20 mins | Total Time 50 mins
- 20 sheets large Rice Paper
- 2 teaspoons oil
- 500 g lean chicken or pork mince
- 3 stalks spring onion, finely sliced
- 2 large carrots, peeled and grated (we used purple carrots)
- 1 large zucchini, washed and grated
- 4 tablespoons gluten-free soy sauce
- 2 large red chili’s (optional)
- 1 large bunch of fresh coriander (optional)
- 125 g vermicelli rice noodles
- Soak the noodles in a large bowl of boiling water for 5 minutes or until soft. Drain thoroughly. Using kitchen scissors, snip noodles into short strands.
- Heat the oil in a large fry pan on high heat. Then add the mince and spring onion.
- Cook for approximately 10 minutes, or until the mince is almost cooked through. While the mince is cooking, use a wooden spoon to continually break up the mince into small pieces.
- Add the carrots and zucchini (& chilli’s if using) to the mince mix and stir.
- Once the vegetables have softened a little, add the soy sauce, coriander and noodles. Stir to combine and then cook for a further two minutes, or until mince is thoroughly cooked through.
- Put a sheet of rice paper into a large bowl of room temperature water for about 10 seconds. Remove when rice paper has softened.
- Spread rice paper on a clean, damp tea towel* and then turn the rice paper over and spread it out on the tea towel again to remove excess water.
- In the centre of the paper, place approximately 2 tablespoons of the mince noodle mix. Fold two opposite sides of the paper towards each other so that they cover the noodle mix. Starting from one of the remaining open ends, roll up into a firm parcel.
- Repeat with remaining ingredients.
- Serve in lunchboxes or on a platter with Vietnamese dipping sauce (optional).
* Some instructions for rice paper roll assembly say to place on a dry towel. We have found the rice paper brands we buy need to be placed on a damp towel so they are easier to roll. Check the instructions on the back of the packet you buy!
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