4 + portions (3 or 4 rolls per person). Maximum cost: £9.59

Skill level: Medium, 

Total cooking time: 30 minutes, 

  • Prep time:  30 minutes, 
  • Cooking time: None, 

Equipment: A sharp knife, 1 deep sided dish, 1 wooden board, `

 

Summer roll rice paper wrappersA  very good friend of mine introduced me to summer rolls a few years ago when she served them up as part of a finger food buffet (to be honest the word “buffet” completely downplays the literal feasts that my friend Anna serves up when she has the occasion)

Available from any good Asian food shop (I bought mine in Camden) but if you’re struggling a quick search online for “rice paper wrappers” reveals several available stockists.

 

To prep:

The only prep here is to chop, grate or peel your veg.  Use pre-cooked prawns or stir fry these first if needed, although you’ll need to wait until these have completely cooled before assembling. Likewise, cook rice or noodles if using and leave to cool.

 (I must confess to having a secret love of crab sticks and these are a great, cheap alternative to the costly prawn here)

 

To assemble:

To prepare the wraps, place 1 wrap at a time into a flat tray of cold water, using your fingers to submerge it completely. Leave for 10 seconds then lift out and carefully pop onto a plate or wooden board so that the wrapper can dry a little. In this time you will see the paper transform from a stiff, breakable sheet into a very malleable wrapper.

Then, stuff with whatever veg, fish, meat, rice or noodles you have available.

(As with most things, there is a knack to this – I opt to pile my ingredients into a rough rectangle shape in the centre. I then fold the two shorter ends in (the stickiness of the wrap will work in your favour here) and then fold in the longer ends whilst rolling – be careful not to over stuff.  

If you want to make it pretty, start with the toppings that you will see – make a neat line of prawns, scatter on chopped spring onion, a mint leaf and grated carrot before topping with noodles. 

If you want to take these in for lunch at work the next day, wrap each roll individually in grease proof paper.

Serve with soy sauce for dipping. Add dumplings to make a main meal

 

Ingredients:

All prices from Sainsbury’s, March 2017, unless otherwise stated

  • 1 packet of rice paper wrappers (£2.09 – Food Basics / Camden)
  • 1 carrot, peeled into strips (much easier than chopping) (10p)
  • 4 spring onions, finely sliced (55p a bunch)
  • ginger, cut into matchsticks (20p)
  • coriander leaves (70p for a bunch)
  • baby gem lettuce (75p for 2 mini lettuces)
  • red chilli, cut into matchsticks
  • avocado (95p)
  • cooked king prawns (£2.75 for 150g)
  • cooked vermicelli noodles (£1.50 for 4 blocks, 1/2 a block used here – Food Basics)

 

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