I often make rice paper rolls, also known as fresh spring rolls. Mainly because my kids absolutely love them and they are a quick, easy and healthy lunch box filler or snack. I also find them a great way to use up leftovers. They replace the humble sandwich which is great for moderating the amount of wheat consumed and offer a little lunch box variety. The best thing is that they wrap up salads and other bits and pieces into very convenient little packages that kids just love.
The rice paper ‘sheets’ are available to buy in the Asian section of most supermarkets and are very simple to roll. I normally set up a bit of a production line with the meat cut into smallish pieces in one bowl and the salad mix in another, dressed and ready to place on the rice paper as it softens.
How to make them:
To create a really nourishing meal or snack, you need to build a rice paper roll with a little protein and some sort of vegetable or salad. It’s best to grate, shred or thinly slice (julienne) the salad and vegetables. I also always mix in a little juice of a lemon or lime to keep the salad fresh and also this adds a lovely flavour so they don’t need a dipping sauce.
So I thought I’d share some of the ways I fill them, especially for a lunch box where dipping sauces aren’t practical. As much as I absolutely LOVE traditional combinations with lots of Vietnamese mint and Thai basil in the mix, you don’t necessarily need to follow tradition. You can fill them with…
When placed side by side in a lunchbox, they can stick together a little. My kids don’t have too much problem prying them apart. But if your kids do, you can wedge a slice of apple or a piece of baking paper between them to stop them sticking together.
Have you made rice paper rolls before? What flavour combinations do you like?
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Get a little fancy and serve rice paper rolls as an entree or light lunch.