The Student
The Student
‘5 Minutes in the Pan’ Vietnamese Spring Rolls

As a kid, I used to love indulging in traditional fried spring rolls. Nowadays, I prefer to turn to fresh and healthy snacks, free of the overwhelming oiliness spring rolls are unfortunately packaged with. So to bring back my love but tackle this problem, this week I decided to try out raw spring rolls.

Uncooked spring rolls are so versatile because of one fantastic truth: it’s entirely up to you what you want to whip up. I’ve seen fillings such as turkey and avocado, or even apple and chicken! There are also a variety of sauces that go with fresh spring rolls: hoisin peanut dip, or Chinese chilli sauce to give a few examples.

Admittedly, at the start I was quite sceptical of the outcome as the rice paper smelt awfully foul and I’m one of those people whose desire to eat something is heavily influenced by aromas.

However, the result exceeded my expectations – and only took 15 minutes! I would definitely recommend this as a light meal or to anyone who wants to try something new. Also note the number of prawns may vary; I was able to fit four in one and only three in the others.

Ingredients: 3 rice paper rounds, 9 prawns, 6 thin, long strips of cucumber, 2 spring onions (cut into thin strips), a generous handful of bean sprouts, two tablespoons of soy sauce

Place the rice paper on a layer of cling film. Now wetting some cotton wool (or something similar) with lukewarm water, dab the rice paper until soft. Do not soak the rice paper in a bowl of hot water as it will soften the rice paper in seconds and may cause it to tear. Softening the rice paper with the cotton wool should only take half a minute but make sure the whole of the paper has been softened. Do the same to the other two rounds.

Pour 50ml of water in a pan and cook the prawns for a few minutes, Gas Mark 4 or until slightly warm and plump. In a different pan, cook the bean sprouts, adding a capful of oil at the start and then 50ml of water after two minutes, Gas Mark 5. Sprinkle a bit of salt and then let the bean sprouts cool.

Now, arrange the prawns, bean sprouts, cucumber and spring onions horizontally in the middle of each rice paper round. Fold the sides of the rounds in (the sides where there’s not much paper – these will be the top and bottom of your rolls) and then carefully roll from the bottom. Finally, place your spring rolls on a plate, pour soy sauce into a small side bowl and enjoy.

Tesco Lee Kum Kee Premium Light Soy Sauce 500ml – £1.85, Rice Paper Rounds – £1.65, Tesco Cucumber – £1, Tesco Bean Sprouts – 60p, Lidl Spring Onions – 45p. Total Cost: £5.30 (have to add spring onions). Cost per serving: 70p

Rice Paper from Starlight Chinese Supermarket, 25-29 Clerk Street.