Spring rolls can take a little practise to roll neatly but they are a wonderful item to have in your repertoire, being extremely versatile – use seafood, beef or vegetarian fillings – and great for packed lunches.
1 cup shredded lettuce
1/2 cup mung bean sprouts, halved
1 mango, peeled and very thinly sliced
Selection of picked herb leaves, eg mint, coriander, thai basil
300g cooked crab meat
12 rice paper wrappers (22cm diameter)
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup sugar
1 dried red chilli
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1/2 cucumber, finely diced
1/4 cup roughly chopped roasted, salted peanuts
Soak vermicelli in hot water 5-10 minutes until soft and pliable. Drain and set on bench with prepared lettuce, bean sprouts, mango, herbs and crab.
Briefly dip 1 wrapper in a bowl of warm water to soften. Place on a paper towel, cover with another paper towel and sprinkle with water. Continue with remaining wrappers to create a stack of dampened wrappers.
Flip the whole lot over, carefully remove a wrapper and lay it flat on the bench. On the nearest third layer a little vermicelli, lettuce, bean sprouts, mango and crab. On the furthermost third lay 5-6 herb leaves. Roll up cigar-style, turning in the ends and making sure the rolls are tight. Lay in a single layer and cover with a damp paper towel until serving with dipping sauce. Makes 12
Sauce: Simmer water, sugar and chilli for a few minutes to dissolve sugar. Cool slightly. Add vinegar, fish sauce, cucumber and peanuts. Chill until needed.