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HOW TO PREPARE VIETNAMESE SPRING ROLLS WITH KIDS

Vietnamese Spring Rolls

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Cooking with kids in the kitchen

Running out of ideas about how to involve kids in the kitchen? With the warm days ahead, here is a simple DIY dish that usually gets thumbs up amongst the little ones who love nothing more than tasting their own bespoke creations.

This simple recipe requires hardly any cooking and preparation time except for some vegetable cutting and arranging in different containers.

So here are first the ingredients you need to buy:

– rice paper wrapper  : the ‘Thai Choice’ Rice paper wrappers can be purchased at Spinneys or Waitrose and are worth the extra money you pay compared to other brands in terms of paper solidity once soft
– ‘Thai Choice’ sweet chili sauce
– fresh mint leaves
– cooked shrimps, peeled and sliced in halves (5 shrimps per person if each has three rolls)
– rice vermicelli
– 1 lettuce
– 200 g bean sprouts
– 50 g unsalted peanut
– 200g carrots
– 200g cucumbers

The preparations to do in advance

– Crush the peanuts into tiny pieces with a mortar and a pestle or use a blender
– Wash the lettuce, mint, carrots, cucumbers and bean sprouts
– Cut the lettuce into small pieces, peel the cucumbers and carrots and then cut them into thin sticks. Arrange each ingredient (shrimps, lettuce, mint, carrots, cucumbers, bean sprouts and peanut tiny pieces) in separate bowls
– Cook the rice vermicelli according to the directions on the package. Then drain well and set aside.
– Add the sweet chili sauce in tiny bowls (1 per person preferably)

Once it’s lunch or dinner time, and the table is set up with all the colorful ingredients, place a clean tea towel on the table and prepare a large bowl of warm to hot water.

Time to fill the rolls

– dip one rice paper in a large bowl of water until it all gets soft (about 10 to 15 seconds) and drain it on the tea towel
– on one edge of the rice paper wrapper, place a few mint leaves and three shrimp halves.
– place bean sprouts or lettuce on top of the prawns followed with rice vermicelli , 1 carrot or cucumber thin stick on each side of the salad.
– drop a few peanut pieces on the top of the vermicelli
– leave the half of the rice paper closer to you empty.

It’s important not to overfill (the beginner’s mistake usually… ) the rolls. Secondly always try to keep 2 inches uncovered on each side. 

Time to fold

– Fold the half of the rice paper wrapper that is closer to you over the filling and then hold it into position with your fingers, start rolling up tightly.
– Then fold the sides of the rice paper inwards.
– At last, go on rolling the entire wrapper from bottom to top.

Time to enjoy

Just dip the fresh roll straight in the spicy sauce which goes perfectly with the Vietnamese Spring rolls. Each kid can prepare his own roll, and they usually have fun mixing the ingredients and comparing each other’s folding skills.

Last advice : better to have one sauce bowl per person as it happens that some roll ingredients end up in the sauce… 


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