Vietnamese summer roll – roast chicken and herbs

A couple of days back I cooked a roast chicken for lunch and had some left over in the fridge.   I am hooked on cooking a whole chicken having successfully done so the last couple of times.   The addition of fresh rosemary from the garden in both the chicken and vegetables makes it all the more tasty.   Today’s lunch was fairly quick to prepare but it packed some flavour (fresh basil and mint from the garden).  If you haven’t eaten a Vietnamese summer roll try it and you will give up the fried spring rolls.

The summer roll started with the soaked rice paper layered with an iceberg lettuce leaf and filled with whole basil, mint and coriander leaves and a few chopped pieces of spring onion.   I heated up the left over roast chicken for a couple of minutes with some Chinese crushed red chilli sauce.   I added a good handful of the chicken on top of the herbs and wrapped the rice paper to form a roll.  I can’t wait to get Anna to try this when she gets back next week as I am sure she will love the freshness of the dish.

The roast chicken is simple to make.   I used a small bird, cleaned it up, placed in a roasting pan and then seasoned with salt and pepper.  I then rubbed the chicken with a generous knob of butter and placed a couple of knobs under the skin on either side above the breast.  I placed a lemon cut in half and a couple of sprigs of fresh rosemary in the cavity and cooked in a pre heated 210 degree oven for an hour till chicken was cooked through.   During the cooking process I take the pan out and baste the chicken with the melted butter to keep it moist.  For the vegetable barring the potato (boiled and peeled it and added it to the roasting pan 15 minutes before chicken was done) I roughly chopped up some carrot, parsnip, celery and added some whole shallots, garlic cloves and button mushrooms – drizzled a little olive oil and seasoned them with salt, pepper and a few sprigs of fresh rosemary from the garden.   I added the vegetables to the roasting pan half way through the cooking process.   The end results was a nice golden bird with roasted vegetables.


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Vietnamese vegetable summer rolls

Tonight was a journey into the unknown as we prepared a Vietnamese inspired summer roll for dinner.  The dish is  a blend of South East Asian flavours (primarily Chinese) wrapped in a rice paper roll.  We came across the rice paper on one of our shopping trips to Wing Yip (a large Oriental supermarket in Croydon) and finally got to use it tonight.  We are hooked and will experiment a bit more with different fillings – we think once you have tried Vietnamese style rolls you will reconsider traditional fried spring rolls.

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What do I need to make it?

  • 1 medium onion
  • 1/2 green pepper
  • 1/2 red pepper
  • 2 sticks of celery
  • 6-8 closed cup mushrooms
  • 50 gms sweet corn
  • 1 small courgette
  • 3 cloves of garlic minced
  • 1″ piece of ginger minced
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red chilli
  • 2 tsp soy sauce
  • 2 tsp Shaosin wine
  • 1 tsp rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp spiced black rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • Small handful of chopped coriander
  • Salt to taste

For the garnish

  • Small handful of basil finely chopped
  • 3-4 sprigs of spring onion chopped
  • 4-5 leaves of lettuce shredded
  • 8 Vietnamese rice papers
  • Thai sweet chilli sauce to taste
  • Chinese red chilli sauce to taste

How much will I make?

8 summer rolls

How do I make it?

Chop all the ingredients into even sized pieces.  Heat oil in a pan and add the ginger, garlic and crushed red chillies.  Stir fry for 30 seconds before adding the peppers, onions and celery.  Cook for 5 minutes before adding the remaining vegetables.  Cook till done and then add the soy sauce, rice vinegars, rice wine and toasted sesame oil.   Adjust the seasoning and then add the chopped coriander.   Switch off the heat and keep mixture aside.

Soak the rice paper in warm water for a couple of seconds and once soft layer with lettuce, a pinch of the basil, spring onion and a tablespoon and a half of the cooked mixture.  Drizzle a little Thai sweet chilli sauce and Chinese red chilli sauce – wrap – enjoy.