Rice paper rolls with chicken and vermicelli noodles

What a perfectly healthy, fresh and extremely tasty dinner. Could be a great looking dish for Sunday Brunch when you have friends come over unexpected – they will be so impressed! I had purchased these rice paper rolls a while ago in the anticipation I would get around to buying some prawns to make fantastic looking rolls, but as I don’t go past a fish shop every day I decided that chicken would be just as good. And I really couldn’t be bothered doing schnitzels or a curry.

For this recipe I wanted a simple broth to poach the chicken in. I have a lot of Asian inspired broths, which I will eventually post, but today it was all about simple flavours and a simple broth.

Everything can be prepared in advance, and placed in the fridge until needed. You can even let everyone do their own rolls! What a perfect way to get the kids involved in preparing their own! I found that when I had free time, instead of preparing all the vegetables in one hit, I spread it out throughout the day.

With the chicken breast & poaching, be careful not to overcook the breast as it will dry out. You need the chicken breast moist & tender as it’s a lot easier to shred the chicken.

I thought making rice paper rolls would be easy, but they weren’t as easy as what I thought! The first couple – or five – didn’t look that good, so to save a disappointing photo, I ate them straight away! Practice is the key and rolling tightly without breaking the rice paper. How do you roll rice paper rolls? Well it really depends if you like the ends open or closed! I think they look great when the end is closed, and isn’t that how they serve them in the restaurants? It’s the way I like them, hope you enjoy too!

750mls (3cups) cold water
2 tablespoons coriander stems, roughly chopped
2 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated
1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
4 fresh kaffir lime leaves, centre veins removed, leaves finely shredded lengthways
1 chicken breast, skin removed

Rice Paper Rolls:
1 packet (375gm) rice paper rolls (8-10 per adult)
Bowl of warm water
1 carrot, grated
5 iceberg lettuce leaves, finely sliced
1 cup coriander leaves
½ red capsicum, thinly sliced
3 vermicelli noodle ‘nests’
2 birdseye chillis, deseeded and finely sliced
1 tablespoon sesame oil

Dipping sauce:
2 tablespoon light soy sauce
½ tablespoon fish sauce
1 birdseye chilli, finely chopped

Place all broth ingredients, except the chicken breast, into a saucepan that’s big enough to fit the chicken breast in and bring to boil on medium heat. Once boiled, turn heat to low and add the chicken breast. Simmer for 7-8 minutes and then turn heat off. Let chicken stand in broth for another 7-8 minutes, or until chicken has been cooked through.  Remove chicken breast from saucepan and set aside in a bowl, covering with aluminium foil.

Place the vermicelli noodles in a large bowl. Bring kettle to the boil & pour over noodles. Noodles take about 2-5 minutes. Once cooked, drain and add sesame oil, to stop them from sticking together.

Place all ingredients for the rice paper rolls around you on your kitchen bench or table. Always remember not to overload the rice paper roll as they will break.

Prepare dipping sauce in a small bowl and serve on a large plate with your rice paper rolls.


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