The one meal I struggle the most with to be creative in, is my lunch. I’ve always got way too many ideas for my dinner and when it comes to breakfast I keep it fairly basic & simple, but lunch.. DAMN! I used to think it was the most boring meal of all, especially when you work as you’re quite limited there in what you can eat then.. I love having fresh baguettes with toppings but they tend to get soggy if you bring them to work. I love salads but I just can’t eat them every damn day!
As you probably noticed before, now that I’m travelling through Australia I’ve been introduced to different meals, mostly the Asian cuisine and apart from sushi which I’m probably getting slightly addicted too, there is another fantastic Asian lunch that I’ve now become obsessed with: rice paper rolls!
Granted, it wasn’t as easy to make as I had hoped because I seriously struggled with the wrapper folding all over the place but after a few minutes I got my technique on point and I was just rollin’ away. What I like about is that you can fill it up with delicious veggies, add some salmon/crab sticks (or maybe even chicken? or is that just _not done_?) and you can make enough rice paper rolls for 2 lunches in one night AND it’s still healthy without being yet another salad. I kept the filling really basic for this first attempt at making rice paper rolls: smoked salmon, onion (spring, crispy, red onion), red & white cabbage, carrot, cucumber, spinach, and red bell peppers.
Fresh homemade smoked salmon rice rolls
- 6 sheets of rice paper, I went for the smaller version - which will give you rice rolls of about 10cm long
- 1/2 cucumber
- 1 red bell pepper
- 2 spring onions or handful of crispy onions or 1/2 red onion (or mix & match)
- 100g smoked salmon
- 1/8 red cabbage
- 1/8 white cabbage
- handful of spinach
- 2 carrots
- your favourite dipping sauce (mine: sweet chilli!)
Wash & slice up all your fillings apart from the spinach. Make sure everything is chopped into pieces that are long rather than wide, you're basically making matchsticks out of everything. For the spring onion you need to remove the moustache at the bottom & a cm of the darkest part, then chop the white part into small discs/rounds, and then chop up the dark green parts into thin strips as well. You only need to remove the stems of the spinach if they are too long, the spinach itself does not need to be chopped up.
Get a bowl of warm (not hot!) water ready that's wide enough to fit your rice paper into.
Dip the paper into the water until every millimeter of it has gone soft.
Try and carefully fold it out onto your chopping board/plate.
Start by adding a little bit of the salmon to the center of your rice roll (vertically), then continue with your other ingredients: onion, cucumber, pepper, cabbages, carrots. End with the spinach.
Fold over the left & ride side of the roll on top of the filling, then take the bottom of the rice roll and fold it over, try to move everything inside and then continue to roll. Enjoy with your favourite dipping sauce!