24 thin spring roll rice paper wrappers (Vietnamese or Thai, not the Chinese ones used for egg rolls)
Choice of fillings:
Rice vermicelli noodles
Red peppers (capsicum)
Fresh herbs (I recommend a couple mint and/or basil leaves per roll)
Thin strips of lightly-fried tofu or seitan
½ cup creamy natural peanut butter (or almond/cashew/sunflower butter)
½ cup soy or coconut milk
1 tbsp Tamari or soy sauce
1 tbsp lime or lemon juice
1 tbsp maple syrup (agave would work too)
1 tbsp fresh grated ginger
½ tsp chili powder (or 1 tsp crushed red chili pepper)
¼ cup unsalted peanuts, chopped (optional)
In a medium bowl, mix together all of the ingredients for the peanut sauce except the chopped peanuts, set aside.
Prep all your veggies so that they are thinly sliced, and shorter than your wrappers by about 5-6 cm. (My wrappers are 16 cm wide, so I cut my veggies about 10 cm long.)
If using rice noodles, decide how much of the noodles you will need based on the quantity of rolls you’re making and how many ingredients you plan on using. You can break the noodles off or use scissors to gently cut them away from the bigger piece. Fill a pot with just enough hot water to submerge your noodles. Regular hot tap water should be hot enough – it doesn’t need to be boiling. Let the noodles sit in the water until they are soft and edible, about 2 minutes. Remove the noddles, shaking them to remove excess water, and set aside.
Wet a clean tea towel, ring it out and lay it flat on your counter top.
Fill a pot with water and bring to a boil. Transfer the water to a large bowl and let cool a couple minutes. drop a wrapper into the water, and let it soak for 30 seconds – any longer and it will begin to get too soft and/or tear. It should be transparent and pliable. Remove wrapper from the water and gently shake it to remove any excess water. Lay the wrapper flat on your tea towel.
Place your mint and basil leaves near the top of the wrapper, as per diagram. Take some noodles and fold them back so that they fit within the top of the wrapper, as shown. Add 2-3 pieces of each vegetable on top, keeping everything tight and in a nice elongated pile. Tightly fold the top of the wrapper over the ingredients, and then fold-in each side. Continue rolling the wrapper onto itself to form the roll. Continue with remaining ingredients.
Before serving, add the chopped peanuts on top of the peanut sauce that you plan on serving. If desired, cut rolls diagonally with a sharp knife before serving.
1 small brown onion, peeled and roughly chopped
2 garlic cloves, peeled
1 stick lemongrass, white part only, finely chopped
6 kaffir lime leaves, centre vein discarded, thinly sliced
2cm piece ginger, peeled and chopped
1 tbsp peanut oil
750g pork mince
200g green prawn meat, roughly chopped
2 red chillies, remove seeds and slice finely
¼ cup lime juice
2 tbsp fish sauce
2 tsp sesame oil
2 tbsp thinly sliced mint leaves
4 green onions, thinly sliced diagonally
banana leaves for serving
150g bean sprouts
½ cup chopped unsalted cashews or peanuts
1 chilli, thinly sliced
1 baby cos lettuce, rinsed, leaves separated
lime halves to serve
To make larb, place onion, garlic, lemongrass, lime leaves and ginger in a food processor and process until it forms a paste. Heat oil in a large, non-stick frypan or wok. Cook paste for 1 minute until fragrant. Add mince, breaking up with your spatula into small pieces as it cooks and browns for 5–7 minutes. Add prawn and chilli, stirring for 3–4 minutes until prawn is cooked. Remove from heat and add lime juice, fish sauce, sesame oil and mint and stir through. Arrange banana leaves in the centre of a large serving board. Place small piles of bean sprouts, cashews, chilli and cos leaves around edge of board. Spoon larb into the centre of banana leaves and sprinkle with green onion. Serve immediately with lime halves