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Rice Paper Rolls
I'll be honest with you: I had longed to make some version of these little rolls for years but either essential laziness or fear that they would be frighteningly complicated put me off. Now that I've made them, I can't quite see what I was on about. Fiddly they may be, but I think they must be one of the easiest recipes to make in the whole book. And also one of the loveliest: there is something about the light, unwheatenness of rice pasta (which in effect these sheets just are) and the bundles of fresh herbs within that make them compulsive and uplifting eating. you can, and this is how I ate them first in a Vietnamese restaurant, add some cooked prawns, and cooled, stir-fried chopped pork along with the herbs and rice vermicelli, but I can't honestly see that you need to.
You can often find the rice pancakes, or rice sheets (emphatically not rice paper) in the supermarket. If you're unlucky in this respect, you will have to track down an Asian store, which offers a gastro-reward of its own.
100 g rice vermicelli
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon Thai fish sauce bunch fresh mint, roughly chopped bunch fresh Thai basil, roughly chopped half a cucumber, cut into thin batons
6 spring onions, finely sliced
12 rice pancakes soy sauce for serving (optional)
Soak the vermicelli according to the instructions on the packet, and drain once the translucent threads are rehydrated.
Flavour the vermicelli with the rice vinegar, soy and fish sauces, and then add the chopped herbs, cucumber and spring onions. Mix gently with your hands to try to combine the noodles, herbs and vegetables.
Soak the rice pancakes (again, according to packet instructions) in a shallow bowl of hot water and then lay each one on a tea towel to pat dry. Run a fairly narrow strip of noodle mixture down the middle of the pancake, fold over one half and then carefully roll it up as tightly as you can. Slice each roll into four and then arrange them on a plate.
If you want, pour some soy sauce into a few little bowls for dipping the rolls into as you eat. They are also fabulous with the Vietnamese dipping sauce, in the form of the dressing on page 75.
Makes 48 rolls.
Posted February 25, 2010
This is the best Nigella has ever done. It focuses on intuition and bold flavors, rather than on ceremony and on kitsch. If you improvise with the flavors instead of trying madly to exact her recipes, you will be rewarded not only with a great meal, but also with having learned something; if you obsess about quantities and don't understand flavor combinations, buy some other book.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 24, 2007
I have all but one of Nigella's cookbooks and this is one of my favorites. Having said that I must all say that each book has recipes that utterly fail and ones that are unbelievably great. In Forever Summer the Strawberry Meringue Layercake is good in theory, but the sponge cake part ends up very dry and the entire thing looks like a dessert hamburger. People were not impressed. The Coconut Slab, overly sugared and dry. However, her Chocolate Raspberry Pav was fabulous. And I couldn't go wrong with any of the pasta dishes, they were wonderful. Of course, the photos are gorgeous and the book itself is very fun to read through, especially when you are missing summer in the dead of winter. But, it s frustrating when the photos are gorgeous but the end results half the time isn't nearly as good as it looks. I'm happy there were less photos of her in this book eating and posing for the camera. That gets a little tiring. Overall, I'd recommend it if you can pick it up for less usedWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 4, 2004
I have to say, this is quickly becoming one of my favorite cookbooks. I love the super-simple stuffed shells with cheese, and I am anxiously awaiting summer so I can try some of her suggestions for grilled meats. In general, these recipes are very simple, and I suppose some might not like that 'common sense' aspect. She expresses the love so many of us have for a simple 3 or 4 ingredient pasta dish, though, and makes you crave it all over again. It is full of Lawson's descriptive and sensual prose...I actually read it like a book! I think it's worthwhile if only for those great descriptions, but if that doesn't turn you on you might take the opinion that many of her recipes aren't 'new' enough. If you're new to Nigella's style, I think you will find this a delightful intro to her world!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 20, 2003
I had this book as a present and I haven't stopped using it. Some of the recipes I have made over and over again for different people and each time have received compliments. What I like most is that apart from just using it the way Nigella suggests, you can also be inventive and add a bit of your touches to it. Fantastic!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 17, 2003
This was a bit of a disappointment. Was it because the other two were so, so good? When I first started watching her I thought, wish I could throw a meal together like that. (I think the same thing about Jamie Oliver, though he's actually a chef, unlike Nigella.) After her first two books I could. But this was a stretch like they were strugling to make a point.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted July 5, 2010
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