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Saturday, October 17, 2015


A lovely friend of mine fed these rice paper rolls to me the other weekend and I have not been able to stop thinking of them since, therefore I made my own version of them. I love the twist Collette has put on this traditional light Vietnamese meal, by adding quinoa and oven baked pumpkin to pump up the fillings. You can use skinless bbq chicken if you prefer this to poaching chicken breast and can choose to leave out the quinoa if you want to make this meal more low-carb. If you are vegetarian add the quinoa and some thinly sliced avocado. This is a such a light, fresh lunch or dinner that I can see myself making it for many, many years to come. 


  • baking paper 
  • 300g pumpkin, peeled, deseeded and cut into 2cm pieces 
  • 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 250g cooked chicken, skin removed or 250g chicken breast 
  • 1/3 cup white quinoa
  • 12 rice paper round sheets
  • 1 Lebanese cucumber, cut into thin sticks
  • 2 generous handfuls of baby spinach or green lettuce
  • 2 spring onions, finely chopped
  • Optional- 2 handfuls of fresh coriander leaves, roughly chopped
  • Dipping sauce - hoisin sauce or sweet chilli sauce 


1. Preheat a fan forced oven to 200 degrees celsius. Line a baking tray with baking paper. Toss the pumpkin and oil in a medium bowl to combine, then place the pumpkin in a single layer on the tray. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes or until the pumpkin is tender.

2. If you are using cooked chicken, ignore this step. If you are not using cooked chicken, you will need to poach the chicken breast. Whilst the quinoa is cooking, place the chicken breast in a small to medium saucepan. Bring to the boil, covered, then simmer for 10 minutes. Turn off the stove and let the saucepan stand, covered, for 5 minutes. Remove the poached chicken from the pan and leave to cool for a few minutes before 'shredding' the chicken (I do this with 2 forks and pull in separate directions, as you would when 'pulling' pork). Discard the poaching liquid. 

3. Rinse the quinoa thoroughly, twice, with your hands and strain through a sieve. Bring the quinoa to boil in a small to medium saucepan over high heat with 1 cup water, covered. Once boiled, lower to a simmer and continue to cook, covered, until all the water is absorbed, around 6 minutes. 

4. Once the pumpkin, chicken and quinoa are cooked, pour boiling hot water into a medium bowl. Lay the rice paper sheets next to the water. Place your cool fillings; cucumber, lettuce, shallots, coriander (if using) on a plate next to your cooked fillings. You are now ready to make your rice paper rolls! 

5. Soften each rice paper sheet by individually dipping it in the water and rotating the sheet with your fingers for one rotation only; the paper will feel moderately wet but not completely softened. The consistently of the rice paper should be pliable and slightly tacky. Have a flat surface such as a large clean plate or your bench top to place the paper. Just work with one softened rice paper sheet at a time, as it is much less fiddly. 

6. To wrap - I use the Two End Method. Centre the ingredients vertically, using 1/12 of all of the above ingredients, and position them about 4cm from the lower edge of the rice paper. Bring the lower and upper edge of the paper up towards the filling, then roll up the rice paper from one side to the other (I roll from left to right) and seal. Continue until no ingredients and no rice paper sheets remain (the ingredients should make 12 rice paper rolls comfortably). 

Serve with one of the dipping sauces mentioned and enjoy. 

Makes / 12  / Serves 4 = 3 rice paper rolls each 
Total Prep & Cooking time / around 45 minutes 

x Emily 

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