The first dish that Brian O’Driscoll cooked in the SABA Cooking Masterclass was Goi Cuon.
Fresh Vietnamese Spring Rolls
Serves 4 as a starter
300g chicken or tofu(v) For the dip:
75g vermicelli noodles 100g white sugar
8 pieces rice paper 100ml vinegar
50g bean sprouts ½ sp salt
100g carrots, shredded 25ml water
100g iceberg lettuce, finely sliced 15ml hot chilli sauce
8g mint leaves, roughly torn 1 dsp peanuts, crushed
10g sweet basil leaves, roughly torn
1dsp sunflower oil
To make the spring rolls:
Bring two large saucepans of water to the boil. Soak teh vermicelli noodles for 25 minutes in cold water, until soft and drain. Put the noodles in a saucepan and boil for 1 minute ; strain, run under cold water to prevent further cooking and keep to one side.
In the other saucepan, cook the bean sprouts until soft, about 1 minute; strain, run under cold water. Cut the chicken fillets into thin strips 4cm x 2cm, or if you are using tofu, cut into strips, 4cm x 2 cm. Heat the wok with the oil, add the chicken or tofu and toss until cooked, approximately 4 minutes for chicken, 2-3 for tofu.
Dip the rice paper into boiling water, one piece at a time, for about 5 seconds and remove with a tongs before placing individually on a wet tea-towel and flatten. Layer a little of each of the ingredients horizontally in the centre of the rice paper starting with the noodles followed by the carrots, bean sprouts, lettuce, mint and basil leaves leaving a 1-2cm edge on each side and 5cm at the top and bottom. Finish with the chicken or tofu on top and then roll it away from you, folding in both sides before you start.
To make the dip:
Put the sugar, vinegar, salt and water in a saucepan and bring to the boil and reduce it until it begins to thicken. Let it cool slightly.
Pour a little of the dip into small individual serving dishes, add some hot chilli sauce and sprinkle the crushed peanuts on top.
Put 2 rolls on each plate with some iceberg lettuce, fresh mint and a little dipping sauce on the side.
When you are shopping for rice paper, be careful that there are no crumbs in the packet, which would indicate that they are dry, and would crack when you are rolling them. These rolls can be made a few hours ahead of time. Wrap them in a damp paper towel and cling film but keep them at room temperature until ready to serve.