Sesame Rice Rolls

rice roll topped with filling of shrimp, tofu and carrot

It’s always fun to try something new. Even if it doesn’t turn out the way you expected!

I bought these Vietnamese rice roll wraps a couple of weeks ago, intrigued by their appearance — they were coated with black sesame and I have a weak spot for anything sesame!

I was keen to try them so I soaked them in water on Saturday evening, attempting a late snack, but they were pretty thick and remained quite stiff by the time I had to go to bed. On Sunday morning they were ready and needed to be used immediately when I got up. It wasn’t the best timing — I was hunger stricken from a massive Sunday sleep-in!

I didn’t look up a recipe for the filling as I knew I would never have even half of the required ingredients, whatever they might be! I just took out some of my best friends that are always there for me when I’m too hungry to think about what to cook — frozen tofu, frozen shrimps and fresh carrots.

My version is in no way the authentic filling for Vietnamese rice rolls but it’s yummy, it’s simple and it gets to the tummy really quickly! It’s Vietnamese outside and Chinese inside, so I should definitely refrain myself from calling them Vietnamese rice rolls this time.

Next time, I’ll have a go at authentic Vietnamese fillings. I will also probably try some thinner wraps so I don’t have to wait for so long for it to soften.

sliced carrot, spring onion, tofu and shrimp on a chopping board

Soaking: about 1 hour in hand hot water (thick wraps) Filling preparation: 5 minutes

  • 4 Vietnamese rice roll wraps, soaked to soften
  • 1 block of thawed frozen tofu, cut into 5mm strips
  • 1 cup shrimps, frozen or thawed
  • 2 fresh carrots, thinly grated
  • 1 spring onion, cut into 5cm sections then thinly sliced lengthways
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 tsp cornstarch dissolved in ½ cup of cold water for thickening
Heat the oil in a wok, add carrot, tofu and shrimps and stir-fry 30 seconds to coat with oil. Add soy sauce and sugar, stir-fry until the shrimps are cooked.Push everything in the wok towards the edge to expose the bottom of the wok. Pour in the cornstarch mix very slowly and stir with the tip of the spatula until the liquid starts to boil gently and becomes translucent. Mix it quickly with all the ingredients and turn off the heat.

Transfer the filling proportionally to each rice roll wrap on a serving plate, top with a few spring onion slices*, roll up and serve.

* I decided not to stir-fry the spring onion because these wraps reminded me my favorite wraps — Peking duck, where the springs onions are served raw. If raw spring onions are too strong for your taste buds, just chop them and stir-fry with all the other ingredients.

rice rolls

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