Gỏi Cuốn (Vietnamese summer rolls)

Raw vietnamese rolls with shrimp and dip

Appetisers, Fish, Main Course | October 11, 2015 | By

Gỏi Cuốn (pronounced “goy coo-an”) is a delicious, traditional Vietnamese dish. The name translates to “salad rolls” and they are often referred to in English as “summer rolls”. As with any traditional dish, the filling of the roll varies but this recipe uses prawns. The rolls are wrapped with rice paper (bánh tráng) and are served at room temperature or slightly chilled with a dipping sauce. In this case we’ll be making Nước mắm pha which is a popular fish sauce based dip.

These rolls taste amazing and they are really very versatile. They keep very well so they can be made in advance. They can also be made in different sizes so they can be used as an appetiser or a light main course. They are also quite low in fat.

Gỏi Cuốn (Vietnamese summer rolls)
Delicious, light Vietnamese summer rolls filled with raw veggies and prawns with a hot, sour dipping sauce.
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Prep Time
30 min
Total Time
30 min
Prep Time
30 min
Total Time
30 min
For the filling
  1. 200g rice noodles
  2. 100g prawns (cooked)
  3. 2 baby gem lettuce
  4. 2 carrots
  5. 6 spring onions
  6. 2 limes
  7. Fresh mint, coriander and basil (Thai basil if available)
To wrap
  1. Rice paper (see tip at end)
For the sauce
  1. 180ml fish sauce
  2. 4 tbsp caster sugar
  3. 4 tbsp rice vinegar
  4. 2 garlic cloves
  5. 2 chillies
To prepare
  1. Prepare the rice noodles as per the instructions on the packet. (Usually by soaking in boiling water for a few minutes then rinsing.) Once cooled, chop roughly.
  2. Chop everything - the prawns, lettuce, carrots, spring onions, chillies and herbs.
  3. Juice the two limes.
Make the sauce
  1. Put the fish sauce into a bowl and add the sugar and rice vinegar. Stir well until the sugar has dissolved.
  2. Add the chopped chillies, one third of the spring onions, the garlic and about 4-5 tbsp each of the chopped coriander and mint.
  3. Mix well again and set aside.
Make the filling
  1. Put the chopped noodles in a large bowl. Add the prawns, lettuce and the remaining spring onion and mix well.
  2. Add about 4tbsp each of the chopped basil, mint and coriander. Next, add the lime juice and 2 tbsp of the dipping sauce. Mix well again.
Finish the rolls
  1. To finish the rolls you'll need to rehydrate the rice paper. Again this varies depending on the brand so check the instructions on the packet. Usually it'll involved soaking in either warm or cold water for a minute or two. One prepare one rice paper at a time! Ensure the work surface that you plan to make the roll on is also wet to avoid it sticking.
  2. Place a spoon or two of the filling on the wrap, just off centre. Start rolling then close in the ends and finish rolling. Once the paper dries a little it will hold.
How much rice paper?
  1. This depends on what you're making! If you use small pieces of rice paper you'll need 20 - 30 sheets to use all the mixture. These are ideal as appetisers. If you would prefer something a bit more substantial use larger pieces of rice paper - you'll probably need 10 - 12 sheets.
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Prawn Satay

Delicious Homemade King Prawn Satay Recipe

Fish, Main Course | July 2, 2015 | By

Satay is a delicious, easy sauce to make. It’s also quite light making it ideal for summer. It’s about 39ºC here in Frankfurt at the minute so, in one sense it’s amazing I can even think about food at all! Nevertheless, we have to eat to survive so we might as well make it enjoyable eh? 

Satay Sauce with King Prawns
Serves 2
A light satay sauce with juicy prawns, an easy, quick, healthy alternative to a takeaway!
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
20 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
20 min
For the sauce
  1. 300g raw king prawn, shelled and deveined (see tip at end)
  2. 200ml veg or fish stock
  3. 400ml coconut milk
  4. 1 red pepper
  5. 1 chilli
  6. 2 garlic cloves crushed
  7. 2 tbsp grated fresh ginger
  8. 1 onion
  9. 2 spring onions
  10. 1/2 tin of bamboo shoots
  11. 3 tbsp smooth peanut butter
  12. 2 tbsp honey
  13. 2 tbsp soy sauce
  14. 1/4 tsp turmeric
  15. 1/2 a lime
  16. Glug of vegetable oil or wok oil
To Serve
  1. 150g Basmati rice
You will also need
  1. A blender or stick blender
To Prepare
  1. Finely chop the chilli, onion and pepper.
  2. Boil the kettle and make the stock.
  3. Set a salted pot of water on the hob to boil.
  4. Combine the peanut butter, turmeric, soy sauce, stock and lime juice and blend until smooth.
Start the rice
  1. Once the water is boiling add the rice and set a timer for 10 minutes (adjusting as per the instructions on the packet).
Make the satay sauce
  1. Heat the oil in a large pan over a medium heat. Add the garlic, ginger and chilli and fry until aromatic, about 2 minutes.
  2. Add the onion and the pepper. Increase the heat to medium-high and fry for about 5 minutes.
  3. Add the peanut mix you prepared earlier to the pan as well as the coconut milk. Stir well to combine.
  4. Finally add the prawns, spring onion and bamboo shoots. Simmer for about 3 minutes then remove from the heat.
  5. The rice should now be ready, drain it.
To serve
  1. Fluff the rice with a fork then divide evenly between the two bowls.
  2. Using a ladle scoop a generous amount of prawn satay into each bowl.
  3. Enjoy immediately!
Prawn panic
  1. Prawns are tricky. The best way to get them is raw, deshelled and deveined. Most often these will be frozen and will require thawing before cooking. You can of course use fresh, precooked prawns but be warned that these never get as juicy as they don't absorb the sauce. If you are lucky enough to live in an area where you can get fresh prawns, don't forget to add some extra preparation for skinning and deveining them!
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Mexican Prawns

Spicy Mexican Prawns with Veg Stir Fry

Fish | April 10, 2015 | By

These marinated Mexican-inspired prawns are an ideal mid-week dinner as they’re quick and easy to prepare. They are also delicious and good for you!

Mexican Prawns
Serves 2
Fresh prawns marinated in Mexican inspired spices with stir fry veg is a great, quick, healthy mid-week meal.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
12 min
Total Time
22 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
12 min
Total Time
22 min
For the prawns
  1. Glug of olive oil
  2. 300g prawns
  3. 1 tbsp cumin
  4. 1 tbsp cayenne pepper
  5. 1 tbsp garlic italian (or half garlic and half basil)
  6. 1 tbsp paprika
  7. 1/2 tbsp chilli flakes
  8. 1 bunch of fresh coriander
For the veg
  1. 2 large carrots
  2. 1 onion
  3. 3 cloves of garlic
  4. 1 lime
  5. 10-12 cherry tomatoes (halved) or 1 beef tomato (chopped)
  6. 1 fresh green chilli
To serve
  1. 150g rice
  2. 2 spring onions
To prepare
  1. Mix all of the prawn spices in a small bowl. Toss the prawns in the olive oil and coat evenly with about 3/4 of the spice mix.
  2. Finely chop the onions, chilli, garlic and coriander (leaving some coriander for garnish). Roughly chop the carrot and pepper into strips. Chop the spring onion.
  3. Remove the zest from half the lime and juice the lime.
  4. Boil the kettle and set a pot of boiling salted water on the hob for the rice.
Cook the rice
  1. As the rice will take the longest it needs to be put on first. Cook as per instructions on the bag (usually between 10 and 12 minutes depending on the brand and type).
Cook the dish
  1. Heat a small bit of olive oil in a pan and add the prawns. Cook over a medium heat for about 1 minute on each side or until no longer grey. They need to be sealed, not cooked at this stage. Remove from pan.
  2. Without cleaning the pan, add the onions and garlic. Add a little more oil if necessary. Cook at a medium high heat (mark 4) until aromatic then add the chilli, tomatoes, coriander, carrot and pepper. Add half the lime juice and all of the zest. Cook for about 5 minutes or until al dente.
  3. Add the prawns and cook for 2 more minutes.
To serve
  1. Half the rice between two plates and sprinkle with a little lime juice and the spring onions. Add the prawn and veg mixture then sprinkle over the remaining lime juice and garnish with some coriander. Enjoy immediately.
Fresh prawns or frozen?
  1. If it's your first time cooking prawns, don't worry! Fresh prawns that are already deshelled and deveined are best as they are the easiest. Fresh prawns are grey and turn to a pinky white when cooked. Cooked prawns can also be used in this recipe but when cooking you should focus more on heating them rather than cooking them as overcooking makes them tough.
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