Vietnamese Duck Rice Paper Rolls with Nuoc Cham
An easy, quick meal that’s perfect for sharing with friends outdoors.
I love making my own cold rolls. They’re great for this time of the year when it’s warming up in the evening. I like to make a giant platter of roll fillings and place it in the middle of the table outside. Everyone can create their own rolls and get a bit messing doing so. Nuoc Cham is a traditional Vietnamese dressing or dipping sauce. It is used on Com Tam (broken rice) and Bun Cha (vermicelli noodle salad) as well. The acid hit from the Nuoc Cham goes really well with the salty soy duck in this recipe, and I have to say, don’t be shy with adding chilli!
Serves 10-12 rolls
Cook time: 15 minutes
Prep Time: 30 minutes
3 duck breasts
3 Star anise
1 tbs honey
150ml Soy Sauce
Rice Paper Rolls
12 rice paper wraps (21cm)
80g rice vermicelli, softened as per pack instructions
1 carrot, peeled and finely grated
2 cups of cabbage, shredded (I’ve used purple but you can you Chinese or Savoy)
2 celery sticks, julienned
2 spring onions, julienned
Bunch Vietnamese mint leaves
Bunch of Coriander
Nuoc Cham Dipping sauce
6tbs fish sauce
200ml Lime Juice
2 tbs rice wine vinegar
½ cup sugar
4 garlic cloves, finely diced
3-4 chilies, finely diced
Score the skin of the duck then place breasts in a bowl with the soy, star anise and honey. Allow breasts to marinade in the refrigerator for least 30 minutes, longer if you have time.
Meanwhile make the Nuoc Cham. Combine the fish sauce, vinegar and sugar in a small bowl. Stir until sugar has fully dissolved then add the remaining ingredients. Reserve half of the sauce for serving and place the remaining sauce in a bowl with the shredded cabbage. Using your hands, scrunch the cabbage and dressing together to help soften the cabbage and allow it to take on a light pickle.
Remove the duck breasts from the refrigerator and scrape off excess marinade. Heat a large non-stick sauté pan over medium-low heat. Place the breasts skin side down in the pan and cook for 8 minutes then turn over to cook for a further 1-2 minutes. Place the breasts in an oven at 200C for about 8-10 minutes or until cooked medium rare. Set aside and let rest for at least 5 minutes before slicing thinly.
To assemble the rolls, soak one wrap in warm water for about 10 seconds or until just starting to soften, the fresher the wrap the quicker it’ll soften. Lay the wrap on a bench or plate and place a small handful of vermicelli in a row on the bottom third of the wrap. Top with carrot, cabbage, celery, spring onions, herbs and slices of duck. Roll up from the bottom one time over then fold over the sides. Continue assembling rolls until you have used up all the ingredients.
Serve with Nuoc Cham.
I often make cold rolls for dinner when I have vegetables to use up. They’re a good way to use up a rogue carrot and half a cucumber. Go nuts, add which ever vegetables, meats, tofu and sauces you like! There’s no rules.