food

From rice paper rolls to noodle salads: 5 quick, healthy Vietnamese recipes for the family.

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My preschooler is going through a big DIY dinner phase at the moment. The only way she’s going to eat it, is if she made it.     

That unfortunately means some limited variation of flatbread pizza every single night and honestly, I feel like at three years old, she's a bit too young to be stuck in a rut. 

But Grace (three going on thirteen) isn’t the only one. 

Now that my husband and I are both back at work full-time, and we’ve added a one-year-old into the mix, you can tell the day of the week by what’s on our dinner plates each night. 

Pre-parenthood we would eat out most evenings or make more elaborate, experimental dinners (shoutout to that time I made fondue, and the less successful but equally memorable homemade sushi). 

Now evenings are a race against the clock between the daycare pick-up and the time when we start blaming ourselves or each other for not going to bed earlier. 

I came across this, and now I'm instantly keen for anything Vietnamese I can make from home.

So naturally I jumped at the chance to road test the new Roll’d products now at Coles, with the promise of being equipped to make quick, healthy, family-friendly Vietnamese recipes you (and the kids) can whip up in less than 20 minutes. 

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They're now easily some of the best mid-week dinners to have in our weekly rotation. I've been using Roll'd items to whip up WFH lunches, and they've really been the most exciting lunchbox addition for daycare according to Grace basically... ever. She actually gets excited about eating them.

Handy too: I found that each Roll'd product has a QR code on it that you scan with your phone and it takes you straight to tasty recipe ideas and tips on learning how to roll (Rice Paper Rolls that is). 

Grace watched their video on how to roll maybe 45 times while I unpacked the daycare bags. She then proceeded to announce "this the best afternoon ever…." 

It’s a low bar when she gets extra screen time.

OBSESSED with Quinnie from Roll’d now. This counts as educational screen time right? Image: Supplied.

Being an organised, full-time working mum of two I picked the optimal time to do the first road test. Not. 

With our hectic schedule, it fell on Thursday night, after a huge week. The same day as the one-year-old’s immunisations, Grace's swimming lessons and my husband's gym night. 

But while our day was a bit of an *ordeal*, making dinner really wasn't. Let me explain. 

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Shopping list

The haul. Image: Supplied.

Starting with the shopping. Roll’d have a really busy-person-friendly bank of recipes that pull from a list of common ingredients, a lot of which we already had at home. Here’s what I got from Coles/our pantry so you can copy and paste it into your Notes app:

  • Iceberg lettuce 

  • Mint (thank you lockdown herb garden)

  • Coriander 

  • Bean shoots

  • Lebanese cucumber

  • Chicken (we got a hot BBQ chicken so we didn't even have to cook it)

  • Eggs

  • Sesame seeds (I had these at home in the back of my cupboard and I’d bet you one night of uninterrupted sleep that you do too)

Now head to the International food aisle at Coles and grab:

  • Roll’d Vietnamese Vermicelli Noodles

  • Fried shallots

  • Roll’d Vietnamese Nuoc Mam sauce

  • Roll’d Sticky Hoisin sauce

  • Roll’d Rolling Tray or similar non-stick surface

  • Roll’d Vietnamese Rice Paper sheets

Avoid the Kinder Surprise/parent guilt section on the way out and you are DONE.

Mise en place

Mise en place is a French culinary phrase that means "putting in place" or "everything in its place". 

One of the few things I remember from doing Hospitality in high school. 

And while I didn’t pick up excellent culinary skills during that time, I did learn the love of having everything ready and putting things in little bowls before cooking. 

The mise is officially in place. Not sure what Grace is doing. Image: Supplied.

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This is key to creating the Roll’d Soldiers, or Rice Paper Rolls. You want everything ready to roll before you start... well, rolling. 

But actually, there are very few things to prep. 

Cut the cucumber. 

Cook the chicken (or just shred if you're saving time with the BBQ chook option).

Chop the lettuce.

Cook the noodles (only took 2 mins).

And that’s it. 

I also discovered that all foods are more delicious to my three-year-old if chopped and put in bowls. She was actually begging me to eat the lettuce. No lie. Here’s photo evidence to prove it.

Image: Supplied.

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Making

Fun for everyone. After watching the video another 12 more times, Grace now felt like quite the expert. 

I was an amateur at first but I think it’s like pancakes, the first has to look average so you can see the progress you're making. After that I was flying.

Seriously DO watch the videos, they are so handy. I just scanned the QR code on the packet. You can pause the videos to make time for little hands to keep up. 

Soldiers assembled in under 3 mins, only slowed down by snacking. Image: Supplied.

Eating

The verdict is a slightly sticky but very satisfied thumbs up. 

As for Grace, she couldn’t wait to eat her creation and chomped down on bean sprouts, coriander, noodles (all foods that we normally have vigorous discussions about her trying) without a second thought. 

Pre-schooler, teething toddler and (hidden) hungry Beagle approved. Image: Supplied.

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The prep I did for the girls’ dinner left us with more than enough for grown-ups dinner once the girls were in bed and a WFH lunch the next day. With 30 rice papers in a pack, we weren’t at risk of running out. 

My 5 favourite family dishes with our new Roll'd products are below. But I’d be failing you if I didn’t give a special shout out to the Roll’d range of sauces. 

While the kids enjoyed trying them for the first time with their Soldiers, I am The Condiment Queen.  

So for me, the dipping sauce is as important as what you're dipping itself. 

The Roll’d at-home range includes traditional dipping sauces: Nuoc Mam, Spicy Hoisin & Chilli Mayo. The Nuoc Mam I discovered makes an excellent salad dressing too.

Here are all the recipes we tried (and loved): 

Omelette Rice Paper Rolls

This was a safe starting point for us, as the girls love omelettes – and are obsessed with these too. (Serves 4, and takes 20 minutes).

  • 4 eggs, whisked

  • 8 Roll’d Vietnamese Rice Paper sheets

  • 2 cups Roll’d Vietnamese Vermicelli Noodles, cooked

  • 2 cups iceberg, shredded

  • 8 sprigs of coriander, picked

  • 8 cucumber batons/sticks, 8cm in length

  • Warm water (approx 3L)

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

  • Roll’d Rolling Tray or similar non-stick surface

  • Best served with Roll’d Vietnamese Sticky Hoisin or Spicy Hoisin sauces

Here's what we do:

  1. First make the omelette. Heat a medium pan over a medium heat and add the vegetable oil. Pour the egg mixture into the pan and with a fork, gently move the egg mixture towards the centre and allow to cook for 2 minutes. Once cooked, transfer onto a plate.

  2. To make the rice paper rolls, dunk the rice paper sheets into a large bowl of warm water, shake off any excess water and lay on the Roll’d rolling tray. Repeat with all the rice paper sheets. Evenly distribute the remaining ingredients across the rice paper sheets - lay the vermicelli noodles across the middle of the rice paper, add the iceberg, cucumber, coriander and omelette. 

  3. Take the bottom of the rice paper roll, fold and tuck under the ingredients, fold both sides in and complete the roll.

Tip: Dipping this one in the Roll’d Vietnamese Sticky Hoisin sauce will chaneg your life like it did mine.

In progress and finished... ready for Masterchef with those plating skills. Image: Supplied.

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BBQ Chicken Rice Paper Rolls

Super quick dinner, especially if you grab a BBQ chicken, can be reassembled into a salad for the next day. (Serves 4 and takes 20 minutes).

  • 8 Roll’d Vietnamese Rice Paper sheets

  • 2 cups Roll’d Vietnamese Vermicelli Noodles, cooked

  • 2 cups iceberg, shredded

  • 8 sprigs of coriander, picked

  • 8 cucumber batons/sticks, 8cm in length

  • 8-12 mint leaves

  • Fried shallots

  • Sesame seeds

  • Flavoured/seasoned cooked BBQ chicken

  • Warm water (approx 3L)

  • Roll’d Rolling Tray or similar non-stick surface

  • Best served with Roll’d Vietnamese Sticky Hoisin or Spicy Hoisin sauces

Here's what we did:

  1. To make the rice paper rolls, dunk the rice paper sheets into a large bowl of warm water, shake off any excess water and lay on the Roll’d rolling tray or similar non-stick surface. Repeat with all the rice paper sheets. 

  2. Place the cucumber on the bottom third of the rice paper on each. 

  3. Sprinkle sesame seeds just above the centre of the rice paper. 

  4. Place the coriander and mint in the centre of the rice paper. 

  5. Position the vermicelli noodles on top of cucumber. 

  6. Scatter fried shallots, lettuce and BBQ chicken on top of vermicelli noodles. 

  7. Take the bottom of the rice paper roll, fold and tuck under the ingredients, fold both sides in and complete the roll.

Tip: Can definitely recommend dialling up the heat by enjoying with Roll’d Vietnamese Spicy Hoisin.

 Re-plated leftovers for grown-ups dinner time. Husband shows off his (first time) rolling skills. Image: Supplied.

Roast Chicken Noodle Salad (Bún)

I made this one for WFH lunch the next day using leftovers from the BBQ Chicken Soldiers. The perfect speedy lunch that doesn’t compromise on nutrition or flavour! (This one serves 2 and took me less than 20 minutes).

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  • 200g cooked BBQ chicken, shredded (like the one I grabbed from Coles)

  • 2 cups Roll’d Vietnamese Vermicelli Noodles, cooked

  • 1 cup iceberg lettuce, shredded

  • 8 sprigs coriander, picked

  • 1 Lebanese cucumber, cut lengthways, seeds removed and sliced 5mm thick 

  • 8 sprigs mint, picked

  • 1 cup bean shoots

  • 2 tablespoon fried shallots

  • 1/2 cup Roll’d Vietnamese Nuoc Mam

Here's what I did:

  1. In two bowls, start by layering the bean shoots, then the Bún vermicelli noodles, iceberg lettuce, herbs, cucumber and top with the chicken and fried shallots. 

  2. Drizzle Roll’d Nuoc Mam over each bowl and serve. 

Tip: Just mix everything together with chopsticks and enjoy.

WFH lunch. The BEST leftovers = lunch in two minutes. Image: Supplied.

Next we’ll be trying:

Prawn Noodle Salad (Bún)

Bright, zesty and healthy. This one got a big tick from every family member! Another recipe featuring my love: Roll’d Nouc Mam sauce. (This one also serves 2 and took less than 20 minutes).

  • 200g raw peeled prawns (can be bought cooked)

  • 2 cups Roll’d Vietnamese Vermicelli Noodles, cooked

  • 1 cup iceberg lettuce, shredded

  • 8 sprigs coriander, picked

  • 1 Lebanese cucumber, cut lengthways, seeds removed and sliced 5mm thick 

  • 8 sprigs mint, picked

  • 1 cup bean shoots

  • 2 tablespoon fried shallots

  • 1/2 cup Roll’d Vietnamese Nuoc Mam

Here's what we did:

  1. Lightly grease a grill or fry pan and place on stovetop. Grill peeled prawns on medium heat for 2-3 minutes each side (or skip this step if you're using aleady cooked!)

  1. In two bowls, start by layering the bean shoots, then the Bún vermicelli noodles, iceberg lettuce, herbs, cucumber and top with prawns and fried shallots. 

  2. Drizzle Roll’d Nuoc Mam over each bowl and serve. 

Pan Fried Salmon Rice Paper Rolls

Another colourful, fresh and flavour-bursting number. We can't get enough Soldiers into our weekly routine now if we tried. (Serves 2-3 and took 20 minutes).

  • 4-6 Roll’d Vietnamese Rice Paper sheets

  • 1 small salmon fillet or 4-6 slices of smoked salmon, if preferred

  • Salt and pepper

  • 1 small Lebanese cucumber, cut into 8cm sticks 

  • ½ small carrot, grated

  • 4 lettuce leaves, shredded

  • 4-6 slices of avocado

  • 1 tsp toasted sesame 

  • Warm water (approx 3L)

  • Roll’d Rolling Tray or similar non-stick surface

Here's what we did:

  1. To pan fry the salmon, make sure to take out the fillet from the fridge for it to reach room temperature. 

  2. Season salmon with salt and pepper (skip this step if using smoked salmon)

  3. Warm a medium non-stick pan with a drizzle of oil. Raising the heat to medium and pan fry the fish with the skin side down. Cook for about 4 minutes until the skin is golden brown. When shaking the pan, the salmon should be able to move around easily and not stick to the pan. 

  4. Flip the fish and pan fry the other side for a further 4 minutes until cooked, the fillet should feel firm to touch. 

  5. Remove the fish from the pan and let it cool down. Once cooled, use a fork to break up the fillet, ready to be rolled into rice paper rolls. 

  6. Fill up a large bowl with warm water ~50˚C.

  7. Using one sheet at a time, dip the rice paper into the bowl of water. Glide the rice paper sheet through the water in a smooth motion. Gently shake off any excess water. 

  8. Layout the rice paper on a rolling tray or similar non-stick surface.

  9. Horizontally, position a small portion of salmon, cucumber, grated carrot, lettuce leaves, avocado and sesame seeds on the bottom third of the rice paper on each.

  10. Take the bottom of the rice paper roll, fold and tuck under the ingredients, fold both sides in and complete the roll. To serve, dip it into Roll’d sauces.

I found this one was best dipped in the Roll’d Vietnamese Sticky Hoisin sauce or Nuoc Mam! Either or, you can't go wrong at all really with these sauces in hand.

Enjoy Roll'd now at home! Prepare authentic, fast & fresh Vietnamese recipes every family member will love with Roll'd products now from your local Coles Supermarkets or a Roll'd store near you.

Feature Image: Supplied.

Roll'd
Authentic fast & fresh Roll'd Vietnamese Soldiers R can now be be prepared at home. Create your own rice paper rolls like a professional. Simply scan the barcode (below) on pack for tasty recipe ideas & tips on how to roll. Grab them at any Roll'd retail store or at your local Coles Supermarket store now!