In Hoi An, cooked beef is rolled up in rice papers with slivers of starfruit, plantain and herbs to make banh cuon [summer rolls]. Banh cuon sellers make their own rice papers from a rice flour paste, gracefully swirling the batter across muslin that is tied taut-as-a-drum across a steamer. We don’t have the time or skill for such fiddle, so use instant rice paper wrappers instead: dunk rice papers in a dish of warm water for a few seconds and then leave on a tea-towel until they go limp. Arrange strips of cooked meat on top with slivers of starfruit [and possibly some plantain), plus herbs, turn in the edges to overlap the stuffing, then roll up tightly, and cut in half to serve, dunking each mouthful in nuoc cham dipping sauce. Or do as I suggest below.
In a mortar or processor, pound or blend together the lemongrass, shallots, galangal, garlic and five-spice powder with a smidgen of salt and some pepper to make a coarse paste, flash in the sugar and
Just before grilling, add the oil and stir through to coat. Mix the remaining
© 2004 Alastair Hendy. All rights reserved.