Rice paper roll with small rice-field prawns served with herbs and a small bowl of spicy fish sauce is a local rustic dish which wins the heart of many food lovers.
Small rice-field prawns look like tiny shrimps found in the sea, having the size of the small end of a chopstick. These crustaceans are the main ingredient of various specialties such as fried prawns, prawns stewed with starfruit, prawn paste and rice paper rolls with prawns. The rice paper rolls and prawns are the most preferred dish to enjoy on hot days as herbs combined with the dish give a fresh taste to diners.
Fresh prawns must be washed with water and shaken well to remove their tiny legs. Then, these small prawns are stir-fried with lard, offering the dish a fatty taste.
Rice paper, herbs including sour starfruits, young bananas, fish mint, sweet basil, tia to (Perilla frutescens), and a small bowl of fish sauce with sliced chilies and garlics are ingredients needed to have a perfect combo of rice paper roll with prawns.
Diners should use a thin piece of rice paper to wrap small prawns and herbs. Then, dip the rice paper roll into spicy sour fish sauce and enjoy. Fresh flavor of the herbs and the prawns combined with sour taste of starfruits will satisfy your taste buds. Pickled young papaya is also a tasty side dish. The orange color of the prawns as well as the green color of the herbs make the dish look even more delicious.
Aside from rice paper, stir-fried prawns can be enjoyed with rice, too.
By Lam Nhu