Tag Archives: Gordon Ramsay

Vietnamese fresh rice rolls

Sorry for the hiatus – it’s been a crazy time at both work and play, I realise I still haven’t written any posts on our UK/Spain trip or had the time to even read my favourite foodie blogs (you know who you are). Things are thankfully winding down as the year draws to a close so I really need to dedicate some time to catch up.

A quick post on a GENIUS idea for making Vietnamese rice rolls. I love these – the herbs keep the rolls so light and add a fresh punch of flavour to each bite.

The genius idea is from Gordon Ramsay. I’ve made these rolls before and meticulously had plates and bowls lined up so that I could individually add each ingredient before rolling them up. It a fiddly affair and always ended up taking a really long time and making a mess, which meant that I made them less than I would have liked to.

Ramsay’s tip was to make a huge bowl of noodle salad with all the ingredients, so it’s just a matter of taking a small handful of the noodle salad, placing that in the rice roll and rolling it up. Simple. Why hadn’t I thought or realised this before ??

This recipe is very adaptable – add more or less of anything to your taste.

Ingredients makes about 12 rolls 

  1. 12 round rice paper sheets
  2. 50g dried rice vermicelli noodles, soaked in hot water until soft, then drained
  3. 50g raw prawns, cooked in a small amount of water – reserve the cooking liquid
  4. large red chilli, seeds removed, finely sliced
  5. large handful shredded iceberg lettuce
  6. large handful coriander leaves, chopped
  7. handful mint leaves, chopped
  8. handful of basil leaves (Thai basil if you can find it) chopped
  9. 1 – 2 tbls fish sauce
  10. splash sesame oil
  11. juice of small lime
  12. 100g bean sprouts

For the sauce:

  1. 4 tbls hoisin sauce
  2. few teaspoons of the reserved cooking liquid from the prawns
  3. 1/2 small red chilli, seeds removed, finely sliced
  4. 1 tsp peanuts, lightly toasted and crushed


  1. Mix the noodles, prawns, lettuce, chilli and herbs together
  2. Mix the fish sauce, sesame oil and lime juice and dress the noodle salad
  3. Dip the round rice paper sheets in a bowl of hot water for a few seconds until you feel it soften
  4. Add a small handful of the noodle salad along with some bean sprouts lengthwise and roll – the rice paper will continue to soften and become “sticky” which makes it easier
  5. Set aside on a plate – don’t keep them too close together or you run the risk of the rice paper sticking to each other and tearing

For the dipping sauce:

  1. Mix the hoisin, prawn cooking liquid and chilli together, top with the crushed peanuts

Tarte Tartin

**Update** Tried it again and it worked perfectly with granny smith apples and making sure that I didn’t burn the caramel – hurrah !  A good dollop of heavy cream while the tart is still hot really works.

Original post below:

We’ve been following Gordon Ramsay’s F Word where the series was focused on finding Britain’s best local restaurant.  One of the finalists was the Pheasant at Keyston and their dessert was a tarte tartin.  It looked so delicious I thought I’d give it a go myself.

With no Braeburn apples available at my supermarket, I went looking for granny smith apples, but my supermarket had none of them either so I chanced it with red delicious apples.  Mistake #1.


Toffee apples

Mistake #2 was not watching over my sugar caramelising like a hawk.  You are meant to leave it in the pot to simmer and bubble away without stirring.  It was colourless for so long that I went away from the stove for a few minutes, and when I went back to it, the caramel had gone just the wrong shade of brown.  I tipped my apples in and once a little cooler, I tasted an apple and it had the distinct taste of burnt sugar.  Boo.

I’ll try it again when they have granny smith apples in the supermarket, and will share a picture of the finished tarte but in the meantime here’s the recipe.

Ingredients (for two greedy people)

  1. 2-3 Braeburn or granny smith apples
  2. 1 tbs lemon juice
  3. 100g sugar
  4. 15g butter, cubed
  5. 1 sheet puff pastry
  6. Thick cream or ice-cream, to serve
  1. Peel and core the apples and cut into six slices.  Place in a large bowl and toss in the lemon juice to stop them browning.  Don’t try this with other red apples as they will lose their bite and go mushy ones they cook
  2. Preheat oven to 190C
  3. Place the sugar and 2 tbs water in an oven-proof frying pan over low heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar, then increase the heat to medium and cook for about five minutes without stirring until the sugar caramelises and is a light brown colour.  STAY WITH YOUR CARAMEL, it goes from colourless to burnt very quickly
  4. Add the butter and apples, coating the apples in the caramel and arrange nicely (they will be on top of the tarte once served). Be careful don’t touch the caramel because it’s hot
  5. Place the pastry over the apples, tucking any excess under the apples, like a blanket
  6. Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes until the pastry is cooked and golden brown
  7. Remove from oven and allow to rest in the pan for 10 minutes
  8. Carefully turn the tarte upside down onto a large plate
  9. Serve warm with cream or ice-cream