Fried snapper with rice paper

Fried snapper with rice paper

Cá chiên bánh tráng

Real Vietnamese Cooking
Michael Fountoulakis

This dish is a fun and easy way to serve spring rolls: have your guests roll their own at the table. It fits in well with the communal spirit in Vietnam, where it is often prepared when entertaining guests at home. This recipe also works well with barbecued snapper.


Quantity Ingredient
2 green bananas
1 carambola, sliced lengthways into 5mm strips
1 pineapple, peeled and cut into 5 cm batons, not too ripe
50g roasted unsalted peanuts
1 x 600-700g snapper, gutted
rice flour, for dusting
vegetable oil, for deep-frying

To serve

Quantity Ingredient
600g dried rice vermicelli
18 rice paper sheets, about 18 cm in size
Classic dipping sauce, to serve


  1. Using a sharp knife, peel the outer layer of skin from each banana, leaving on a thin layer of the skin for texture. Cut the banana into thin strips and arrange on a platter with the carambola, pineapple and peanuts.
  2. Rinse the fish in a bowl filled with salted water. Check for and remove any scales. Using kitchen scissors, cut off the fins and trim the tail. Dry the fish thoroughly with paper towel.
  3. For the fish to cook evenly, make three cuts, about 1 cm deep, on each side. Dust the fish in the rice flour and shake off any excess flour.
  4. Heat about 13 cm of oil in a wok or saucepan. To test the oil, place the tip of a wooden chopstick into the oil - when bubbles slowly rise to the surface, the oil is hot enough to use. Carefully slide the fish in and fry for 8-10 minutes, until the flesh is cooked through and the skin is golden and crisp. Remove and drain well on paper towel. Place the fish on a platter and top with the coriander and dill.
  5. Meanwhile, soak the vermicelli in boiling water for 4-5 minutes. Gently stir to separate the noodles, then drain and refresh under cold water. Use kitchen scissors to cut the vermicelli into easy-to-manage lengths.
  6. Soften the rice paper sheets by dipping them one at a time into warm water for 1 second. Do not soak the sheets as they will become too soft and tear when rolled. Place on a flat surface, wait for 20 seconds, then soak up any excess water with a clean cloth.
  7. Invite your guests to take a sheet of the rice paper and top with the fish, noodles, herbs, fruit and peanuts, before rolling up into a spring roll and enjoying with the dipping sauce.
Real Vietnamese Cooking
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