One For The Northern Hemisphere

Seeing it’s summer in the northern hemisphere, I thought those of you who live on that side of the world might like some nice healthy picnic food recipes.
So…below we have Vegetarian Rice Paper Rolls and an Asian Slaw (coleslaw).  You can add any meat you like to the rice paper rolls…shredded duck meat, chicken, pork or beef.  Don’t forget to take along an airtight container of dipping sauce, sweet chilli, hoisin or plum are a few suggestions.  If you’d like a more substantial picnic, a cooked chicken from a chargrill chicken shop and some flatbread would be put some chicken and asian slaw inside the flatbread, roll up, add some asian sauce or mayo and tuck in.
Mini sorrel leaves (like spinach)


Rice paper rolls are also great if you’re having friends around, you can slice the fillings in advance, arrange on a platter  and have your guests assemble themselves.  I’ve done this a few times and people love it.

This Asian Slaw recipe has peanut butter in the dressing..adds a lovely nutty flavour.

Finish up with some refreshing oranges and some chinese tea.

Rice Paper Rolls
Rice vermicelli – place in a bowl & pour in enough boiling water to  cover.  Soak 3-4 minutes then drain & refresh under cold water before draining thoroughly, place on serving dish
Rice paper wrappers 22cm

Suggested Fillings

Carrot batons
Cucumber batons
Avocado slices
Red capsicum slices
Mini sorrel leaves
Chicken, duck or meat of choice (if using)

Place a large bowl of hot water on the table to soak the rice paper wrappers.  Arrange your chosen fillings on a serving platter alongside the rice vermicelli, the wrappers and the dipping sauce.

Soften your rice paper wrapper in the hot water for 30 seconds – 1 minute then shake off any excess water.  Place the wrapper on a plate, top with a little vermicelli and the filling of your choice and roll up, flipping the ends over first and then tucking in the sides.


Asian Slaw
1 red onion, halved and thinly sliced
500g cabbage, thinly sliced
200g cabbage, thinly sliced
2 yellow capsicums, de-seeded and thinly sliced
handful of mint leaves
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
3 tablespoons lemon juice
100ml extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon sesame oil
4 tablespoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons soft brown sugar
1 tablespoon grated ginger
2 garlic cloves, crushed
4 tablespoons smooth peanut butter

Place the onion, both cabbages, the capsicum and the mint in a large bowl.  In a separate bowl, whisk together the vinegar, lemon juice, the oils, soy sauce, sugar, ginger, garlic and peanut butter.  Pour over the vegetables and toss to combine.   Serves 4-6

* If you only want to make a small salad, halve the amount of ingredients.

Recipes:  Rice Paper Rolls adapted from Bill’s Everyday Asian & Asian Slaw from Bill’s Everyday Asian, Harper Collins Publishers, Bill Granger.

Catherine x


  1. noreen

    hello catherine,
    that looks very healthy and delicious! i love the healthy treat at the end, too. i want to bookmark it and come back when i have a minute to think, shop, and create. maybe on the weekend. joy to you, and thanks for thinking of us over here in the heat!

  2. tina

    Have to echo Leah's comments.
    Totally brilliant! What a great way to demonstrate a recipe.

    Full of colour, full of flavours:) and beautiful photography.

    Haven't made those rice rolls in years. You've just inspired me.
    Thank you lovely x

  3. Lauren

    Oh gorgeous colorful photos, Catherine! You make them so bright and summery, which must be a feat in the middle of your winter!

    And I think we must be connected by some kindred spirit, first your beef rendang post as I was thinking about Asian food, and now, just as I said to Neel that we hadn't done spring rolls in a long time…here you are! It's been so hot here. I think

  4. alison abbott

    Catherine I love rice paper rolls and finally got up the courage to try them earlier this year. Once you get the knack, they are really quite habit forming!! You've got some great combo's that I want to try. Good idea for a family outing this weekend.

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