Smoked salmon and avocado rice paper rolls with wasabi mayo and nuoc nam cham

October 27, 2013 at 4:56 pm (Asian, Japanese, Recipes, Vietnamese) (, , , , , )

Rice paper rolls bring back so many memories of home.  Goi cuon were Mum’s go-to dish for a family get-together; the traditional Vietnamese salad rolls that she filled generously with pork, prawns, vermicelli and Chinese chives, to be dipped into sweet, not-so traditional hoi sin sauce.  Now, very un-traditional versions made with whatever I have on hand are my go-to for a quick, tasty (and relatively healthy) meal.

Easy to prepare and versatile, rice paper is a blank canvas for you to experiment with ways to produce maximum flavour with minimal effort.  And best of all, making them at home means you won’t have to fork out the $5-10 per roll that most restaurants are charging these days for their fancier variations.

This smoked salmon and avocado combination is guaranteed to impress dinner guests, with two dipping sauces that work equally well and are laughably easy to prepare; creamy wasabi mayonnaise and classic Vietnamese nuoc mam cham.

Smoked Salmon Wasabi Mayo Rolls

Wasabi Mayo

Ingredients (makes 8 rolls; serves 2 as a light meal)


  • 8 sheets rice paper
  • 1 cup finely shredded red or white cabbage
  • 1/2 cup grated carrot
  • 8 slices smoked salmon
  • 1 small avocado, halved and each half cut into 4 slices
  • 8 shiso leaves*

Wasabi mayonnaise

  • 3tbs kewpie mayonnaise
  • 3 tsp tubed wasabi (adjust to taste)

Nuoc mam cham

  • 1/4 cup fish sauce
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 2 tbsp caster sugar
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 bird’s-eye chili, finely chopped (adjust to taste)


  1. Set up your workspace : Fill a large shallow dish with hot water for softening the rice paper and grab 2 dinner plates, one for preparing the rolls and another for holding the finished rolls until you are ready to serve up.  Have some paper towel handy as well.
  2. To make the rolls : Take a sheet of rice paper and submerge into the hot water for 2-3 seconds (the rice paper will continue to soften as you are working so you don’t want to leave it in the water for too long).  Transfer to a plate and pat dry with paper towel.  Layer the filling onto the centre of the rice paper – start with a shiso leaf, then top with a slice of salmon, avocado, followed by the cabbage and carrot.  To roll it all up, the easiest way to start is by folding in the 2 sides of the rice paper that will form the ends of the roll so that the edges meet in the centre, then rolling from one of the ‘long’ edges.  This helps to keep the roll tight and prevents the filling from moving around.  Repeat for the remaining ingredients.
  3. For the wasabi mayonnaise : Stir the tubed wasabi paste through the mayonnaise until smooth and well combined.  Taste and add more wasabi if needed.
  4. For the nuoc mam cham : Place all ingredients except for the chili into a small saucepan over low heat and stir until the sugar has dissolved.  Add chili to taste.

* Shiso (sometimes called perilla, Japanese basil or beefsteak) is part of the mint family, a herb commonly used in Japanese cuisine that goes very well with sushi and sashimi.  Red shiso has a lovely anise flavour, while the green variety is a bit more ‘spicy’.  You can use mint in place of it.




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