11 January 2014

Steamed Prawn and Spring Onion Rice Rolls

Some days I wish I could pop out for Dim Sum, but the very few Chinese restaurant there are in Doha don't do Yum Char. One of my favourite dishes is steamed rice rolls - they come with various stuffings, beef and spring onion, pork and water chestnuts, and one of my favourites is quite simply prawns and spring onion with crispy pork skins on top. I've never made steamed rice rolls before so I thought I'd give it a go, after a couple of failed attempts, largely because I was using a glass tray, rather than tin or metal, they were easy to produce - incidentally the failed attempts tasted great, they just didn't look too pretty. The hero of the dish is the sauce, the rolls themselves provide the texture, the sauce packs a wollop of flavour, and the combination is sublime.

Steamed Prawn and Spring Onion Rice Rolls

  • 140 grams Rice Flour
  • 5 tablespoons Tapioca flour (or tapioca pearls, ground in a spice grinder)
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons cornflour
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 cups water
  • oil for greasing

for the filling
  • 300 grams raw prawns, peeled, deveined, and chopped
  • 4 spring onions, cleaned and chopped

for the sauce
  • 50ml light soy sauce
  • 50ml water
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 thai red chili chopped finely
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1cm thumb of ginger, julienned


1.   Mix the flours together, and add oil. Use your hands to rub in the oil, so that it resembles breadcrumbs and gets rid of any lumps. Add water gradually, stirring with a whisk to remove the lumps. Let the batter rest for 15 minutes and whisk again.

2.   Combine all of the sauce ingredients in a pot, heat over a medium heat until the sugar has dissolved.

3.   Cook the prawns over a medium heat, stirring well until pink. Set aside.

4.  To make the rolls, brush a metal pan with oil (I used a disposable foil takeaway container), pop into the wok set over boiling water for 1 minute to allow the bottom to heat. Mix the batter again and ladle in a small amount, spreading as thinly as you can. Sprinkle on the cooked prawns and spring onions. Cover and steam for 3 to 4 minutes until the batter is opaque and firm. 

5.   Remove from the heat, and using a spatula, carefully roll the rolls up as you remove them. The photos below show a plain roll, no filling, to show the method. The filled ones need to be as thin as you can to ensure they roll easily.

6.   Serve the rolls hot with a generous amount of the sauce poured over top. Adding extra spring onion and chillies (optional) for a garnish.

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