BBC HomeExplore the BBC
This page has been archived and is no longer updated. Find out more about page archiving.

Accessibility help
Text only
BBC Homepage
BBC Radio
BBC Radio 4 - 92 to 94 FM and 198 Long WaveListen to Digital Radio, Digital TV and OnlineListen on Digital Radio, Digital TV and Online

Radio 4 Tickets
Radio 4 Help

Contact Us

Like this page?
Send it to a friend!


Go to the Listen Again page
Street Food
Goi cuon
Summer rolls with prawns, crab, ginger, and mint

Serves 4-6

100g (3 ½oz) dried rice vermicelli (thin rice noodles)
½ cucumber
12 cooked fresh prawns (not frozen) peeled and deveined
3 tablespoons cooked white crabmeat (use fresh-picked crabmeat if possible)
10 fresh mint leaves, chopped
2 spring onions, cut into slivers
2 cm (3/4in) piece of fresh root ginger, grated juice of 1 lime
2 tablespoons light soy sauce
2 tablespoons fish sauce
12 or so rice paper wrappers (available from Asian grocers or gourmet food shops)
salt and freshly ground black pepper

Put the vermicelli in a large bowl and cover with boiling water. Leave to soak for about 5 minutes while you prepare the rest of the filling. Thinly slice the cucumber, leaving the seeds in the centre untouched. Stack the cucumber slices, then cut into thin matchsticks. If wrapping your summer rolls in a cone shape, lave the prawns whole; if using the more usual spring-roll shape, halve or finely slice if large. Mix everything except the vermicelli and rice paper wrappers in a bowl. Drain the vermicelli, cut into smaller lengths using kitchen scissors, and add to the bowl. Season with salt and pepper, and stir through. Adjust seasoning.

Soak the rice paper wrappers, about 5 at a time, in warm water for 20 seconds or until softened. (Be careful that they don’t stick together, as they tear easily.) Lay out 4 or 5 wrappers side by side on a clean damp tea towel on a flat surface – this keeps the wrappers pliable. Place a tablespoon or so of the filling on each wrapper about 2.5cm (1in) from the bottom edge and in the centre, leaving 2.5-5cm (1-2in) of wrapper on either side. To make a cone, fold one side of the wrapper towards the centre; to make a spring roll, fold both sides towards the centre. Fold the bottom edge facing you over the top of the mixture and, using firm pressure, roll up so the filling is enclosed. (Top up the cones with a little extra filling if needed.) Place on a tray covered with another clean damp cloth. Repeat the process until the filling has run out. Cover tightly with cling film until needed, to prevent the wrappers drying out.

Roast Pumpkin Paste

Serves 6-8

1 sweet firm-fleshed pumpkin, or butternut squash, about 1 kg (2 1/4lb)
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tablespoon ground coriander
2 tablespoons olive oil
juice of ½ lemon
salt and freshly ground black pepper

Roast the pumpkin whole in a preheated oven at 200°C (400°F/Gas 6) until soft and caramelized (40 minutes to an hour depending on the size). Do not make any cuts or incisions in the flesh because you will lose juice and flavour. Allow the pumpkin to cool, then cut in half. Scoop out the seeds and discard, then remove the soft cooked flesh and mash. Cut up about one-third of the cooked pumpkin skin. Finely chop, and mix with the pumpkin flesh.

Mix the garlic with the ground coriander. Heat a heavy pan and add the olive oil. Fry the garlic and coriander until fragrant. Add the cooked pumpkin and season well with salt and pepper. Add the lemon juice and taste. Adjust the seasoning as necessary. The flavours will be sweet and nutty, with a background of heat from the pepper, garlic, and coriander. The lemon juice provides the
mixture with an edge and definition. The pumpkin flesh will be sweet and bland, and can take a lot of seasoning.

Roasting the pumpkin whole means that the roasted skin imparts its delicious nutty smoked flavour to the flesh inside. It is similar to roasting aubergine for baba ghanoush.

Turshi Zardak
Carrot pickle

Makes 4 large jars

1 tablespoon olive oil
6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
3 fresh red chillies, seeded and finely chopped
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground allspice
3kg (6 1/2lb) carrots, peeled and finely grated
500g (1 lb 2oz) sugar
500ml (16fl oz) malt vinegar
salt and freshly ground black pepper

Heat the oil in a large heavy pan over a medium-high heat for 2 – 3 minutes. Add the garlic and chilli, and fry for a couple of minutes until fragrant. Sprinkle in the cayenne pepper, cumin, coriander and allspice. Cook for a further minute or two. Add the carrot, sugar, and vinegar, and gently simmer over a low heat for 40 minutes to 1 hour, or until the excess liquid has been cooked off and the mixture is thick and syrupy. Season with salt and pepper. The mix should be hot and spicy, but sweet with a pronounced sourness.

When it is ready, spoon the pickle into sterilized glass jars with tight-fitting lids. Seal while the pickle is still hot, to create a vacuum. Allow at least 24 hours for the flavours to settle before using. It will keep in the same manner as a chutney or relish if stored in a cool, dark place.

To enjoy a fantastic combination of flavours take any good quality flat bread and spread with the roast pumpkin paste, add some houmous or a little yogurt. Spoon on the carrot pickle, then scatter with some fresh coriander leaves, roll it all up and eat. The combination of everything in one mouthful makes for a fantastic set of tastes.

Salsa Verde
Green tomato salsa

Serves 6

6 unripe green tomatoes
1 onion
2 garlic cloves
4 fresh green chillies, deseeded and
finely chopped
½ bunch of fresh coriander leaves
roughly chopped
2 avocados
½ bunch of fresh parsley, roughly chopped
juice of 2 limes
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper

Cut the tomatoes in half. Scoop out the centre core of seeds and place in a sieve over a bowl. Chop the flesh into fine dice and set aside. Cut the onion in half, and grate the flesh so that you are left with a pulp. Set this aside also.

Cut the garlic in half and remove any green shoot from the centre (this is part of the garlic that is bitter and can repeat on you). Chop the garlic finely. Using a large pestle and mortar, pound the garlic with the green chilli and a pinch of salt to make a smooth paste. Add half of the coriander leaves and all of the onion to the paste. Still using the pestle and mortar, continue to pound until you have a rough green paste.

Using a wooden spoon, push the tomato cores and their seeds through the sieve into the pestle and mortar, extracting all the juice. Discard the seeds and tip any juice that has collected in the bowl into the paste.

Halve, peel, and stone the avocado. Cut the flesh into fine 1cm (1/2in) dice. Add the avocado and green tomato to the paste. Pound a couple of times so part of it is crushed and the remaining part remains as dice. Add the parsley and remaining coriander. Stir through. Next add the lime juice and olive oil, and mix together. Season well with salt and pepper. Check the seasoning. The
avocado makes it sweet, the lime juice and green tomato add the sour element, and the green chilli and black pepper supply heat. The salsa should have a real tang and zip to it. Adjust the green chilli content to suit your taste if necessary.

Serve in a bowl or on a sandwich, or spread on steak, grilled lamb, grilled chorizo, or sausages. It is great with just about anything.
© Tom Kime

Recipes taken from Street Food: Recreating the World's Most Authentic Tastes by Tom Kime, published by Dorling Kindersley Publishers Ltd, ISBN-10: 1405315806, ISBN-13: 978-1405315807

Listen Live
Audio Help

The Food Programme

Listen again

Previous programmes



Sheila Dillon
Sheila Dillon R4 The Food ProgrammePresenting The Food Programme has been Sheila's perfect job.

Message board

About the BBC | Help | Terms of Use | Privacy & Cookies Policy