Rice paper rolls with cheats quick and easy chinese style pork

This Desperado Dinner is an inventive take on a traditional recipe!

Like most desperado dinners this recipe / meal was borne out of necessity.  This time because I belatedly realised I still had slow cooked pork fillet in the fridge and if it wasn't eaten today it would need to be thrown away.

It was 'desperado' as I couldn't think of anything to do with pork other than a tomato-based dish, and I couldn't face another one of those!

Then I remembered my current addiction to rice paper rolls - which I've just learnt to make. (Sooooo easy - why didn't I know about these before!)  Which is when the recipe on the back of the rice paper rolls packet came to the rescue!

This recipe on the back of the rice paper packet suggested using 'chinese style pork fillet' - or char sui.  This sounded exactly like what I was feeling like, but didn't have a name for! And definitely more interesting than plain pork fillet or fillet with a tomato-based sauce.

So off I went to research recipes for char sui - only to discover:

  • this really was what I felt like eating
  • I didn't have any of the ingredients required to make a traditional char sui marinade
  • I do want to make it in the future! And if I do so I will follow this recipe, which is on a great new blog I discovered recipetineats.com

Either way this 'quick and dirty' meal was born - great flavours - but done very quickly and simply. It's definitely not true to the recipe, which requires overnight marinating or true Char Sui, which required a lot of ingredients I didn't have,  but as a way to reinvent leftovers into an interesting, delicious meal - it's a winner.  I did have garlic and ginger and soy (Tamari) so I ended up settling on a recipe from bestrecipes.com.auBelow is how I modified this recipe to suit the ingredients I had and to make it for one serving.



  • I combined all the ingredients for the 'marinade' in a jar, then poured this into the pan, heated it gently, then tossed the pork in it. An alternate way to cook it would be to heat a small amount of sesame oil (1 tsp) in a pan and gently cook the garlic and ginger for a minute or so before adding the soy sauce, cooking that for 1 - 2 minutes before finally adding the brown sugar. Cooking the sauce for a final few minutes, so it is just beginning to get sticky, before adding the pork.

Hacks and Swaps

  • Don't have red capsicum or cucumber - finely chopped red cabbage, cabbage or carrot would also go really well with this.
  • Coriander would be great her to add.
  • Making pulled pork - this is such a versatile meat to cook, or have in the freezer. It is very simple to make, simply put in the slow cooker or oven tightly covered in alfoil with water or stock for a couple of hours. Leave a note in the comments section if you would like a recipe.


  • How to roll rice paper rolls- this is a link to an article in Good Food that has 19 pictures showing step by step how to assemble rice paper rolls and has a good list of tips.

Recipe for Chinese-Style Pulled Pork Rice Paper Rolls for One Person



2 Tbs soy sauce (Use Tamari to make Gluten Free)

1TBS brown sugar

1 clove garlic (smashed or minced)

1tsp grated ginger

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

Rice Paper Rolls

Finely sliced spring onion, cucumber and red capsicum (sufficient to fill 4 rice paper rolls, or however many you feel like eating)

Diced avocado

4 rice paper roll sheets

100 grams shredded pork fillet


To make the sauce, combine all the ingredients in a jar and shake until until mixed

Heat a small pan on medium heat, then pour sauce from the jar into the pan and heat for about 1 minute until it just begins to bubble.

Lower the heat, add the pork and cook through until the pork is warm.  You will need to move the pork quickly around the pan so that all the pork is mixed in with the sauce. You want it to gently caramelise without burning.

Once the pork is warmed through and mixed with the sauce - about 2 - 3 minutes remove the pork from the stove top.  If you want cold rice paper rolls wait for the pork to cool before preparing your rolls, otherwise you can immediately begin assembling your rolls.

I started with pork, then added the spring onion and cucumber, followed by the red capsicum and avocado.

This made 4 rolls, which was a good amount for a dinner.

I chose not to have a dipping sauce, but sweet chilli sauce, or some other dipping sauce would be a nice accompaniment.



  • Note that this only just made enough to cover and warm the shredded pork. If you want a more 'sauce-y' effect, I would use the quantities in the original recipe.  Although it says the recipe is for 4