Make the dipping sauce by pounding the chilli, ginger and sugar together using a pestle and mortar, then stir in the fish sauce and lime juice. Alternatively, just blitz everything together in a mini blender.
Soak the rice noodles in a bowl of hot water for 15 mins, then drain well. Assemble all the prepared filling ingredients – once you start, you will need everything to hand.
When you are ready to make the rolls, dip one of the rice papers in a bowl of hot water, moving it around until the whole wrapper is soft – about 10-
Place a rice paper wrapper on a board and at one edge of the wrapper, add a few mint leaves, then three prawn halves.
Place some lettuce on top of the shrimp, followed by some noodles, a few strips of carrot and cucumber, some more herbs and finally some beansprouts. Don’t overfill the pancakes or they will be hard to roll.
Lift the edge of the rice paper wrapper nearest to you over the filling and, holding the filling in position with your fingers, start rolling up tightly.
When you’re about halfway, fold the ends of the rice paper in and over the filling so that it is completely enclosed.
Keep on rolling tightly until the whole rice paper wrapper is rolled up. To serve, cut the rolls in half on the diagonal.
For the dipping sauce
1 small red chilli (deseeded if you don't like it too hot), finely chopped
1 tbsp finely chopped ginger
1 tbsp golden caster sugar
3 tbsp fish sauce
juice 1 lime
For the rolls
100g vermicelli rice noodles or bean thread noodles
12 x 20cm round rice paper wrappers (see tip, below)
handful mint leaves
18 cooked shrimp, cut in half lengthways
1 carrot, cut into thin batons
a handful coriander
a handful Thai basil
a handful long chives