Eat IN BED: Summer Rice Paper Rolls with Kim Tran of So 9

Images by Andrew Butler

Words by Elisha Kennedy

The So 9 restaurant in Sydney’s Waterloo serves traditional Vietnamese street food in a cool, contemporary setting.

Co-owner Kim Tran worked in the fashion industry before opening So 9 in late 2015, “So 9 pays homage to my parents journey and sacrifice to bring our family to Australia as boat refugees and for keeping our Vietnamese culture alive through the food my mother cooked for us, and then for passing down the family recipes to my sister and I” she tells us.

The restaurant’s fit out reflects Kim’s love and interest in interior design, the space has been configured into three sectioned stations to reflect the restaurant specialty dishes. “I wanted to create a beautiful space where you can see and smell the food, and experience the theatre of preparing and cooking our traditional street food. My vision was to bring the street food feel of the food markets in Vietnam and translate that into to a modern space.” The food here can be described as exceedingly fresh Vietnamese soul food. Kim shares with us a delicious recipe for a summery, rice paper roll.

I wanted to create a beautiful space where you can see and smell the food, and experience the theatre of preparing and cooking our traditional street food.


“This recipe includes some of the most loved ingredients we use at So 9. To make the perfect rice paper roll do not soak the rice paper in the water too long. Be patient and wait for the rice paper to be malleable before rolling and don’t pile up the fillings, otherwise the rice paper will break.

“To get all the best Vietnamese/Asian ingredients you have to buy it from the Vietnamese grocery stores in Marrickville or Cabramatta. I love all the fresh herbs and Asian fruits and it’s always best to go early to get the freshest, top produce.”

Kim Tran's Seared Salmon Spring Rice Paper Rolls


300g salmon fillet

3 tablespoons black sesame seeds

3 tablespoons white sesame seeds

1 tablespoon salmon roe for garnish

6 rice paper sheets

1 green mango, peeled and julienned

60g rice vermicelli

¼ cup chopped fresh mixed mint leaves (Vietnamese mint, perilla and round mint)

1 Lebanese cucumber, halved crossways and cut into matchsticks

1 carrot, thinly julienned and pickled in vinegar, sugar and salt

4-5 edible flowers for garnish

3-4 lettuce leaves, torn

Dipping Sauce

1 tablespoons tamarind paste

1 tablespoon fish sauce

1 tablespoon warm water

½ tablespoon sugar

1 teaspoon lime juice

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 fresh chilli, roughly chopped

Combine tamarind paste, fish sauce, water, sugar and lime juice, and mix until sugar has dissolved. Add garlic and chilli to sauce to your liking.


1 small piece of fresh ginger, peeled and thinly julienned

1 tablespoon fish sauce

½ tablespoon sugar

1 teaspoon lime juice

1 teaspoon crushed garlic

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Combine the marinade ingredients in a bowl, add the salmon fillet and spread the marinade evenly over the salmon. Cover and leave in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Place sesame seeds on a plate. Press salmon into the sesame seeds to coat 1 side. Heat oil in a frying pan over medium high heat. Cook the salmon, seed side down for 2-3 minutes or until golden. Turn over to cook other side for 2 minutes or until cooked to your liking.

Thinly slice the salmon into pieces 5 mm wide.

Cook rice vermicelli noodles per instructions on packet.

Making one roll at a time, rehydrate the rice paper sheet in warm water for a few seconds. Then place on a clean work surface. Place in the middle of the rice paper sheet 3-4 salmon slices, lettuce, mixed mint, green mango, cucumber, pickled carrot, vermicelli noodles. Roll from the bottom up, folding in both sides to form a tight roll.

Cut roll into 3 pieces and garnish with edible flowers and salmon roe.

See more from Kim here.