In 2016 we spent 10 days in an awesome little guest house just outside Hoi An called Hoi An Trust Villas. Our host Bee was so warm and welcoming and really made out stay. While there Bee organised a little cooking class in the kitchen of the guest house. Among a few other treats we had the pleasure of making deliciously crispy pork and mushroom spring rolls. Using vermicelli rice paper meant they were extra crunchy providing a great contrast to the juicy filling. Here is the recipe.
Crispy Vietnamese spring rolls: Ingredients (makes 20-25 spring rolls)
For spring rolls
300g pork mince
1 cup worth of pigs ear mushrooms, finely diced*
1 carrot, peeled and diced finely
1 medium potato, peeled and diced finely
1 small taro (or portion the same size as the potato), peeled and diced finely
6 small shallots, peeled and finely diced
1/2 tsp chicken stock powder / 1/2 chicken stock cube, crushed
1 packet vermicelli rice paper**
150mL vegetable oil for frying
1 egg yolk, beaten
Bowl of cold water for dipping the rice paper***
For dipping sauce
2 Tsp fish sauce
2 Tsp water
2 tsp white sugar
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 small red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
Juice of half a lime
Crispy Vietnamese spring rolls: Method
- Combined pork, mushroom, carrot, potato, taro, shallots and stock powder in a bowl and mix until well combined.
- To make spring rolls, first dip each rice paper into the cold water for a few seconds only and then lay flat. Take the edge of the rice paper closest to you and fold away from you so that a little under a quarter of the rice paper is folded over on itself.
- Add a tablespoon of the filling on top of the folded section ensuring not to get too greedy otherwise your spring roll will explode. Fold the left and right sides of the rice paper over your filling.
- Roll the rice paper and filling away from you and then seal the final edge with a little bit of egg yolk. Your finished spring roll should be about 7-8cm long and no more than 3cm in diameter. Repeat the rolling process until all your filling is used up.
- For dipping sauce, combine all ingredients and give a good stir to ensure the sugar is all dissolved. Set aside.
- Shallow fry the spring rolls in oil over a medium to high heat, turning regularly until all sides are nicely browned.
*NOTE: Oyster mushrooms would probably be our preferred substitute if you can’t find pigs ear mushrooms. Any mushroom will do the trick though.
**NOTE: Normal rice paper will work just fine but we really liked using the vermicelli rice paper for it’s crunchy texture.
***NOTE: We used to think that you needed to use hot water to make spring rolls. In reality a quick dip in cold water is much better as it maintains the integrity of the rice paper.