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Source: Delightful Plate, Caroline’s Cooking
Vietnamese Fried Spring Rolls (Nem ran / Cha gio) have a delicious mix of crisp outside and tasty filling which includes noodles and pork. They make a great appetizer dipped in light nuoc cham sauce or added to other dishes. This dish is a must in any traditional Vietnamese banquets or celebrations, especially in the Lunar New Year celebration of Vietnam. We’re sharing the authentic way to make them as well as tips to ensure they turn out golden and crispy.
– Soak dried wood-ear mushrooms in hot water for 5 minutes or until rehydrated, then julienne. Soak glass noodles in room-temperature for about 20 minutes. Once softened, cut noodles into shorter pieces, about 2-3 inch long.
– Chop shrimps into smaller pieces but not too small. Place shrimp pieces and ground pork in a mixing bowl. Then add julienned wood-ear mushroom, beansprouts, carrot, glass noodles, shallots, salt, pepper and fish sauce. Give everything a quick mix. Then add 2 eggs and mix well to combine.
– Before wrapping the rolls, you can fry a small piece of filling to see if it is seasoned to taste and adjust if needed.
– To a small bowl, add about 1 cup of water and a few drops of rice vinege (about 1/8-3/16 teaspoon). Place a spring roll wrapper on a clean surface and use your fingertips to dab some water from the bowl to wet the wrapper.
– Once the wrapper sheet is pliable, place about 2½ tablespoons of filling near the top part of the sheet. Form the filling into a log shape, then fold the left and right sides of the rice paper over the filling. Fold the top part of the sheet over and then roll it up away from you. Set aside. Continue to wrap until you have used up all the filling.
– Place a frying pan over medium heat. Once the pan is hot, heat a generous amount of oil. When the oil is hot, add the spring rolls and fry in a single layer. You may need to increase the heat slightly after adding the rolls to ensure the oil is hot and bubbling (not too vigorously). Fry for 4-5 minutes until the outside is lightly golden, flip once or twice. Transfer to a wired rack or place on paper towel briefly to absorb excess oil.
– Let the rolls cool down for 5-10 minutes. Then heat the oil again over medium heat and fry the rolls the second time. This time, use a slightly higher heat than the first time to crisp them up. Fry for 2-3 minutes until the outside is deep golden and crispy. Transfer to a wired rack or place on paper towel briefly to absorb excess oil before serving.
– Serve right away with noodles, lettuce, fresh herbs and dressing.
Finely chop the chili and garlic. Combine all ingredients (water, lime, fish sauce, chili, garlic, sugar and salt) and stir so that the sugar dissolves. Use as a dipping sauce for the spring rolls – traditionally you wrap a roll in a lettuce leaf, along with a couple stems of herbs, before dipping.
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