Fried spring rolls

Fried spring rolls

By
From
Vietnamese Street Food
Serves
6
Photographer
Michael Fountoulakis

The humble spring roll is sometimes used as a metaphor for a good marriage, a wonderful indication of the central role food plays in Vietnamese culture. Wedding speeches, particularly in the south, refer to the recipe in all kinds of symbolic ways. The elements of a good spring roll have to stick together, as do the partners in a marriage. Even the frying oil stands in as the symbol of romantic passion: if it is too hot, it will burn whatever it touches.

Jicama is a starchy root vegetable that can absorb a variety of flavours and is mainly used for its crunchy texture, which is similar to that of water chestnuts or nashi pears.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
4 dried wood ear mushrooms
50g cellophane noodles
1 small jicama
400g pork mince
100g crab meat
2 red asian shallots, finely diced
1 egg
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
oil, for deep-frying
* classic dipping sauce [rid:7735], to serve
12 large rice paper wrappers
or 24 small rice paper wrappers

Method

  1. Soak the mushrooms in warm water for 20 minutes. Drain the mushrooms and squeeze out any excess water. Remove the stems and thinly slice the caps.
  2. Soak the noodles in hot water for 1 minute, then drain and refresh in cold water. Drain and cut the noodles into 4 cm lengths.
  3. Peel and grate the jicama, then pat it dry with paper towel to remove any excess moisture.
  4. Put the sliced mushrooms, noodles, jicama, pork, crab, shallots, egg and black pepper in a bowl and mix until well combined.
  5. Dip a rice-paper wrapper in warm water for 1 second. Do not soak it as it will become too soft and tear when rolled. Place the wrapper on a flat surface. Wait for 20 seconds, then place 2 tablespoons of filling on the bottom third of the wrapper. Lightly squeeze the mixture to expel any air bubbles, and form the mixture into a cylinder. Bring the bottom of the wrapper up over the filling, fold in the sides and then roll up. Set aside, seam-side down, while you prepare the remaining spring rolls.
  6. Heat the oil in a deep frying pan or wok and deep-fry the spring rolls in batches until golden and crispy.
  7. Serve with the dipping sauce.
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