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Spring Rolls

2 hr  
These Thai spring rolls use Vietnamese style rice paper wrappers (Thais also use Chinese style flour wrappers). You can use 8" circles to make long rolls, or larger circles quartered to make smaller shorter rolls. See Photo Gallery for examples.




Pork, lean
Mushroom, dry black
Bean threads, dry
Bean Sprouts, mung
Pepper black
Fish Sauce
Oil for frying
-- Garnishes
Lettuce Leaves
Mint Leaves
Cucumber slices
-- Serve with
Spring roll sauce (1)  
  1. Make your Spring Roll Sauce (see Note-1).
  2. Chop or grind PORK and SHRIMP fine, mix together.
  3. Soak MUSHROOMS in warm water 1/2 hour, stem and chop small. Soak BEAN THREADS in water 20 minutes, cut int 1" lengths. Mix both with Pork.
  4. Chop ONION fine, shred CARROT very fine and mix both with Pork.
  5. Cook BEAN SPROUTS in boiling water just a few minutes until pliable but not limp. Cut them into pieces about 1" long and mix with Pork.
  6. Mix Black Pepper and Fish Sauce into Pork
  7. Lay out a damp cloth napkin on which to work. Put a plate in the sink and run warm water into it (see Note-2). Soak a sheet of rice paper in the warm water until pliable (see Note-3), then move to the napkin to work. Do not over-soak You should be able to start another sheet soaking immediately upon transferring one to the towel.
  8. Fill and roll the spring rolls.
    • IF using 8" round rice paper put a sausage shaped dollop of filling near one edge. Roll the rice paper tightly over filling until half the circle is still flat, then fold the sides over the filling. Continue to roll up tightly.
    • IF using "quadrant" rice papers (quarters of a 12" round), soak two at a time. Lay one out on the napkin then the other the same way but overlapping 3/4" farther up. Put a dab of filling near the curved edge, roll once, fold the edges in and finish rolling.
    Set rolls aside on wax paper or oiled foil to rest.
  1. Heat about 1/2 inch of Oil in a large iron skillet (do not try to use a wok or kadhi) to about 375°F. Fry rolls four or eight at a time depending on the size of your skillet. Turn them a couple times until they are done and get a few brown spots (See Note-4). Remove from oil and drain on paper toweling.
  2. Stash the rolls in a warm oven for a while to settle the heat. They are dangerously hot inside at first.
  3. Arrange on a platter with desired garnishes and serve warm with individual bowls of Spring Roll Dipping Sauce. If you wish (particularly for parties) you can cut the rolls in half diagonally to make twice as many smaller pieces.
  1. Spring roll sauce:   Various dipping sauces are used in Thailand and Vietnam. Examples: Spring Roll Sauce #1 (Thai), Spring Roll Sauce #2 (Viet).
  2. Browning:   Rice paper wrappings do not brown much by time the rolls are done. If you want your rolls to brown more you have to use sugar water for soaking the rice paper - 1 t sugar / cup of water.
  3. Soaking:   Different brands of rice paper vary and some do not soften evenly. For instance, in my experience Double Parrot brand is rather uneven while Double Horses brand is quite even but takes longer to soften. If you have uneven paper, lay it out on the towel to start wrapping from the firm edge.
  4. Frying:   Cover the floor around your stove with newspapers and maybe some foil over nearby burners. The rolls will start to hiss and splatter when they are nearly done (that's when the filling starts to steam). Watch your temperature - the rolls do not cool the oil much so it's easy to go over-temperature. Keep it around 375°F. Olive pommace, rice bran and peanut oils are good for this job.
  5. U.S. measure: t=teaspoon, T=Tablespoon, c=cup, qt=quart, oz=ounce, #=pound, cl=clove in=inch, ar=as required tt=to taste
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