Time: 45 minutes
(however sauce needs to rest for at least 3 days)
You can either have these as a appetiser or serve on top of a Bun aka Vietnamese Noodle Salad.
Nuoc Cham (the sauce)
This holy grail of a sauce is super simple to make and don’t think of it as something you’ll only use for this dish. It’s a dipping sauce that’s good for all BBQ meats and Asian salads. When I was younger I used to mix it with Kim Chi and had it with rice. Now with this sauce, you need to let it sit so that the flavours really come out. You can have it straight away but if you leave it for a few days or more, it’ll get even better!
This recipe is originally one I got from my friend’s Mum, I’ve tweaked it slightly to suit my palette so feel free to do the same. Using a large jar, add these ingredients in:
• 1 cup warm water
• 1/3 cup white sugar
• 1/3 cup white vinegar
• 1/2 cup fish sauce
• 2x cloves minced garlic
• 2x minced small chillies
• Juice of 1 lemon
Repeat this process until the jar is full.
You’ll wanted some in reserve for the next step to make the pickled vegetables.
• 200g pork mince
• 100g prawns (deshelled and diced)
• 1x tbs fish sauce
• 1x tbs sugar
• 1x tsp salt
• 1x tsp white pepper
• Handful of vermicelli (cooked and run under cold water, then cut into smaller pieces)
• 1x shallot minced
• 2x cloves of garlic minced
• Rice paper (Banh Trang)
• Vegetable oil for frying
Serve with (if you are eating them as an appetiser)
• Nuoc cham
• Thai basil
• Bean sprouts
Step 1: Mix all the ingredients thoroughly in a bowl (apart from the rice paper and vegetable oil)
Step 2: Pour some hot water on a plate and submerge a piece of rice paper in it. It usually takes about 20-30s for it to become soft.
Step 3: Remove the paper from the water and onto a clean, dry plate. Flatten the paper so there are no air bubbles (I like to leave it to sit for 15s or so for it to dry a little so it’s easier to handle)
Step 4: Scoop some filling onto the paper and use your fingers to mould into it into a cylinder. Fold the spring roll like you would a burrito – start with the bottom and fold up. Fold the left and right hand side inwards and then roll it upwards as tight as you can.
Step 5: Put a non stick pan with oil on low heat. Use enough oil that when the spring roll is in the pan, at least half of it will be submerged
Step 6: Make sure that the oil isn’t too hot, you want to cook them on low heat because the skins will bubble and pop if the oil is too hot. Turn them every now and then to get the same golden colour all around.
Step 7: Serve immediately with Nuoc Cham, lettuce, thai basil, bean sprouts (if you are eating them as an appetiser)