This tasty treat can be paired with a salad platter or a fresh plate of bun (rice noodles) with the same nuoc mam dressing.

Recipe: Vietnamese Chả Giò aka Nem Rán

The crispiest, fried Hanoi spring rolls paired with a platter of herbs and greens. Only acceptably served with traditional nuoc mam dipping sauce and ice cold beer.

This version is adapted from Jerry Mai’s cookbook, Street Food Vietnam: Noodles, salads, pho, spring rolls, banh mi.

Ingredients

Rice paper sheets, a widely available brand is Banh Trang

Full container of vegetable or peanut oil for deep-frying

Nuoc mam dipping sauce (recipe below)

Filling:

1 lbs of ground pork

75 grams of wood ear mushrooms, roughly chopped*

50 grams of cellophane noodles, cut with shears

25 grams of shredded carrots

2–3 cloves of garlic, finely minced

2 tablespoons of fish sauce

2 teaspoons of granulated white sugar

1 teaspoon of ground white pepper

Salad platter:

1 bunch of cilantro

1 bunch of green onions

half a bunch of Thai or purple basil

2 heads of Little Gem, red leaf lettuce or Bibb lettuce, cored and separated

Couple handfuls of spicy arugula (specifically Plenty Baby Arugula)

*When cleaning wood ear mushrooms, soak them in hot water for 15–20 minutes to remove dirt and debris. Drain on paper towels before cutting into pieces.

Directions

  1. Soak the cellophane noodles in hot water for 15 minutes until they are pliable. Then drain the water and cut them into bite size pieces with kitchen shears.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the pork, mushrooms, cooked glass noodles, carrots, garlic, fish sauce, sugar, and white pepper. Working with your hands, mix until everything is evenly distributed.
  3. Heat the cooking oil to 350 degrees.
  4. Dip the rice paper into a bowl of cold water, transfer to a clean work surface. Place 1 heaping tablespoon of the mixture onto the center of the rice paper, fold in the sides and then roll up tightly like a doobie. Making sure you keep as much of the air out as possible — otherwise it will pop in the hot oil.
  5. Fry in batches, cook for 8–12 minutes or until they are GBD- golden brown and delicious. Once extracted, drain on paper towels. Repeat.
  6. Using the lettuces as a base, make a wrap, adding some herbs in between before dipping into the nuoc mam.

For the Nuoc Nam Dipping Sauce

  1. Mix 3/4 cup of water, 4 tablespoons of sugar, 4 tablespoons of fish sauce, juice from 1 lime, 2 chopped cloves of garlic, and 1 chopped bird’s eye chili

Hapa Southerner living in San Francisco | North Beach. Documenting recipes, collecting cookbooks, and writing. Marketing by day.