Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Spring rolls and my Vietnamese dipping sauce

I love spring rolls.  My family loves spring rolls.  In fact, I don't think I know anyone who doesn't love spring rolls!  They are so versatile - they are the perfect finger food at parties (I remember preparing 1,000 spring rolls for my oldest daughter's engagement party.  Even though there 130 guests, I did not get to eat even one spring roll as they just flew off the plate!) but they also make a delicious and hearty meal.  These spring rolls freeze extremely well too.  When you want to eat them, fry them while frozen as thawing them might cause you to break the skin and thus expose the meat.

I know it looks like a long recipe but I have included step by step photos to show you how to fold the spring rolls but remember, practice makes perfect!  Plus I am sure your family and friends will still eat a 'funny looking' spring roll!
Makes approximately 50 spring rolls

Filling Ingredients
- 50g vermicelli (bean thread) or glass noodles
- 500g chicken mince or pork mince (or a mix of both!)
TM version: Turbo chicken or/and pork pieces in TM bowl until desired consistency
- 10g dry black ear fungus (optional but gives the filling a little crunch)
- 2 spring onions, chopped
- Coriander, roughly chopped
- 2 tbs light soy sauce
- 2 tbs oyster sauce
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 tsp chicken powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Pepper to taste

Filling Method
- Soak the glass noodles in cold water for 20 minutes then using scissors, cut the noodles into small pieces.  Drain and set aside.
- Soak the dry black ear fungus (chopped into small pieces with the ends chopped off) in hot water for 20 minutes and clean it thoroughly.
TM version:  Place soaked fungus in the TM bowl and chop for 3 second on speed 5
- Mix all the filling ingredients together in a bowl thoroughly
TM version: Mix all the filling ingredients in the TM bowl on reverse on speed 4 for 5 seconds

Other Ingredients
- Vegetable oil to deep fry spring rolls in
- 1 packet of spring roll skin (50 pieces - the brand I use is in the photo and is available at any Chinese store)

Spring roll sealing paste Ingredients and Method
- 1 tbs plain flour
- 1 tbs cold water
- Mix the two ingredients together

Assembly method
- Peel the spring roll wrappers apart and cover them with a damp tea towel so that it won't dry out
- Place the wrapper on the table with the pointed end facing you then add 1 1/2 heaped tsp of the filling in the bottom corner
- Roll the wrapper over the filling very tightly
 - Fold the two sides in then continue to roll it up
 - Seal the spring roll with a bit of the flour paste

Cooking Method
- Pour enough oil for your wok or a saucepan to cover the spring rolls then place over medium heat
- Test if your oil is hot enough by using a wooden chopstick.  If your oil is hot enough, you will see bubbles start coming up onto the chopstick
- Deep fry the spring rolls until golden brown then drain onto the paper towel
Vietnamese dipping sauce Ingredients
- 1/2 cup sugar
- Juice of 2 limes (or 1 lemon)
- 2 tbs vinegar
- 1/2 cup boiling water and 1/2 cup cold water.
- 1/4 cup fish sauce
- 1 carrot grated
- 1 small radish grated (optional)
- Chilies (optional but gives it a bit of a kick!)

Vietnamese dipping sauce Method
- Dissolve sugar in hot water
- Add remaining ingredients in a bowl and mix well

If you want to eat the spring rolls as a meal, cook some vermicelli noodles and assemble with some spring onions mixed in hot oil from your deep frying saucepan (this helps to separate the noodles), then place some chopped lettuce, cucumber and herbs of choice (such as Thai basil or Vietnamese mint) on top.  Add your spring rolls (I cut mine with kitchen scissors in bite sized pieces) then pour the dipping sauce over your meal... and enjoy!


Thank you for this wonderful and easy appearing recipe!

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