Find Phan’s recipe for Pork and Shrimp Spring Rolls below.
Pork and Shrimp Spring Rolls
(Reprinted from Vietnamese Home Cooking by Charles Phan. Copyright © 2012. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Random House, Inc.)
Makes 10 rolls, enough to serve 10 people as an appetizer
• 10 ounces dried rice vermicelli
• 15 medium-size shrimp, peeled and deveined
• 8 ounces boneless pork shoulder
• 1 egg yolk
• ½ cup shallot oil or canola oil
• ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
• 30 fresh mint leaves
• 1 head red leaf lettuce, leaves separated
• 10 (12-inch) rice-paper rounds
• Peanut sauce, for serving (see below)
1. Bring a saucepan filled with water to a boil over high heat. Add the rice vermicelli and cook until they are tender yet still have some bite, according to package directions. Drain the noodles, rinse them under cold running water until cool, then rinse under very hot running water before rinsing them a second time under cold running water. This cold-hot-cold rinse prevents the noodles from sticking together and breaking. Set the noodles aside.
2. Refill the saucepan with water and bring to a boil over high heat. Add the shrimp and cook for about 3 minutes, until bright pink. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the shrimp to a colander and rinse under cold running water. Transfer to paper towels to drain. Cut each shrimp in half lengthwise and set aside.
3. Return the water to a boil and add the pork. Decrease the heat so the water is at a simmer and cook for 20 minutes, until the meat is cooked through. Transfer to a plate and poke it with a chopstick; the juices should run clear. Let cool completely, then cut against the grain into 1/8-inch-thick slices. (The meat can be cooked a day ahead, covered, and refrigerated. Slice just before using.)
4. To make the shallot mayonnaise, put the egg yolk in a bowl, and set the bowl on top of a dry kitchen towel. Pour the shallot oil into a measuring cup. Whisk the yolk well, then begin adding the oil, one droplet at a time at first, until the mixture thickens. Continue to add the oil, drop by drop and whisking constantly, until the mixture is well emulsified and thick. Add the remaining oil in a steady stream, whisking constantly, until all of it has been incorporated. The mayonnaise will be very thick. Whisk in the salt and set aside.
5. Put the shrimp, pork, lettuce, mint, and mayonnaise within easy reach of your work surface. Fill a large bowl with very hot water. Working with 1 rice-paper round at a time, dip it into the hot water until pliable. This will take only about 5 seconds. Remove the round from the water and spread it flat on the work surface.
6. Lay 1 lettuce leaf over the bottom one-third of the rice-paper round, flattening it to crack the rib. Spread a generous teaspoon of the mayonnaise over the lettuce, then top with 3 mint leaves, arranged end to end, and a few slices of pork. Top with about ½ cup of the noodles.
7. Fold in the left and right sides of the rice paper, then lift the bottom edge up and over the filling. Tightly roll the rice paper away from you one turn, enclosing the filling completely. Arrange 3 pieces of shrimp, cut side up and end to end, in a row on the rice paper, then roll another turn to enclose the shrimp. Continue rolling as tightly as possible, tucking in the sides, until you have formed a compact cylinder. Place the roll on a platter or baking sheet and cover with a damp kitchen towel to keep moist. Repeat with the remaining rice paper and filling ingredients. The rolls can be made up to 2 hours in advance. Refrigerate them, covered with the damp towel, until serving.
8. Just before serving, cut each roll crosswise into thirds and arrange on a platter. Serve the peanut sauce in small bowls for dipping.
Makes about 2 cups
• 1 cup sweet (glutinous) rice
• ½ cup roasted peanuts
• 2 cloves garlic
• 1 Thai chile, stemmed
• 3 tablespoons red miso
• 3 tablespoons ketchup
• 3 tablespoons canola oil
• 3 tablespoons sugar
• 2 tablespoons vegetarian stir-fry sauce
• 1½ teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
• ½ teaspoon toasted sesame oil
1. Rinse the rice in a fine-mesh sieve until the water runs clear, then transfer to a heavy-bottomed pot with a lid. Add 2 cups water and bring to a boil over high heat. Decrease the heat to low, cover, and cook for about 15 minutes, until the water is absorbed and the rice is tender. Remove from the heat and let stand, covered, for 10 minutes. Then uncover, fluff with a fork, and let cool to room temperature. Alternatively, the rice can be prepared in a rice cooker.
2. In a food processor, combine the cooled rice, peanuts, garlic, chili, miso, ketchup, canola oil, sugar, stir-fry sauce, lemon juice, and sesame oil and process until the mixture is a fine paste. Thin with water (about ½ cup) until the texture is smooth and creamy. Transfer to a bowl, cover, and refrigerate until ready to serve. The sauce will keep, refrigerated, for up to 4 days.