Hanoi spring rolls or simply “nem” are a very popular dish and appear on almost every menu in Hanoi. Especially the Hanoians are very proud of this tasty dish which can either be eaten as the perfect starter or a side dish. These delicious and crispy spring rolls are different than the fried spring rolls most people know: They are made with rice paper instead of flour and egg or some kind of pastry.
Recipe for 6 Portions
1 pc (50 g)
Traditional dipping sauce:
Need another side dish? This delicious Vietnamese banana flower salad will make a good combination.
Chop the BEAN SPROUTS, CARROT, ONIONS and SPRING ONIONS. Peal and squeeze the SHALLOTS and chop them afterwards. Note: You can squeeze them quite easy by using the flat site of a big knife.
Soak the WOODEAR mushroom (usually it is sold dried) and the VERMICELLI in hot water until they become soft. Drain them and chop into small pieces.
Put all above mentioned ingredients in a bowl and mix them. Add the raw PORK. Separate the EGGS. Add the egg yolk and put the egg white aside. Add 1 tsp of SUGAR and 1 tsp of PEPPER. Mix everything very well. Congratulations: You now successfully prepared the stuffing of the spring rolls!
Traditionally the spring rolls are made with fresh rice paper, but you can also use dried one as this might be easier to purchase outside of Vietnam. Take one piece of RICE PAPER and dip it into a pan filled with warm water for a few seconds (you can skip this part if you have fresh rice paper). Place the rice paper on a wooden board and put 1 tbsp of stuffing on the lower side of the paper. Roll it until you have a nice spring roll. Make sure to fold in the sides at an early stage so the stuffing does not fall out later on. You can also use some egg white to “glue” the end of each roll together. The perfect size should be around 2 x 6 cm.
Time to deep fry the spring rolls. You can easily do it in a high pan or a wok by using a lot of sunflower oil. Once the oil is hot enough (hold some wooden chopsticks in it, if bubbles appear you can start frying) put the spring rolls inside and turn down the heat to medium. The spring rolls usually are fried in two steps: 1. Fry them until slightly brown and put them aside. We advise to put them on a grid or in a strainer so the spring rolls can loose some of the oil. 2. Right before you serve the spring rolls you should fry them a second time. This time on high heat. Once they have a nice golden/brown color the Hanoi spring rolls are well-done. They should rise to the top of the oil at this point.
For the dipping sauce mix the SUGAR, FISH SAUCE, VINEGAR and WATER. Stir it and add the chopped CHILI and GARLIC. Stir once more.
The Hanoi spring rolls can be served as a starter or a nice side dish to almost every Vietnamese dish. Just make sure they are served and eaten hot.