Vietnamese Spring Rolls with Nuoc Cham Sauce


makes 25
6 dried Chinese mushrooms, soaked in hot water for 30 minutes
225 g (8 oz) lean ground pork
115 g (4 oz) uncooked prawns, peeled, deveined and chopped
115 g (4 oz) white crabmeat, picked over
1 carrot, shredded
50 g (2 oz) cellophane noodles, soaked in water, drained and cut into short lengths
4 spring onions, finely sliced
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
30 ml (2 tbsp) fish sauce
juice of 1 lime
freshly ground black pepper
25 x 10 cm (4 in) Vietnamese rice sheets
oil for deep frying
lettuce leaves, cucumber slices and coriander leaves, to garnish

for the nuoc cham sauce

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
30 ml (2 tbsp) white wine vinegar
juice of 1 lime
30 ml (2 tbsp) sugar
120 ml (4 fl oz) 1/2 cup fish sauce
120 ml (4 fl oz) 1/2 cup water
2 red chillies, seeded and chopped


1. Drain the mushrooms, squeezing out the excess moisture. Remove the stems and thinly slice the caps into a bowl. Add the pork, prawns, crabmeat, carrot, cellophane noodles, spring onions and garlic.

2. Season with the fish sauce, lime juice and pepper. Set the mixture aside for about 30 minutes to allow the flavours to blend.

3. Mean-while make the nuoc cham sauce. Mix together the garlic, vinegar, lime juice, sugar, fish sauce, water and chillies in a serving bowl, then cover and set aside.

4. Assemble the spring rolls. Place a rice sheet on a flat surface and brush with warm water until it is pliable. Place about 10 ml (2 tsp) of the filling near the edge of the rice sheet. Fold the sides over the filling, fold in the two ends, then roll up, sealing the ends of the roll with a little water. Make more rolls in the same way until all the filling is used up.

5. Heat the oil for deep frying to 180°C (350°F) or until a cube of dry bread added to the oil browns in 30 - 45 seconds. Add the rolls, a few at a time, and fry until golden brown and crisp. Drain on kitchen paper. Serve the spring rolls hot, garnished with the lettuce, cucumber and coriander. Offer the nuoc cham sauce separately.

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