I really liked spring rolls before my trip to Vietnam. Since I have returned, it is a full-on love
affair, bordering on obsession! These little cylinders of deep fried yummy goodness give me pure joy. I learned to fully appreciate their delicateness and unique flavour throughout Vietnam, where they are a staple in many meals and slightly different in each region. I can’t get enough of them.

Spring rolls have different names depending on where you are in Vietnam, highlighting regional differences in size and ingredients:

– In the North, they are called Nem (and this is the more widely used term across the country)

– In Central areas they are called Cha Cuon

– In the South they are called Cha Gio

– Everywhere they are packed with flavour and incredibly delicious!

 

 

My new friend Minh has graciously offered me this recipe for spring rolls – enjoy!

Vietnamese Spring Rolls

Ingredients:

– Uncooked pork (substitute crab, shrimp or chicken)
– Rice vermicelli
– Bean sprouts
– Chicken or duck egg yolk
– Julienned jicama and/or carrots
– Chopped mushrooms

Preparation:

1. Chop the meat into very small pieces
2. Dip the rice vermicelli in water for 20 minutes, then drain
3. Mix the first five ingredients together in a bowl
4. Put a generous dollop of the meat mixture at the bottom end of one rice paper
5. Roll half way, then fold the end corners in, and continue rolling towards the top of the rice paper
6. Deep fry the spring rolls until the rice paper coat turns crispy and golden brown

* eating: dipped in fish sauce (mixed with lemon juice, garlic, chili pepper)

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