Fried Spring Rolls


1 ounce cellophane noodles or bean threads (they're m
4 ounces lean ground beef
4 ounces canned crab meat, picked over
4 shallots, minced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 medium onion, minced
1 cup fresh bean sprouts
2 tablespoons nuoc mam or nam pla (Vietnamese or Thai 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 egg


Soak noodles in warm water for 30 minutes. Drain, then cut into 1 inch lengths. Combine noodles with all the remaining filling ingredients and, using your hands, blend together well.
Assembly and frying:1/2 cup sugar24 (8 1/2 inches each) rice paper rounds Canola or peanut oil
Combine bean sprouts, mint leaves, cilantro and shredded carrot into a "salad."
Just before assembling rolls, set up a salad roll "station." Fill a large mixing bowl with hot water. If necessary, keep some boiling water handy to add to the bowl if the temperature drops below 110 degrees. Choose an open area on the counter and arrange the items in the order used; the rice paper sheets, the hot water, a damp, clean dish towel and a platter holding the drained noodles, the "salad" and the shrimp.
Working with one rice paper sheet at a time, dip one sheet, edge first, in the hot water and turn it to wet completely, about 10 seconds. Lay the sheet down on the clean dish towel, making sure it's not wrinkled or bunched. Top with a second dish towel and allow to sit covered for a couple of minutes. You can't leave the wrappers too long, but you can try to work with them too quickly - you'll be able to tell if any of the edges are still crisp when you try to work the wrapper. This isn't difficult, and you will get the hang of it after a few tries. Actually, it's much like dealing with soft contact lenses - you can even "lose" the wet rice paper on the towel because it becomes clear when wet.
Remove the top dish towel. On the bottom third of the rice sheet, the end closest to you, spread about 2 tablespoons of the cooked noodles. Cover with an equal amount of salad. Roll this stuffing up with only one turn forward. Then, lay two or three of the shrimp halves, in a line, on the part of the roll closest to the remaining flat rice paper. Tuck in the two sides of the rice paper so you've now got a cylinder. Roll the paper closed. If the roll is uneven, place your hand on the roll as if you were rolling a pencil on a table, and
Heat oil, at a depth of 1 to 1 1/2 inches, to 325 degrees. Cook only a few rolls at a time so the oil temperature stays constant and there's enough room for the oil to circulate and all sides of the rolls to cook.
Cook until crisp and golden. Drain on paper towels. Keep warm in a low oven while frying remaining rolls. Serve with the following dipping sauce and herbs.
These rolls should be eaten immediately, as the skins become tough and soggy after they cool.




Rolls can be made a few hours in advance and stored at room temperature in an airtight container lined with a damp but not wet paper towel. Don't refrigerate, or the rice paper will become tough.

Accompaniments: Fish sauce: combine 1 small chili (typically a Thai bird chili), chopped fine and seeded; 2 tablespoons sugar; 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice; 1/4 cup vinegar; 2 small crushed garlic cloves; and 1/4 cup fish sauce. Float a grated or thinly sliced carrot in the sauce. Garnish with 1 bunch mint, chopped or bunch cilantro, chopped, for garnish



24.0 servings


Monday, November 30, 2009 - 4:28pm


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