Fried Spring Rolls

  • Active Time 35m
  • Total Time 55m
  • Rating ****

Makes 36 spring rolls

The Vietnamese traditionally wrap these fried rolls in soft lettuce leaves, tucking shredded carrot, cucumber, mint and cilantro between the leaf and roll. The "roll-in-a-lettuce-roll" is then dipped into a sauce and eaten out of hand.


  • For Table Salad Platter:
  • 1 head butter (Boston) lettuce, leaves separated, carefully washed and dried
  • 1 bunch fresh mint, stemmed
  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro, stemmed
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and finely julienned
  • 1 English (hothouse) cucumber, peeled and finely julienned
  • For Spring Rolls:
  • 1 bundle dried bean thread noodles
  • 2 tablespoons dried small tree ear mushrooms
  • 1 cup finely julienned, peeled carrots
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 yellow onion, finely minced
  • 4 shallots, finely minced
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1 cup bean sprouts
  • 1 tablespoon Vietnamese fish sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 lb ground dark chicken meat or pork
  • 36 dried rice paper rounds, each 6 1/2 inches in diameter
  • 1 tablespoon sugar

  • Peanut or corn oil for frying

Companion recipe: Fish Sauce and Lime Dipping Sauce


Prepare the Fish Sauce and Lime Dipping Sauce (see recipe) and the table salad platter and set aside.

FOR SPRING ROLLS: place the noodles and tree ear mushrooms in separate bowls. Add warm water to cover to each bowl and let stand until soft, about 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, place the julienned carrots in a colander and sprinkle with the salt. Let stand for 10 minutes to drain. Squeeze gently to remove excess liquid. Drain the bean thread noodles and cut into 2-inch lengths. Drain and rinse the mushrooms; chop coarsely.

In a large bowl, combine the carrots, noodles, mushrooms, onion, shallots, garlic, bean sprouts, fish sauce, pepper, and chicken or pork. Using your hands, mix together well.

To form the rolls, first soften the rice papers: Dampen several clean kitchen towels with water. Fill a pie plate with cold water. Add the sugar and stir to dissolve it. Spread a damp towel on a flat work surface. Dip 1 rice paper round at a time into the water and spread it flat on the towel. Continue dipping and laying the rice papers in a single layer. When you run out of room, lay a damp towel on top of the rounds and continue, always alternating a layer of rice papers with a damp towel. Let the rice papers stand until pliable, about 1 minute or longer. For each roll, shape 2 tablespoons filling into a compact cylinder about 1 inch in diameter and 3 inches long and place along the lower edge of a wrapper. Fold the curved bottom edge up and over the filling in one tight turn. Fold the outside edges in, then roll up into a snug cylinder. Set on a baking sheet, seam side down, and cover with plastic wrap. Repeat with the remaining filling and wrappers.

To fry the rolls, pour oil to a depth of 1 1/2 inches in a large frying pan. Place over medium-high heat and heat to 350 degrees F. on a deep-frying thermometer. Using long chopsticks or tongs, lower a few rolls into the pan, leaving plenty of space between them. Fry, turning often, until golden brown and crisp, about 5 minutes. Transfer to paper towels to drain. Place on a platter and keep warm while frying the remaining rolls.

Serve the rolls hot or at room temperature with the salad platter and dipping sauce (see note above).

Recipe reprinted by permission of Weldon Owen. All rights reserved.

RecID 2419

nutrition information per serving

146 calories; 2g total fat; 15mg cholesterol; 490mg sodium; 24g carbohydrates; 1g fiber; 7g protein

These nutrition facts are calculated according to the ingredients listed in this recipe. Any substitutions will change these facts. Although we strive for accuracy, please note that food manufacturers occasionally change their food formulas, which could affect the calculations as shown.

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