Spring Rolls

Twenty years ago, I decided to open a restaurant; this spring roll recipe is something my mom developed. It's a classic dish from Vietnam but also very unique to my restaurant, Slanted Door. Reprinted with permission from The Slanted Door by Charles Phan, copyright (c) 2014. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Penguin Random House, Inc.
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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 45 min
  • Active: 30 min
  • Yield: 10 servings
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Ingredients

Spring Rolls

3 large egg yolks

1/2 cup shallot oil or canola oil

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

15 medium shrimp, cooked, peeled and deveined

8 ounces boneless pork shoulder, cooked and cooled, simmer in salted water for 20 minutes or until cooked through

1 head red-leaf lettuce, washed and dried

10 sheets rice paper, 12-inch round

5 cups rice vermicelli, cooked, rinse with cold water after cooking

1 bunch mint

Peanut Sauce

1/2 cup roasted peanuts

2 cloves garlic, peeled

3 tablespoons red miso

3 tablespoons ketchup

3 tablespoons sugar

Juice of half a lemon

2 Thai chilies, finely chopped, use 1 chili for less-spicy sauce

1 cup sweet glutinous rice, cooked

2 tablespoons vegetarian stir-fry sauce, or oyster sauce

1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil

Directions

  1. Make mayonnaise: Put the egg yolks in a large mixing bowl and whisk well. Begin adding the oil to the yolks a few drops at a time, whisking constantly to emulsify. Continue adding the oil in a slow, steady stream, whisking constantly, until all the oil is incorporated. The mixture should be very thick. Whisk in the salt and set aside.
  2. Slice the shrimp in half lengthwise; set aside. Thinly slice the pork against the grain; set aside. Trim lettuce at either end so that the remaining leaves are about 7–8 inches long; set aside.
  3. Fill a large bowl with hot water. Dip one sheet of rice paper a quarter of the way into the water, then quickly rotate to moisten the entire sheet. Lay the wet rice paper on a cutting board (lightly oiled, optional). Lay one lettuce leaf over the bottom third of the rice paper, flattening the lettuce to crack the rib; on top of the leaf, layer a generous teaspoon of mayonnaise, about ½ cup of noodles, a few slices of pork, and three mint leaves. Fold in the left and right sides of the rice paper; fold the bottom edge up and over and roll tightly toward the top edge, completely enclosing the filling. Line up three pieces of shrimp, cut side up, in a row on the rice paper, then continue rolling as tightly as possible toward the top edge, tucking in the sides, until you have a firm cylinder. Repeat with the remaining rice paper and ingredients. Cut each roll crosswise into thirds just before serving. (Note: The rolls can be made up to 2 hours in advance. Cover with a damp towel until cutting and serving.)
  4. For the peanut sauce: In a food processor, grind the peanuts to a chunky powder. Add smashed garlic cloves, miso, ketchup, sugar, lemon juice, and chilies to the peanuts; continue grinding, adding a bit of water to even out the consistency. Add the cooked rice; continue processing, thinning with water as necessary, until the sauce becomes smooth and creamy. Check the flavor, then add the stir-fry sauce and sesame oil and continue processing to combine. Transfer into a bowl. (Note: Peanut sauce can be covered and refrigerated for up to 3 days.)