Category: Off The Menu
Hits: 339
 Listen to the interview with Chef Charles Phan, author of The Slanted Door, Modern Vietnamese Food


Spring Rolls
                                     Makes 10 rolls; serves 10                                        



15 medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
8 ounces boneless pork shoulder
1 egg yolk
1⁄2 cup canola oil
1⁄4 teaspoon kosher salt
5 cups cooked rice vermicelli
Ten 12-inch round sheets of rice paper
1 head red leaf lettuce, leaves separated, washed, and dried
30 mint leaves
1 1⁄4 cup peanut sauce, for dipping


Preparation: Fill a pot with water and bring to a boil. Add the shrimp and blanch until the shrimp have turned bright pink, about 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon or a spider, transfer the shrimp to a colander and rinse under cold running water. Drain the shrimp on paper towels and cut each shrimp in half length- wise. Set aside.

Return the water to a boil and add the pork. Turn the heat down to low and simmer until the pork is cooked through, about 20 minutes. Check for doneness by removing the pork from the water and poking it with a chopstick; the juices should run clear. Let cool completely, then cut against the grain into slices 1⁄4 inch thick.

To make the mayonnaise, put the egg yolk in a large mixing bowl and whisk well. Pour the shallot oil into a measuring cup with a spout and begin adding the oil to the egg yolk a few drops at a time, whisking constantly until the mixture thickens and emulsifies. Continue to add the oil in a slow and steady stream, whisking constantly, until all the oil is incorporated. The mixture will be very thick. Whisk in the salt and set aside.

Fill a large bowl with very hot water. Dip one sheet of rice paper halfway into the water and quickly rotate to moisten the entire sheet. Lay the wet rice paper on a flat work surface. Arrange one lettuce leaf over the bottom third of the rice paper, flattening the lettuce to crack the rib. Spread a generous teaspoon of the mayo over the lettuce, then top with three mint leaves placed end to end and a few slices of pork. Top with about 1⁄2 cup of the noodles.

Fold in the left and right sides of the rice paper, then fold the bottom edge up and over the filling tightly and roll toward the top end one full turn, enclosing the filling completely. Place three pieces of shrimp, cut side up and end to end, in a row on the rice paper, then roll another turn to enclose the shrimp. Continue rolling as tightly as possible toward the top edge, tucking in the sides, until you have a tight cylinder. Repeat with the remaining rice paper and ingredients.

The rolls can be made up to two hours in advance. Cover with a damp towel until serving. Just before serving, cut each roll crosswise into thirds. Serve with peanut sauce.