Nem rán – Spring rolls

Nem rán (spring rolls) is more well-known outside of Vietnam than I expected. It is a common dish in Hue, especially for death anniversary offerings. My mother makes the filling with pork, wood-ear mushrooms, carrot strips, and glass noodles. When I was still living at home, it was always my task to make the rolls. I enjoyed this task because I just sat at a table and rolled them while my brothers ran back and forth helping construct the offering set. So, here is my vegan spring roll.
With the following ingredients, I make around 60 pieces and I store them in the freezer, separated with recycled paper, for a couple of meals.

Ingredients:

Rolls

  • 1 Firm tofu

    A bowl of spring-roll filing, rice paper, a bowl of water mixed with corn starch
  • 1 carrot
  • 100 (g) salted roasted peanuts (I use the salted peanut can be sold at any good German supermarket)
  • Glass noodles
  • A few stems of green onions
  • 2 dry wood-ear mushrooms (Be careful which size you pick, they grow much bigger after soaking them in water)
  • Rice paper (16cm)
  • Corn starch (optional)

Sauce (optional)

  • Oil
  • Garlic
  • Soy sauce
  • Sugar

Directions:

Spring Rolls before frying
  1. Dip the glass noodles and dry wood-ear mushrooms in water for a few minutes to soften them. When they are soft, cut them into short strips. (If you use sweet potato glass noodles, you need to cook them in boiling water and rinse them out in cold water)
  2. Mash the tofu, grind the peanuts, cut the carrot into short strips, and chop the green onions
  3. In a big bowl, mix them all well and season with black pepper and a bit of salt ( if you use unsalted roasted peanuts)
  4. Prepare a bowl of water mixed with corn starch. I add corn starch to make the rolls crunchier when frying. Adding corn starch is optional.
  5. On a big cutting board or any clean surface, lay out several sheets of rice paper and make them wet with corn starch water, it will take them a few seconds to absorb water and be soft for folding.
  6. Put 1 and 1/2 tsp of filling 2cm away from the edge of the rice paper, roll up the edge and then fold both sides in and keep rolling. Be careful not to use too much filling. The rolls will be expanded when frying and overstretch the paper. If you wish to see how it is rolled, please click here: IMG_2806vid

Dipping sauce:

  • Quick and tasty: Siracha chili sauce
  • Or: heat up 2 tsp of oil, add minced garlic, 1tbsp of soy sauce, and 1/2tsp of sugar. Bring it to boil, and turn off the heat.
If you wish to see how they are being fried, please click here: IMG_2809vid
Spring rolls, salad, and cucumber
I love to wrap the spring roll in a leaf of lettuce and dip it in the sauce. I hope you have fun making them.

 

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