Vietnamese Imperial Rolls

  • images/show_102_vietnamese_imperial_rolls.jpg

Makes 4 servings

  • 1/2 cup julienned carrot
  • 1/2 cup julienned jicama
  • 1/2 cup julienned green onions
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup dried wood ear mushrooms, soaked to soften and chopped
  • 1 ounce dried cellophane noodles, soaked in warm water to soften, cut into 2-inch lengths
  • 6 ounces ground chicken
  • 4 ounces raw shrimp, peeled, deveined, finely minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • Black pepper, to taste
  • 12 rice paper rounds (6-inch diameter)
  • Cooking oil for deep-frying

Dipping Sauce

  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh red chili
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon packed brown sugar

  • 1 head lettuce, cleaned and leaves separated
  • 1 bunch Vietnamese mint sprigs (rau ram)
  • 1 bunch fresh mint sprigs

Directions

  1. Combine carrot, jicama, green onions and salt in a bowl. Toss well and set aside for 20 minutes. Using your hands, squeeze out excess liquid over a strainer and discard the liquid. Return mixture to the bowl.
  2. Add mushrooms, cellophane noodles, chicken, shrimp, sugar, soy sauce and pepper. Mix well.
  3. To make rolls: Fill a large bowl with hot water. Dip one rice paper round into water bowl until fully moistened (rice paper round should be pliable and soft). Place rice paper round on a clean flat work surface. Place about 1/4 cup filling in center of round. Lift bottom edge of round up and over filling. Roll away from you, one turn, enclosing filling completely. Fold in left and right sides and continue rolling to form a tight cylinder. Repeat with remaining rice paper rounds and filling.
  4. (At this stage, rolls can be frozen and reserved for later, or cooked to eat.)
  5. To fry: In a wok or stir-fry pan, add oil to a depth of 2 inches. Heat over medium-high heat to 325 degrees F. Add rolls, a few at a time, turning occasionally until lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Lift rolls out and place onto a paper towel-lined plate or cooling rack to drain.
  6. Combine dipping sauce ingredients in a small bowl. To serve, cut each roll diagonally in half and arrange on a platter with lettuce, rau ram and mint. Serve with dipping sauce on the side.