Recipe: Mum Pham’s famous spring rolls

by - August 06, 2011

If I make you spring rolls, it means that I really like you because it’s a laborious task to make Mum Pham’s deliciously good looking and tasting spring rolls. There’s the finely chopping of everything in the mix, the delicate layered hand-rolling of every single spring roll, the frying and then washing herbs, lettuce, boiling noodle, pickling carrots, chopping cucumber and making dipping sauce.

Clearly, I don’t like you very much because I couldn’t be bothered making spring rolls just so I can take photos for my blog readers. Instead these are some photos of my spring rolls scavenged from my friends’ Facebook photos.

Making the spring roll filling: The smaller you chop filling ingredients, the better! Throw it all into a giant mixing bowl or giant pot as you:
  • Finely dice the onion
  • Shred the carrots, sweet potato and Yucca (you have no idea how much I LURVE my food processor for this step – it used to take me three hours to make the filling, now it takes me 1)
  • Soak the dried black mushroom in water for 10mins until soft then finely chop
  • Soak the glass noodles (same water is fine) just to soften it a tiny bit, which makes cutting into 2cm pieces with scissors easier. Or you can cut it while it’s hard and dry and see how much you can get in the bowl ‘cause most of it will go flying
  • Chop the water chestnut into 2cm x 0.5cm long bits – it’s labourious but this delicious chestnut gives the spring roll a real crunch that makes it worth it
  • Slice the pre-fried tofu into the same size bits as the water chestnut
  • Crack in some black pepper
  • Crack in two egg yolks on top of that - keep the egg white to seal spring roll pastry later
  • Dig in with your hands and mix it all together!
Now roll the spring roll or ‘spinner roll’ as my niece likes to call it. I like to trick my friends into coming over early to be part of the Phamly fun, sitting around rolling together. Really, it’s just manual labour. This video is the closest I could find to my method of rolling - don't  forget to use the egg white to seal!
The last step is to fry the spring rolls. The oil depth should be just a little less than the depth of a spring roll so that they don’t float about in the oil and you can line them up neatly. Cook until the pastry is golden brown then take out and put on paper towel or baking rack to get rid of some of the oil.

Spring rolls can be a picnic or party snack on its own or a dinner feast served with rice vermicelli noodles, bean sprouts, pickled carrots, chopped cucumber, mixed Viet herbs and plenty of Viet lettuce for rolling. Dip in Mum Pham’s delicious fish sauce mix.

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