Vietnamese cuisine is renowned for its vibrant flavors and fresh ingredients. Among the various mouth-watering dishes, Vietnamese Fried Spring Rolls stand out as a popular choice for their crispy exterior and delectable fillings. These golden parcels of goodness are enjoyed as appetizers or main courses and are often served with a variety of dipping sauces. In this article, we will dive into the depths of this beloved dish, exploring the recipe, cooking notes, nutrition facts, and more.
What is nem ran?
In Vietnam, there are two main categories of spring rolls: fresh spring rolls, known as “gỏi cuốn,” and fried spring rolls, which can be called “nem rán” (in Hanoi), “chả nem” (in certain regions), or “chả giò” (in the southern part of Vietnam).
Nem Rán/Chả Nem/Chả Giò (Fried Spring Rolls): On the other hand, deep-fried spring rolls involve a different preparation method. A mixture of ground meat (commonly pork) or seafood, along with vegetables, mushrooms, and noodles, is wrapped in a rice paper wrapper. The rolls are then deep-fried until they turn golden brown and crispy. The frying process gives them a crunchy texture and a distinct flavor. Nem rán (or chả nem/chả giò) is often served hot and accompanied by various dipping sauces, such as Nuoc Cham or sweet chili sauce.
Gỏi Cuốn (Fresh Spring Rolls): Fresh spring rolls are made by wrapping a combination of fresh vegetables, herbs, rice vermicelli noodles, and protein (such as shrimp, pork, or tofu) in rice paper. The rice paper is soaked in water to soften it, then the ingredients are placed on top and rolled up tightly. Gỏi cuốn is typically served at room temperature or slightly chilled. They are often accompanied by a dipping sauce, such as Vietnamese Peanut Sauce, for added flavor.
While both gỏi cuốn and nem rán are delicious and popular in Vietnamese cuisine, they differ in terms of preparation, cooking method, and serving style. Fresh spring rolls offer a lighter and refreshing option, showcasing the natural flavors of the ingredients, while fried spring rolls provide a satisfying crunch and a different depth of taste due to the frying process.
See more: Spring Roll Vs Egg Roll
Vietnamese fried spring rolls recipe
- Yield: 20 spring rolls
- Prep time: 40 minutes
- Cook time: 20 minutes
- Total time: 60 minutes
- Course: Appetizer, side dish
- Cuisine: Vietnamese
To create Nem ran, you will need the following equipment:
- Deep fryer or a large pot for frying
- Kitchen thermometer
- Cutting board
- Mixing bowl
- Spring roll wrappers
- Filling ingredients (various vegetables, protein, herbs, etc.)
- Dipping sauces (optional)
To create the tantalizing Vietnamese fried spring rolls, gather the following ingredients:
- 25 clear rice paper wrappers (bánh tráng)
- 600g ground pork shoulder
- 200g fresh shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 5g dried wood ear mushrooms
- 3g dried shiitake mushrooms
- 50 g of glass noodles (mung bean noodles)
- 1 bulb of garlic (or bean sprouts, optional)
- 1 onion
- 1/2 jicama (or bean sprouts, optional)
- 1/2 carrot
- A handful of chives
- 1 bunch of Vietnamese cilantro
- 1-2 eggs
- 2-3 shallots
- Vegetable oil (for frying)
- Seasonings: fish sauce, salt, seasoning powder, black pepper
- Soak the dried wood ear mushrooms and dried shiitake mushrooms in warm water until soft. Then, finely chop them.
- Soak the glass noodles in warm water until they become pliable. Cut them into small pieces, around 5cm long.
- Finely chop the garlic, onion, jicama, carrot, chives, and Vietnamese cilantro.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the ground pork, shrimp, chopped mushrooms, glass noodles, chopped vegetables, and eggs. Mix well.
- Season the mixture with fish sauce, salt, seasoning powder, and black pepper according to your taste. Mix thoroughly to ensure the flavors are well incorporated.
- Take a rice paper sheet and dip it quickly into warm water to soften. Place it on a clean surface.
- Spoon about 2 tablespoons of the filling mixture onto the bottom third of the rice paper sheet. Roll the sheet halfway, then fold the sides inward. Continue rolling tightly until the end. Seal the roll by brushing the edge with a beaten egg.
- Repeat the process until all the filling mixture is used.
- Heat oil in a deep fryer or large pot to 180°C (350°F). Carefully lower the rolls into the hot oil and fry until golden brown and crispy.
- Once fried, remove the spring rolls and place them on a plate lined with paper towels to absorb excess oil.
- Serve the Vietnamese fried spring rolls hot with your favorite dipping sauce, such as Nuoc Cham.
Tips for the best Vietnamese spring rolls fried
- Ensure dry ingredients: It’s important to keep the vegetables and other ingredients dry before mixing them together. Excess moisture can make the filling soggy, affecting the texture and frying process.
- Mix filling just before wrapping: To maintain a dry filling, it’s recommended to mix the meat and vegetables together just before wrapping. This helps prevent the filling from becoming moist and ensures a crispier result.
- Add cooking oil to the filling: Incorporating a small amount of cooking oil into the filling mixture helps prevent it from drying out during the frying process. The oil adds moisture and enhances the overall texture of the filling.
- Proper wrapping technique: When wrapping the spring rolls, avoid wrapping them too tightly as the filling may expand and cause the rolls to burst during frying. Wrap them with a firm but gentle grip to allow for proper cooking and a better shape.
- Enhancing crispy texture: There are various methods to achieve a crispier texture for the spring roll wrappers. Some options include adding a bit of beer or lime juice to the batter mixture. Additionally, if you desire a more golden color, you can mix a small amount of sugar into the batter for an appealing appearance when fried.
While Vietnamese deep fried spring rolls are a delightful treat, it’s essential to consider their nutritional content. Here are the approximate nutrition facts for a serving size of two spring rolls:
- Calories: 230
- Total Fat: 8g
- Saturated Fat: 2g
- Cholesterol: 45mg
- Sodium: 420mg
- Carbohydrates: 27g
- Fiber: 2g
- Sugar: 2g
- Protein: 12g
How to serve nem ran?
Vietnamese fried spring rolls with rice paper can be served in various delicious ways. Here are two popular serving suggestions:
- Traditional wrapping: To enjoy the authentic flavors, serve the Nem Ran wrapped in lettuce leaves, cucumber and Vietnamese herbs such as perilla leaves, Thai basil,… This presentation provides a delightful contrast between the savory, crispy spring rolls and the refreshing, crunchy texture of the lettuce and herbs. Dip the wrapped rolls into Nuoc Cham for an extra burst of flavor.
- Vietnamese noodle salad: Another tasty option is to incorporate Nem Ran into a Vietnamese noodle salad. Cut the fried spring rolls into bite-sized chunks and toss them into a bowl of fresh noodles, along with an assortment of vegetables and herbs. Drizzle Vietnamese dipping fish sauce over the salad as a dressing, and toss everything together to combine the flavors. This creates a satisfying and vibrant salad with the addition of the flavorful Nem Ran.
Experiment with these serving suggestions to find your favorite way to enjoy Nem Ran. Whether wrapped in lettuce or added to a noodle salad, the combination of crispy spring rolls and the vibrant flavors of Vietnamese cuisine is sure to delight your taste buds.
Can I use chicken instead of pork in the filling?
Yes, you can substitute ground pork with ground chicken or any other protein of your choice. Adjust the cooking time accordingly.
Are there vegetarian options for the filling?
Absolutely! You can omit the meat and seafood and replace them with tofu or additional vegetables for a vegetarian version of Vietnamese fried spring rolls.
Can I prepare the spring rolls in advance?
Yes, you can assemble the rolls ahead of time and refrigerate them until ready to fry. However, it’s recommended to fry them just before serving to retain their crispiness.
What are some popular dipping sauces for Vietnamese fried spring rolls?
Vietnamese fried spring rolls pair well with a variety of dipping sauces, such as sweet chili sauce, hoisin sauce, or nuoc cham (a tangy fish sauce-based dip).
Can I bake the spring rolls instead of frying them?
While traditionally fried, you can bake the spring rolls for a healthier alternative. Preheat your oven to 200°C (400°F) and bake the rolls for approximately 20 minutes, flipping them halfway through.
How should I store leftover Vietnamese fried spring rolls?
To store leftover spring rolls, allow them to cool completely, then refrigerate them in an airtight container. Reheat them in the oven at 180°C (350°F) for a few minutes to regain their crispiness.
Vietnamese fried spring rolls are a delightful culinary experience that brings together the freshness of vegetables, the flavors of meat or seafood, and the satisfying crunch of a crispy shell. With this recipe, you now have the knowledge and tools to create this beloved dish in your own kitchen. So, gather the ingredients, follow the steps, and embark on a journey of Vietnamese flavors that will leave you and your guests craving more.