Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Spring Rolls with Pork and Shrimp

This was a pretty quick one. I ended up doing more than it needed, so I'll just relay the necessities.

These spring rolls are in the Vietnamese tradition, though they're not exactly perfectly traditional. I also made a "quick" Phở Ga (Chicken Phở) as a side too. 

Spring Rolls with Pork and Shrimp

10 oz of pork shoulder sliced thin and marinated in:
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon Hoisin sauce
1/4 teaspoon Chinese 5 spice
about a cup of beef broth (or water)

6 oz frozen, cooked, shrimp "marinated" in 1 tablespoon of sugar and about a cup of water. 

For 8 spring rolls, I used:
Lettuce, about a cup of leaves
Rice noodles, about 2 cups cooked
Cucumber, half of one, sliced thin
Bean sprouts, about a cup
Thai basil, 4 sprigs
Parsley, 4 sprigs
Cilantro, 4 sprigs

Dipping Sauce
1/4 cup Fish sauce
1/4 cup Sugar
1/3 cup Water 
2 Red Jalapenos (or Thai chiles)
4 cloves of garlic, chopped
Juice of 1 lime

Quick Phở Ga
4 cups of chicken broth (homemade is best here, but boxed/canned will work)
2 Star Anise pods
4 whole cloves
1/2 a red onion, quartered
3 inches of fresh ginger, diced
1 tablespoon whole coriander seeds
Small bunch of cilantro
1 tablespoon sugar (more to taste)
2 tablespoons fish sauce (more to taste)
1/2 teaspoon salt (more to taste)
2 teaspoons Hoisin sauce
1/2 teaspoon Sriracha
Lime juice to taste
1 cup of water (to taste, the broth may get intense, don't be afraid to water it down a bit)

I know it looks like a lot of stuff, but it's all the same ingredients so it's really not that big of a deal. I don't  think I even needed to go to the grocery store for this meal because I usually have most of this on hand. 


Let's get started!

I marinated the pork shoulder in the fridge overnight. I was afraid that it would be too tough if I didn't. 

I just tossed it in a pan over high heat until it was finished. I added a little more beef broth and cooked it down until it was gone. I broke up the pork into small pieces and discarded any really fatty bits and popped it back in the fridge until I was ready to build the spring rolls. 

I did the shrimp at the same time, so they were in overnight as well. 

The sugar trick takes ALL of the fishy flavor out of the shrimp. In some ways I liked it, but the shrimp didn't have a ton of flavor of its own. It was without doubt good, so I'd do it again for this. 

Mince the shrimp in prep for the spring rolls. Pop them in the fridge too.

I started the Phở Ga at this point and with much time and fuss, I realized that I could have just ended with what I started with, so go ahead and follow the above recipe. 

Everything will come together very well if you just add everything (but the Hoisin, lime and Sriracha) to a pot, let it come to a boil then simmer for an 30-45 minutes, tops. 

Strain and put back on the heat. Now add the Hoisin, lime and Sririacha. You'll want to taste the sauce and add a touch of salt, sugar or fish sauce to dial in the broth. I added a bit of water too to combat the intensity of the broth. 

I know this is un-characteristically brief for me, but I didn't take any pics and it really is that easy. 

Now we can make the dipping sauce. 

This was the biggest surprise of the day. The sauce was AWESOME and really went well with the spring rolls. It's also super easy to make. 

Start with your garlic and chiles. Mince the garlic roughly and just cut off the top of the peppers and slice the rest. Seeds, membrane and all.

I found the red jalapenos to be the perfect amount of heat. I didn't serve this to my daughter as it was a little too hot for her. 

Add the fish sauce and sugar to a pan. Heat over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. 

Add the water, lime juice, garlic and peppers and let it simmer for a few minutes. Pour into a bowl and chill until service.

Get your herbs together. I got mine from my garden! Woohoo!

Ok, let's build the spring rolls.

Start with your mis en place:

Dip the spring roll wrapper in warm water. Just get it wet, but not soaking. You'll get the hang of it. 

Start with a base of lettuce. 

Then add some noodles. 

Next, add some pork and shrimp.

Then add the cucumber, sprouts and cilantro, parsley and thai basil.

Next, roll the bottom and sides up, just like a burrito. Be careful on this part as the roll could tear. I didn't have a problem with it. 

Continue to roll the bottom up as tight as you can without breaking the roll. 

Store on a place seam-side down.

Serve with the sauce and some Phở. 



  1. Wow that looks amazing!!! My mouth is watering.


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