This recipe is adapted from a favorite of Anh Chi Dinh of San Antonio, who makes them regularly from her husband, Minh P. Dinh. Anh Chi's version uses rice-paper wrappers, which are more delicate that conventional egg roll wrappers.
1 lb. ground pork or ground chicken
1/2 c. crabmeat or small shrimp, mashed
3/4 c. chopped onion
1/3 c. mushrooms or wood ears, finely chopped
1 tps salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
10 (8 1/2-inch square) egg roll wrappers, cut in half diagonally
2 egg whites, beaten slightly
Vegetable oil for frying
Bibb or romaine lettuce leaves (optional)
Combine meats, onion, mushrooms, salt, and pepper. Set aside. Lay wrapper triangle with point side facing away from you. Place 2 T. stuffing in a 3-inch long strip across paper about 2-inches from bottom. Roll partially to enclose filling. Fold right and left edges of wrapper at 45-degree angle to the filling, then fold sides of paper toward center (just as you'd wrap a package). Roll up. Brush edges with a little egg white and seal. In a 3 to 4 quart pan, pour oil to a depth of at least 2 inches, and heat to 350-375 degrees. Fry rolls, a few at a time, until crisp and light golden (about 6 minutes). Drain on paper towels. Yield: 14 egg rolls. Serve alone or wrapped in lettuce and dipped in nuoc cham (see recipe, below).
This delicious dipping sauce is the universal condiment in Vietnam.
2 garlic cloves
1/2 - 1 tsp. crushed red pepper
1 T. sugar
1/4 c. plus
2 T. nuoc mam (fish sauce)
1/4 c. plus
1 T. fresh lime juice or rice wine vinegar
1/4 c. water
Crush garlic with red pepper.
Add sugar, and pound to a glossy paste. Add fish sauce, lime-juice, and water, and stir.
From the July 1996 issue.