Duy Nguyen's Spring Rolls

from Duy Nguyen of Bánh Mì Hôi An

Yield: 6 rolls


18 shrimp, cooked or raw, 41-50 (or small--but not bay--shrimp)

1 pound pork loin, with fat left on

1 teaspoon fish sauce

1 teaspoon salt

1 package 903 vermicelli

6 sheets rice paper

6 leaves green leaf lettuce

24 mint leaves

6 egg roll wrappers, rolled and fried (optional)

Carrots, daikon, cucumber, sliced into thin sticks (optional)

Bean sprouts (optional)

Crushed peanuts (optional)


Bring a large pot of water to the boil. If the shrimp is raw, add them briefly until they turn pink. Remove and let cool. Add the fish sauce and salt to the water and add the pork loin. Boil for 15 minutes, then remove and let cool.

Bring another pot of water to the boil. While the water is heating, rinse the rice noodles in cold water until the water runs clear to remove starch. Boil the vermicelli per the package directions. Remove the noodles from the water, drain, and place in a bowl. Cover with plastic wrap.

Slice the shrimp in half lengthwise and thinly slice the pork loin. Set aside. Set out the rest of the ingredients you're going to add to the roll.

In a bowl of very hot water, dip then turn one sheet of rice paper. Place on a cutting board. Start layering, first with three pieces of shrimp across the center of the wrapper, outer side on the bottom.  Then place three slices of pork across the rice paper just below the shrimp. Top with the leaf of lettuce, mint leaves, bean sprouts, egg roll wrappers, or whatever else you want, and finally the vermicelli.

Gently pull the bottom of the rice paper up and over the ingredients and firmly tuck in. Then start rolling. Pull in each side to the middle and finish rolling, tucking in as you continue. Think of it like rolling a burrito.

Set aside until you've made all six. Then serve with sauces or wrap in plastic and refrigerate.