One of my favorite Vietnamese dishes is Vietnamese Spring Rolls. The Vietnamese Spring Rolls are considered a traditional Vietnamese dish.
Vietnamese spring rolls have no fixed recipe as many parts of Vietnam may use their own recipes. So we will share with you our own special Vietnamese Spring Roll or Nem Recipe. We have a video to show you how to mix, roll, fry, and eat the Vietnamese spring rolls.
Vietnamese spring rolls can be fried or fresh. The spring rolls are a traditional dish that will consist of pork, prawn, vegetables, and rice noodle. The spring rolls are rolled with a Vietnamese bánh tráng or a very thin rice paper.
What Are Vietnamese Spring Rolls or Nem?
In Vietnam spring rolls are thought to have been introduced to Vietnam by Chinese immigrants. But the Vietnamese spring rolls are quite different than the Chinese spring rolls as the spring rolls have been changed and adjusted to suit the local Vietnamese taste.
Even the Vietnamese spring rolls in the north, south, and central Vietnam are not exactly the same taste. or name. In South Vietnam, they call the fried spring rolls as chả giò, whereas in North Vietnam they are called nem.
What is unique about the Vietnamese spring rolls is there is no fixed or exact recipe. Because of this, you may find different tastes and recipes from not the only region to region but also family to family.
Our Vietnamese Spring Roll (Nem) Recipe
Our Vietnamese spring roll recipe has basically 4 parts to it:
- Spring rolls – the first part and maybe the most important is the spring roll itself. Our recipe consists of ground pork, vegetables, and other condiments. If you really do not want ground pork you can try to use ground chicken or turkey or even part ground chicken and ground pork mix. One of the things about the ground pork is that it makes sure the spring roll is moist and not dry. You do not want to have a spring roll that is dry.
- Rice Noodle – Rice noodles are a staple in Vietnam. Here we can purchase them fresh each day. But if you are not living in Vietnam you may have to buy them dried and then boil them. If you are looking for rice noodles look for a Vietnamese brand such as Annie Chun’s, Three Ladies, or Caravelle. Follow the instructions on their package for the cooking of the rice noodles They can also be purchased online at Amazon or other websites. If you have a large Asian Grocery store go there and ask them what Vietnamese Rice Noodles they recommend. If you want you can try to make your own rice noodles click here for a very easy recipe from Epicurious that you can try. You can find the Epicurious recipe by clicking here.
- Rice Paper – The Vietnamese rice paper is an important part of the Vietnamese Spring Roll. The spring rolls skins for Chinese spring rolls are not the same as the Vietnamese. The Vietnamese rice paper is white and very thin. Most rice paper is so thin you can almost see through it. So it important that you get the proper rice paper for your spring rolls. You can find on Amazon or in many Asian Grocery stores Vietnamese brands such as Three Ladies, Huu Company, Rose, Bamboo Tree, and Star Anise brands.
- Vegetables – Some of the vegetables we readily get here in Vietnam may difficult for you to get in America, Europe, or even other parts of Asia. So feel free to adjust some of the recipes to the vegetables you can get in your part of the world.
Video to Make Vietnamese Spring Rolls (Nem)
Here is a video to guide you through making your own Vietnamese spring rolls. In this video we will show you how to:
- Mix up the Vietnamese spring rolls meat
- Fill and fold the spring rolls
- Fry the spring rolls
- And the proper way to serve and eat Vietnamese Spring Rolls
Recipe of Vietnamese Spring Rolls
This is our recipe for the Vietnamese Spring Rolls or Nem. You can also download a PDF copy of the Recipe below:
Vietnamese Spring Roll (Nem) Recipe
.6 kilo or 1.30 pounds of Ground Pork
1 White Onion
1 Medium Carrot
200 Grams, 7 Ounces Fresh Bean Sprouts
50 Grams, 1.75 Ounce or About 3 pieces Shallots
5 Stalks Green Onions
50 Grams, 1.75 Ounces or About 2 or 3 pieces Shiitake Mushrooms
50 Grams, 1.75 Ounces or about 3 piece Cloud Ear Fungus
100 grams or 3.5 ounces of Seaweed Noodles or also known as clear bean thread noodles.
2 tsp black peppere
1 tsp sea salt
The Cloud Ear Fungus you can usually find at an Asian Grocery Store. If you do not want to use them or cannot find them, you can use some more shiitake mushrooms. The seaweed noodles or clear bean thread noodles you can usually find at an Asian Market. Follow the directions on the packet. Usually, you need to soak them in cold water for them to become soft.
To Roll the Spring rolls
2 Packages Rice paper or about 24 pieces.
To roll the Spring rolls you can use (one of the following):
1 egg white
Or Beer – some people use beer to make the outside spring roll crispy and brown. Many restaurants in Hanoi are said to use Beer to roll their spring rolls.
Spring Roll Dipping Sauce
2 Cups Water
2 Heaping Tablespoons Sugar
4 Tablespoons Fish Sauce
2 Tablespoons Apple Vinegar
1 Carrot Cut Up (see our Video Below)
1 German Turnip or Kohrabi Cup Up Into Pieces
3 Fresh Small Red Peppers
If you cannot find the German Turnip or Kohabi you can use green papaya or mango or try to cut up a green apple. To see how to cut up the carrots to look like a flower, you can watch our video below.
1 Small Lettuce Heads or 1/2 Large Head of Green Lettuce
1 Bunch Fresh Cilantro
1 Bunch Fresh Mint
1 Bunch Marjoram
1 Bunch Perilla
If you cannot find the Marjoram and Perilla you can try to find a substitute a similar vegetable or not use them. These are vegetables that are used a lot in Vietnam but may be harder to find or almost impossible to find in other parts of the world.
1 Kilo or 2.20 Pounds of Rice Noodles. (if dried follow the direction on the package of the rice noodles).
Mix together all the ingredients for the Springroll mixture in a large bowl. Mix well until completely mixed together.
Roll the spring rolls with the rice paper. You can use water, egg whites, or beer to roll the spring roll. To roll the spring rolls you must moist the paper.
Fry the Spring Roll for about 10 minutes, or until cooked very well.
Spring Roll Dipping Sauce:
Mix and prepare the spring roll dipping sauce in a separate bowl. Mix together very well.
Prepare the rice noodles (if dried prepare as per the instructions on the package)
Wash and cut the salad into small piece size pieces. Can mix all the vegetables together.
Serve the fried spring rolls with the spring rolls dipping sauce, rice noodles, and spring roll salad.
You can watch the below video to see how the carrots can be cut up to look like a flower for the Spring Roll Dipping Sauce:
The Vietnamese Spring Roll or Nem is a wonderful dish. Like so many Vietnamese dishes it uses a lot of fresh vegetables, but is filled with rich flavors. This is why Vietnamese food continues to gain a lot of popularity around the world.
How Do I Make Vietnamese Bun Cha (The Rice Noodles and Grilled Pork Dish)?
One of North Vietnam’s most popular food dishes is bun cha or also a grilled pork and rice noodle dish. Bún Chả is a Vietnamese traditional food dish that is thought to have originated in North Vietnam. It is made from rice noodles, grilled pork, salad, and a Bún Chả fish sauce mixture. It is a dish that you can learn to make and serve in your own home.
Bún Chả became very famous when the U.S. President Obama sat down with CNN’s Anthony Bourdain and ate Bun Cha in a small local noodle shop in Hanoi, Vietnam.
To find out more about Bun Cha and see our recipe and video of how to make it you can read our blog on The Vietnamese Bun Cha Food Dish, All You Need To Know by clicking here.
Why is Rice Important to the Vietnamese?
Rice is one of the world’s most important staple foods especially in Vietnam. When you come to Vietnam you will find that some form of rice is served at most meals. Due to its climate, Vietnam is one of the world’s leading rice producers. As with many things in Vietnam, there is folklore and legends about rice and rice production. There are many places in Vietnam you can visit to see some spectacular rice fields and rice terraces.
You can read more about rice and why rice is important in Vietnam by reading our blog called Why Rice is Important in Vietnam, What You Need To Know by clicking here.