Next up in my attempts at making a delicious Thai dinner were fried spring rolls. I actually made these over 2 days. The day before I served them, I made the filling and the day of I rolled them, fried them, and ate them!
The following is taken from from Nancie McDermott's Real Thai - The Best of Thailand's Regional Cooking. Here is the recipe for Boh Biah Tote:
2 packets (2 ounces each) bean thread noodles
1 tablespoon tiny dried cloud ears
Vegetable oil for sauteing and deep-frying
2 eggs, lightly beaten2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 teaspoon sugar1 tablespoon coarsely chopped garlic
1/4 cup finely chopped shallot or onion
1/2 pound ground pork
1/2 pound shrimp, peeled, deveined, and coarsely chopped
1 package spring roll wrappers
A handful of fresh cilantro leaves
- Place the bean thread noodles in a large bowl. cover with warm water, and soak until softened, about 30 minutes. Place cloud ears in a medium bowl, cover with warm water, and soak until softened, about 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, coat a small skillet with a little oil and warm for 1 minute over medium heat. Pour in one fourth of the eggs, tip the pan so that the egg covers the bottom in a thin sheet, and cook until set and opaque, less than 1 minute. Turn the egg sheet out onto a plate and repeat with the remaining eggs in 3 batches. When the sheets are cool, stack and slice into long, thin shreds. Set the shreds aside in a large bowl.
- Drain the noodles well and dump the tangle onto a cutting board. Shape the noodles into a log and cut into 2-inch lengths. Precision doesn't count here - you're just trying to make them a little more manageable for stir-frying. Add the noodles to the bowl containing the egg shreds.
- Drain the cloud ears and place on a cutting board. Check them over, cutting off and discarding any hard navels. Slice the cloud ears into long, thin shreds. Add them to the bowl containing the noodles and egg shreds.
- Combine the fish sauce, pepper, ans sugar om a small bowl.
- Heat a wok over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon oil and swirl to coat the surface. When the oil is very hot, add the garlic and stir-fry until golden, about 15 seconds. Add the shallot and stir-fry until wilted. Add the pork and stir-fry until no longer pink, about 2 minutes. Add the shrimp and stir-fry until pink and opaque, about 1 minute. Add the fish sauce mixture and toss well.
- Add the noodles, cloud ears, and egg strips and stir-fry (mixing well) for 1 to 2 minutes. The noodles will change from stiff, white, and wiry to clear, soft, and curly. As soon as they've transformed and all ingredients are well combined, turn the filling out into a large bowl and let cool to room temperature.
- Gently separate the spring roll wrappers. Place 1 wrapper, smooth side down, on a work surface; cover the remaining wrappers with a dampened paper towel while you work. Position the wrapper with a point toward you. Place a heaping spoonful of the filling in the center half pf the diamond that is closest to you. Shape the filling into a log about 3-inches long. Fold the wrapper point closest to you up, over, and around the filling. Begin to roll the wrapper and, when you've rolled halfway to the top point, fold the right and left sides in toward the middle. Keep rolling. When you reach the top point, moisten it with water and seal the roll like an envelope. Set the roll aside on a tray with the seam side down.
- Continue rolling until all the filling is used up. Space the rolls so that they are not touching and separate the layers with plastic wrap.
- Pour the oil into a wok or deep, wide saucepan to a depth of 3-inches. Heat over medium heat to 350-375 degrees. Meanwhile, prepare a drain basket for the fried spring rolls by lining a colander with paper towels. Drop a tiny piece of wrapper into the wok. If it sizzles immediately, the oil is ready.
- Carefully add a spring roll to the oil, it should sizzle and bubble at once. Add 2 more spring rolls and cook 3 at a time, turning occasionally and frying until golden brown, about 3 minutes.
- Remove the spring rolls with a slotted spoon, hold them over the oil to drain for a few moments, and transfer to the prepared colander to drain. Place on a serving platter, garnish with cilantro, and serve with small saucers of dipping sauce.
These turned out great! My Dad told me that they were the best spring rolls that he has ever had and I don't think that he was being polite!
I used frozen spring roll wrappers that I got at H Mart - I was a bit leery about using these, but they were super easy and I would buy them again. The pack I got had 40 wrappers, so I had some left overs and I put a little cream cheese with curry powder, garlic and pepper in them and they were a big hit too. I could not find dried cloud ears, so I just used plain old mushrooms - I cut them in to long slices. I also cheated and used already peeled, deveined and cooked shrimp (so this cut down the cooking time buy a minute or so).
We didn't eat all 32 spring rolls, so I wrapped them in wax paper and frozen them. I took out a few the other night and heated them up in he oven (425 degrees for 20 minutes) and they were still yummy! In the future, I am going to make dessert out of the left over wrappers by adding fruit and cream cheese and chocolate sauce (kind of like a crepe).
Don't forget to make the sweet-hot garlic sauce to go with these!
See tomorrows post for Rice Noodles with Soy Sauce, Chinese Broccoli, and Beef!