Vietnamese spring rolls #1

Yield: 80 Servings

Measure Ingredient
2 ounces Bean-thread (cellophane) noo dles 1 lb. ground por
1 large Onion; chopped fine
2 tablespoons Tree ears (see cook's notes)
3 Garlic cloves; chopped fine
3 Scallions; chopped fine
7 ounces Crab meat; cartilage removed and meat flaked
½ teaspoon Pepper, black, ground
20 Sheets dried rice paper
4 Eggs; well beaten
2 cups Oil, peanut
Lettuce; shredded
Mint leaves
Cucumber; sliced
Nuoc cham dipping sauce

Cook's notes: Tree ears, also called cloud ears, are dried fungi that look like dried black chips. When soaked in water they expand 5 or 6 times their orginal size. Soak in warm water for 30 minutes; drain and finely chop.

Procedure: Soak noodles in warm water for 20 minutes; drain and cut into 1" lengths. Combine noodles with remaining filling ingredients in a bowl and set aside. Cut a round rice-paper sheet into quarters.

Place cut paper on a flat surface. With a pastry brush, paint beaten eggs over the entire surface of each of the pieces. Before filling, wait for the egg mixture to soften the wrappers; this takes about two minutes. When the wrapper looks soft and transparent, place about 1 tsp. of filling near the curved side, in the shape of a rectangle.

Fold the sides over to enclose filling and continue to roll.

After filling all the wrappers, pour the oil into a large, deep frying pan or wok, put the rolls into the cold oil, turn the heat to moderate and fry 20 to 30 minutes until golden brown.

Presentation: Serve hot. Serve spring rolls on vegetable platterss among lettuce, mint leaves, cilantro and cucumber slices. Also serve with nuoc cham sauce if desired. Makes 80 spring rolls. Source: Classic Cuisine of Vietnam Cookbook, by Bach Ngo and Gloria Zimmerman.

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