Thai Spring Rolls


2 ounces bean thread, sometimes called
cellophane noodles (see photo)
warm water to cover the noodles
1 ½ tablespoons fresh garlic peeled and
¼ cup fresh coriander root or stems with
leaves, chopped fine
2 ounces fresh mushrooms
1 stalk celery
2 green onions
¾ cup fresh bean sprouts
1 carrot

¼ pound ground raw pork
¼ pound ground raw shrimp

1 egg
2 tablespoons Asian fish sauce ---->
¼ teaspoon pepper

12 spring roll wrappers about 10" in diameter – these are made from rice flour and are
dried not frozen (see photo to the right of the fish sauce bottle photo)
Vegetable oil for deep frying

Many times the bean threads (cellophane noodles) come in a package containing many
tiny 1.4 ounce bags. Just use 1 ½ of those tiny bags for this recipe. The noodles are dried and
they need to be soaked in warm water before cooking, for about 10-15 minutes. I find that the
soaking is difficult to time correctly. Depending on the age and quality of the dried noodles you
may have to boil them briefly, blanching them to soften them properly. They need to be a little
tender but not slippery since they will be cooked a little more. Set them in a colander to drain

Use a mortar and pestle, food processor or just chop very finely the garlic and coriander to
a paste.

Chop the mushrooms, celery, green onions, carrot, bean threads and bean sprouts into
small but course tidbits.

Mix the ground pork and shrimp together with the garlic & coriander paste and the veggies
you just chopped. Add the fish sauce, egg and pepper at this stage and combine well. This
completes the filling for your spring rolls.

Prepare the rice flower spring roll wrappers. You must dip them one or two sheet at a time
in warm water and soak them until they are soft. This takes about 1 minute. Handle them gently
since the sheets can be delicate. You may have to drain them on a towel before rolling.

Fill the wrappers. Place about 2 heaping tablespoons of filling about one third of the way
up the wrapper. Fold the bottom edge of the wrapper over the filling then begin to form that
folded part of the wrapper into a lightly packed log shaped roll. Then fold the side edges over
into the log and roll it all up completely. Fill the rest of the wrappers the same way.

Heat enough oil to cover the spring rolls, about 1-2 inches of oil, to 375 degrees in a wok
or other high temperature frying cookware. This is the tricky part. The oil has to be hot enough
to cook the rolls quickly without soaking through the wrappers too much, but not too hot as to
burn the wrappers. You will find that when you place raw rolls in the oil that the temperature
drops a lot, so adjust the temperature accordingly. Fry them a few at a time until they are golden
brown, about four minutes at 375 degrees. Drain on paper towels and serve warm with your
favorite Thai dipping sauces.

Spring Roll Dipping Sauce


½ cup water
½ cup vinegar
½ cup sugar
1 teaspoon chili garlic sauce (see photo)


4 cloves fresh garlic peeled and left whole
The secret to this sauce is to use the right amount of chili garlic sauce. If you use too little,
the color will be pale. If you use too much it will be too hot! Start with 1 teaspoon to see if that is
the right amount for you. I use Chili Garlic sauce from Huy Fong Foods with the rooster on the

Just combine all these ingredients in non-reactive cookware such as a stainless steel or
enamel pot. Stir well so that all the sugar dissolves. Boil everything slowly until the volume of the
liquid is reduced to about half. When it is done, I like to spoon out the 4 garlic cloves to give the
sauce a clean look. Most recipes call for those 4 cloves to be chopped up fine and left in the
sauce so you can try that to see if you like it that way.

You can adjust the thickness of the sauce to your taste by boiling it longer or adding a little
more water. It will thicken some more when it cools. Serve at room temperature.