Vietnamese-inspired, from the seasoning to the rice paper wrapper, these spring rolls will make meat lovers sigh with pleasure.
This dish begins with ground pork seasoned with Vietnamese nuoc cham, flattened into logs and pan fried. The browned and caramelized patties, along with arugula, lettuce, cucumber, cilantro and mint, are wrapped in rice paper.
Served whole, these lovely spring rolls can be enjoyed as a main course. Believe me, they are filling! Devour two to four pieces and you won’t be asking what else there is to eat. And your taste buds won’t be left yearning for more either. There is so much flavor and texture in each bite because the filling is a blend of salty, spicy, sweet and tangy.
When the spring rolls are cut into halves to expose the layers of meat and vegetable filling, they look dressy enough to be served at parties. And the size make them the perfect finger food.
Pork and Salad Greens Spring Rolls
- 250 grams ground pork with at least 20% fat
- juice of 1/2 lime or lemon
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce
- 1 to 2 tablespoons sugar
- ¼ teaspoon finely minced garlic
- ¼ teaspoon finely minced ginger
- ½ bird’s eye chili finely chopped (or substitute chili flakes)
- 6 sheets rice paper (available in Asian groceries)
- salad greens (I used a mix of lettuce and arugula)
- cucumber cut into thin sticks
- fresh mint leaves
- fresh cilantro
- Make the marinade. Mix together the lemon or lime juice, fish sauce, sugar, ginger, garlic and chilis.
- Place the ground pork in a bowl. Pour in the marinade. Mix well.
- Divide the mixture into six portions; form each portion into a log about an inch and a half in diameter then flatten with your hand to a thickness of less than a half inch.
- Fry the pork patties in a frying pan or wok (if you’re using non-stick cookware, there is no need to add oil) over medium-high heat, allowing the underside to brown before flipping. About two minutes per side should be just right.
- Cool the patties for a few minutes.
- Prepare a wide shallow bowl for dipping the rice paper.
- Moisten a piece of rice paper and lay flat on the work surface.
- Place some greens near the center.
- Place a pork patty on top of the greens.
- Top the patty with cucumber sticks, mint and cilantro.
- Roll to seal the fillings.
- Repeat until all the patties are snugly inside the sheets of rice paper.
- With a very sharp knife, cut each spring roll horizontally into two to three pieces.
- Arrange the rolls, cut side up, on a plate or bowl and serve.