Crab Spring Rolls
For making spring rolls, most Vietnamese-American home cooks use the spongy, wheat-based wrappers called TYJ Spring Roll Pastry, which are made by the Spring Home company. They're available frozen at most Asian food stores. For illustrated step-by-step instructions on how to fill and wrap these rolls, go to saveur.com/springrolls
Credit: Andr¿ BaranowskiSERVES 4–6
INGREDIENTS4 oz. backfin crabmeat (small chunks from the rear fin area), picked through to remove any bits of shell
4 oz. medium shrimp, finely chopped
3 oz. ground pork
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 tbsp. grated carrot (use the large-holed side of a box grater)
¼ tsp. kosher salt
¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
2 large shallots, finely chopped
12 8"-square spring roll wrappers
1 oz. bún (Vietnamese rice vermicelli), cooked according to step 1 in our Crab Soup
1 egg white, beaten
Corn oil, for frying
12 bibb lettuce leaves, for garnish
12 sprigs Thai basil, for garnish
12 purple perilla leaves (called tía tô), for garnish (optional)
INSTRUCTIONS1. Stir together crabmeat, shrimp, pork, garlic, carrots, salt, pepper, and shallots; set filling aside.
2. Make rolls: Working with 1 wrapper at a time, arrange wrapper so that a corner faces you. (Keep remaining wrappers covered with a damp towel.) Place 2 tbsp. crab mixture and 1 tbsp. vermicelli on bottom third of wrapper, near corner facing you. Brush top corner with a little egg white. Lift bottom corner of wrapper over filling; pull wrapper back against filling to tighten cylinder. Fold in sides; roll cylinder forward, to form a 4"–long roll about 1" thick. Transfer to a platter.
3. Pour oil into a large pot to a depth of 2"; heat over medium heat until a deep-fry thermometer inserted into oil reaches 350°. Fry rolls until golden brown and cooked through, about 5 minutes. Using tongs, transfer rolls to a paper towel–lined plate. To serve, wrap lettuce, basil, and perilla around rolls; serve with nuoc châm.