Vietnamese egg rolls

by Lily Dang

Ingredients

Filling:

  • 1 lb. ground pork
  • 1 lb. small peeled shrimp
  • 1 carrot, shredded
  • 5-6 dried mushrooms
  • 1 medium onion, shredded
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper

Wrapper:

  • 1 package egg roll wrappers (25 sheets, medium size)
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • vegetable oil, for frying

Sauce:

  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup apple cider vinegar
  • ½ cup fish sauce
  • 1 cup water
  • ground hot pepper (optional)
  • ground garlic (optional)

Garnish (optional):

  • lettuce
  • mint
  • cilantro

Directions

Soak dried mushrooms in warm water for 15 minutes, drain and finely chop. Defrost the egg roll wrappers at room temperature. Mix all filling ingredients well in a large bowl. 

Lay an egg roll wrapper diagonally, take 2 full spoons of mixed filling ingredients across center of the wrapper, fold one corner over the filling, then fold two corners and close the filling. Brush egg on the last corner of the wrapper and roll to seal. Repeat for the rest of the filling.

Heat oil in a large sauce pan or deep fryer to 300-350° F. Fry egg rolls until golden brown, 6-8 minutes. 

Place them on a plate lined with sheets of paper towels to drain the oil. Serve with garnishes and sauce.

About this recipe

Lily Dang is the wife of Thieu Dang, whose HAAA interview can be accessed here. She immigrated with her two children from Saigon, South Vietnam to Houston in 1991 after being sponsored by her husband.

Who did you learn this recipe from?

Egg Rolls is a traditional dish of Vietnamese, I learned from my mother.

On what occasions did you typically eat it during your childhood?

Family Reunion, festivals, TET (New Year).

On what occasions do you typically cook it now?

Family reunion, Class Reunion, Special days (TET)… 

Has this recipe has changed over time? Have you made any modifications? Why? 

Yes, it has changed over time, because it is hard to find ingredients, for instant in Vietnam, we use Pachyrhizus root (jicama) instead of carrot, using rice paper as wrapper…  or by personal preference, i.e. adding crab meat, bean sprouts… 

Why it is personally significant to you? What memories or people do you associate with this dish? 

When preparing or eating Egg-Rolls, I remember my childhood, my mother, my classmates in elementary school, my country. Oh, all my memories seem appearing right in front of me.