Jessica Nguyen's Vietnamese Vegetarian Spring Rolls

Welcome to Put on a Spread, a new recipe series that celebrates our Spreads. by Bed Threads. tableware collection. For this instalment, home cook, The Makers alumni and self-confessed CEO of 'chilli oil on everything', Jessica Nguyen, shares her at-home entertaining go-to: vegetarian spring rolls.  

Everything Jessica Nguyen touches turns to yum. Seriously, one look at Jess's expertly curated Instagram feed and suddenly we're filled with a strong desire to craft a delicious home cooked meal, host a dinner party for 10 and make a meal plan for the upcoming week. And let's be clear, this isn't typical behaviour for us. 

Whether it's the simplicity of her follow-at-home recipe formats, her Pin-able imagery or just her contagious energy, there's nothing Jess whips up in the kitchen that we don't eventually want our our plates. 

And that's exactly what can be said for her Vietnamese spring roll recipe. It's a true crowd pleaser (have you ever met someone who doesn't like spring rolls!?). Freshly made and vegetarian-friendly, these hot and crispy rolls will be a foolproof addition to any dinner party, picnic or summer entertaining you've got in your future. 

Ingredients

  • 1 packet (50 wrappers/250g) of spring roll wrappers
  • 1-2 cups of neutral tasting oil (vegetable, canola) 

Spring roll filling:

  • 1 carrot, finely grated
  • 8 x dried Chinese brown or shitake mushrooms, rehydrated and finely chopped
  • 1/2 of a wombok or Chinese cabbage 
  • 150g of taro, finely chopped
  • 1 bunch of enoki mushrooms, roughly chopped 
  • 1 small bunch of coriander, finely chopped
  • 4 stalks of spring onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon of sesame oil  
  • 2 tablespoons of corn flour
  • 1 egg, lightly whisked 
  • Salt, pepper and sugar to taste

To serve:

  • 1 head of lettuce, washed
  • 2 Lebanese cucumbers, cut into batons 
  • Fresh coriander (from the bunch above)

Method

Add all fillings ingredients: carrot, cabbage, mushrooms, spring onion into a bowl and mix until combined. If you're using dried mushrooms, submerge them into a bowl of boiling water and allow to rehydrate for 10 minutes. Squeeze out the excess water and dry on a paper towel before finely chopping. 

Once you combined all ingredients, you may find that it is quite wet, so use a colander or paper towel to pat off the excess moisture. 

Add in the sesame oil, egg and a tablespoon of corn flour to bind the mixture together. Adjust with a generous pinch of salt, pepper and sugar to taste. 

Add half a tablespoon of water into a small bowl with the remaining corn flour and stir until combined. You will use this mixture to seal the spring roll ends so they don't unravel. 

Gently peel your spring roll wrappers apart one at a time from the pack and cover with a damp tea towel to avoid them drying out. Get ready to roll!

To roll the spring rolls, place a heaped tablespoon of the filling onto one of the corners of the square wrapper and roll into a cigar shape. Fold each of the ends into the middle like a burrito and roll all the way down until there's no wrapper left. Dip your finger into the corn flour mixture and dot the end corner of the wrapper to seal the end and prevent the spring roll from unravelling. Continue rolling spring rolls until there is no filling left. 

To fry, place about 1-2 cups of neutral oil (vegetable or canola) into a pot and heat. Your oil is ready when you place the end of a chopstick into the oil and it starts bubbling. 

Gently drop 6 spring rolls into the oil at a time and fry for 5-6 minutes on medium heat. Don't have your oil on high otherwise the wrapper will cook too quickly whilst the filling on the inside will not cook entirely. Also use tongs or chopsticks to turn the spring rolls every minute to ensure they cook evenly. 

Once golden brown, remove from the oil and place onto a tray lined with paper towel to drain off excess oil for a minute. 

Serve hot and immediately with some fresh lettuce leaves, cucumber cut into batons, fresh coriander and some Vietnamese Dipping Sauce (Nuoc Cham - find the recipe for this in my Instagram highlights). 

Shop Jessica's look with our Terracotta Tablecloth, Turmeric Placemats and Terracotta napkins.

For more from Jessica, follow her at @jessca_nguyen_ and check out her home tour.

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