For such a long time, fried spring roll has contributed to the shaping Vietnamese cuisine. Spring roll is a dish that once you have tasted, you just want to have more. With it origin in the Southern Vietnam, fried spring roll was brought to Hanoi and became a favorite one of Hanoian. Essentially, spring roll is a must-have dish for special occasions such as Tet, family gatherings, etc. Nowadays, the dish can be served all year round, and present in almost every menu of Vietnamese restaurant abroad. In Vietnam, spring roll is called “nem” for short by the Northerners. In Central Vietnam, the dish is given the name “nem cuốn”, depicting its shape. Meanwhile, the Southerners call it “chả giò”. Spring rolls is not always accompanied with rice but can also be eaten with round noodle in the mouth-watering “bún nem “dish.
To Vietnamese people, fried spring roll is the embodiment of tradition, skillfulness, quintessence of Vietnamese fine cuisine. For an authentic taste, all the ingredients must be carefully chosen and prepared. Ingredients used for the fried spring roll can be different depending each region but usually it consists of lean minced pork or beef, sliced mushroom, glass noodle, finely chopped carrot, spring onion and onion, duck or chicken eggs. There are also special variants of the traditional pork-based roll, such as Crab spring rolls or Nem Cua Be. Optionally, dried shrimp can be added for more flavor. The ingredients will then be seasoned with salt, pepper, and mixed thoroughly before being wrapped with thin rice paper into small rolls. These rolls are then fried in boiling oil until golden
The dish itself is a masterpiece but it’s not yet complete without the perfect-made dipping sauce. A quality dipping sauce should be the harmonious combination of nước mắm (savory fish sauce), a bit of sugar, salt, umami, some drop of lime juice or vinegar. Water, pepper and fresh chilli will then be added and adjusted to suit the one’s reference. Spring roll is always served with herbs and vegetable, namely cilantro, lettuce, etc.
Nowadays, Vietnamese come up with many recipes for spring rolls; however, the traditional spring rolls still have a favorable place in people’s heart.
- Quán Nem: 123 Bùi Thị Xuân, Hai Bà Trưng, Hà Nội
- Nem vuông phố cổ: 35 Đào Duy Từ, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội
- Bún chả Đắc Kim Hàng Mành, 1 Hàng Mành, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội
- Quán Gốc Đa: 52 Lý Quốc Sư, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội
Spring roll can be easily found in vermicelli or noodle restaurants. Don’t hesitate to ask the store owner, you might find the best spring rolls in unexpected places.