Hanoi Crisp Parcels with Vermicelli Salad: Bun Nem Ran

TOTAL TIME: 1 hr 26 min
Prep: 1 hr
Inactive Prep: 20 min
Cook: 6 min
 
YIELD: 4 to 6 servings
LEVEL: Intermediate

ingredients

  • 1 1/2 ounces/ 40 g dried wood ear mushrooms
  • 1 1/2 ounces/ 40 g bean thread vermicelli
  • 1 jicama, peeled and julienned
  • 7 ounces/ 200 g minced pork
  • 7 ounces/ 200 g crabmeat (from fish monger)
  • 1/2 onion, finely diced
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • Sea salt and ground white pepper
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 20 (8-inch/ 20 cm diameter) dried round rice paper wrappers
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Directions

Put the mushrooms in a bowl, cover with water and soak for 20 minutes, then drain and thinly slice.

Soak the bean thread vermicelli in water for 20 minutes, then drain and cut into 1 1/2-inch/4 cm lengths.

Place the sliced jicama in a muslin cloth and squeeze out its juice, then discard.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the mushrooms, vermicelli, jicama, pork, crabmeat, onion, sugar, 2 teaspoons sea salt, 2 teaspoons white pepper, and fish sauce.

Knead the mixture in the bowl for 10 minutes, or until your arms get tired.

Working with one rice paper at a time, submerge the rice paper in a large pan of warm water, then transfer it to a chopping board or work surface.

Take 1 1/2 heaping tablespoons of the mixture and place it on the bottom edge of the rice paper. Fold the 2 adjacent sides, one on top of the other, into the center.

Roll the apex to form a nice firm roll, and secure with a dab of beaten egg white. Repeat until you have filled all the rice papers.

Pour the oil into a wok and heat to 350 degrees F/ 180 degrees C, or until a cube of bread dropped into the oil browns in 15 seconds.

Fry the parcels in 3 batches for 6 minutes, or until lightly browned and crisp.

Evenly distribute the rice vermicelli noodles among 4 to 6 bowls, top with sliced herbs, then cut the parcels into the bowls.

Pour 2 tablespoons nuoc cham into each bowl and garnish with fried shallots and peanuts.

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