Hanoi Crisp Parcels with Vermicelli Salad: Bun Nem Ran

  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 1 hr 26 min
  • Prep: 1 hr
  • Inactive: 20 min
  • Cook: 6 min
  • Yield: 4 to 6 servings
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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 

Sea salt and ground white pepper

1 tablespoon fish sauce

20 (8-inch/ 20 cm diameter) dried round rice paper wrappers

1 egg white, lightly beaten

Vegetable oil, for deep-frying

1 large handful perilla leaves

1 large handful fresh mint leaves

1 large handful fresh Vietnamese mint

17 1/2 ounces/ 500 g cooked rice vermicelli

3 tablespoons fried red shallots

3 tablespoons roasted peanuts

1 cup/ 250 ml nuoc cham

Directions

  1. Put the mushrooms in a bowl, cover with water and soak for 20 minutes, then drain and thinly slice. 
  2. Soak the bean thread vermicelli in water for 20 minutes, then drain and cut into 1 1/2-inch/4 cm lengths. 
  3. Place the sliced jicama in a muslin cloth and squeeze out its juice, then discard. 
  4. 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. 
  5. Knead the mixture in the bowl for 10 minutes, or until your arms get tired. 
  6. 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. 
  7. 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. 
  8. 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. 
  9. 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. 
  10. Fry the parcels in 3 batches for 6 minutes, or until lightly browned and crisp. 
  11. Evenly distribute the rice vermicelli noodles among 4 to 6 bowls, top with sliced herbs, then cut the parcels into the bowls. 
  12. Pour 2 tablespoons nuoc cham into each bowl and garnish with fried shallots and peanuts.

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