Revamp Your Spring Rolls with This Secret Ingredient for Extra Crunch and Freshness

Spring rolls are one of the most popular dishes during the Lunar New Year, but do you know which type of wrapper to use when wrapping them to ensure that the spring rolls stay crispy for longer?

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Different types of nem wrappers

– Traditional nem rice paper

Traditional nem rice paper wrappers such as the ones from Chều village and Thổ Hà village are usually soft, thin, and sometimes need to be moistened with water for easier wrapping. The rice paper wrapper has a slightly salty taste. Nem made with this type of rice paper wrapper is usually crispy and delicious right after frying. When frozen, nem wrapped with this type of rice paper wrapper is prone to breaking, the color of the wrapper becomes dull, it burns easily, and becomes soggy quickly.

To make nem wrapped with this type of rice paper wrapper more appetizing and crispy, you can brush some sugar water, vinegar, or beer on the wrapper before frying.

– Beef spring roll wrapper

Beef spring roll wrappers are soft and do not need to be moistened before wrapping. When fried, these wrappers turn golden and look beautiful. Note that beef spring roll wrappers usually have a slightly sweet taste and absorb more oil compared to other types of wrappers.

– Bamboo grilled rice paper wrapper

Bamboo grilled rice paper wrappers are similar to beef spring roll wrappers, they are crispy when fried and have a nice color. However, the bamboo grilled wrapper has many small holes, so more oil will seep into the filling. You can use bamboo grilled wrappers as a lining inside traditional rice paper wrappers to make the nem more crispy and suitable.

– Rice paper wrapper

Rice paper wrappers are a popular choice for wrapping nem. They are firm, pale, and not easily torn. Nem wrapped with rice paper wrappers will have a beautiful golden color and can be frozen and used gradually without worrying about the wrappers breaking.

– Cầu Bố nem wrapper

Cầu Bố nem wrappers are usually large in size, crispy, and easy to break. This type of wrapper often needs to be moistened with water before wrapping. When fried, the wrapper has a beautiful color, so it is best to eat it immediately after frying as the wrapper becomes soggy quickly.

Other notes when wrapping nem

– Nem filling

The nem filling can be varied according to the preferences of each family. The traditional nem filling usually consists of minced pork, shiitake mushrooms, carrots, jicama, onions, bean sprouts, glass noodles, etc. If you like seafood, you can add shrimp, crab, clams, etc.

The meat should be marinated with a little seasoning powder, fish sauce, pepper, and cooking oil.

The vegetables should be washed thoroughly, finely sliced, and marinated with a little salt to reduce moisture. If the vegetables are too wet, the nem filling will become wet, easily break, and quickly become soggy.

Soak the glass noodles in warm water (40-50 degrees) until soft, then cut into small pieces. Do not soak the noodles in hot water because they can become mushy, and do not soak them in cold water because they will become hard.

Beat the eggs in a bowl and mix well, do not use too much egg as it will make the nem filling watery.

– Wrapping nem

Wrap the nem firmly but not too tightly, as the filling needs space to expand when fried. If wrapped too tightly, the nem will easily break.

After wrapping, you can put the nem in the refrigerator for a while to make them firmer and the filling more compact. This way, when frying, the nem will maintain a beautiful shape.

– Double frying

For the first time, fry the nem over medium heat to seal the surface. When the nem is about 70% cooked, remove it and drain the oil. Let the nem cool down before frying again. For the second frying, start with medium heat, fry until the rice paper wrapper turns golden, then increase the heat to allow the oil to drain, making the nem crispy without being greasy.

How to make crispier and beautifully golden nem

Many people recommend letting the wrapped nem sit in the refrigerator for about 20 minutes to firm them up a bit before frying, which makes them really crispy.

In this stage, if you want the fried nem to be crispier and have a beautiful golden color, you can brush the rice paper with diluted vinegar. It’s very simple, just take 1/2 cup of water and add about 1 tablespoon of rice vinegar, stir well, and use it to moisten the rice paper when wrapping. This method helps make the nem crispy and more appealing when fried.

In addition, you can make a diluted sugar syrup and brush it on the unwrapped nem rolls. This will give the nem a golden color and make them crispy and delicious.

Another tip is to stack 1 and 1/2 wrappers on top of each other when wrapping nem. The wrappers will be much crispier. Here’s how to do it specifically: Place one square rice paper wrapper on a cutting board, then place another 1/2 wrapper diagonally in the middle. This 1/2 wrapper can be imagined as a ruler to help you adjust the size of the nem rolls evenly. Next, add the filling. Make sure the filling fits within the 1/2 wrapper on top. Fold the rice paper wrapper and roll it 2 times tightly with your hands. Then fold the sides to align with the edge of the 1/2 wrapper on top. Roll evenly and you’re done.

Frying nem

This is also a very important step to make the nem crispy and golden. Many people only fry nem once because they are busy or think that it is sufficient. However, frying nem only once will make them crispy at the beginning. After 15-20 minutes, the nem quickly becomes soggy.

Therefore, it is necessary to fry nem twice. Here’s how to do it: For the first time, heat the oil over low heat and add the nem to fry until they are partly cooked. Then remove the nem and place them on absorbent paper to drain the oil. After the first frying, you can replace the oil and fry the nem until they are fully cooked and the wrapper becomes golden and crispy.

If you don’t want to fry the nem twice, you can deep-fry them in oil. With this method, the nem will cook faster and have a golden color on all sides. To save oil, you can use a deep pan or small pan for frying.

In addition, when adding oil to the pan, add a few drops of lemon juice to prevent oil splatter and make the nem crispy.

After frying the nem, remove them from the oil and place them on absorbent paper immediately. If any residual oil remains on the nem, it will seep back in and make the nem soggy.

Wishing you success in making delicious crispy nem!

 

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Frequently asked questions

The secret ingredient is rice paper! By using rice paper instead of the traditional wheat wrapper, you can achieve a crispier and fresher spring roll. Rice paper is thinner and crispier when fried, and it also absorbs less oil, making for a healthier option.

To prepare rice paper for spring rolls, simply soak the rice paper sheets in warm water for a few seconds until they become soft and flexible. Then, fill them with your desired ingredients and roll them up tightly. The rice paper will become transparent and slightly sticky, which helps to seal the spring roll.

You can fill your spring rolls with a variety of ingredients, such as shrimp, pork, vegetables, and glass noodles. For an extra crunch, you can also add some crushed peanuts or fried shallots. Fresh herbs like mint and cilantro add a nice touch of flavor and freshness.

When frying the spring rolls, use a medium-hot oil temperature of around 350°F. Fry the spring rolls in batches to avoid overcrowding the pan, and fry them until they are golden brown and crispy. A good tip is to add a few slices of ginger or green chili into the oil to enhance the flavor and aroma of the spring rolls.

Yes, you can prepare spring rolls with rice paper in advance and store them in the freezer. When you’re ready to serve, simply fry them directly from frozen, and they will turn out crispy and delicious. This makes them a convenient option for parties or unexpected guests!