About the dish
It’s no secret that travelling is as much an opportunity for your taste buds to experience new things as your eyes and ears, and what better way to savour a destination’s cuisine than with the guidance of the people who know it best – the locals? Born in the Bac Giang Province and based in Hanoi with his team of English-speaking travel agents, Tuan, Evaneos’ local expert in Vietnam, has been creating unique, tailor-made itineraries for travellers looking to explore his home country for over ten years. There are fewer people with a greater knowledge or appreciation of Vietnam, so today, in the spirit of sharing his passion for Vietnamese cuisine, Tuan is passing on one of his family’s favourite recipes for you to try yourself: Prawn and Omelette Spring Rolls.
This iconic dish is made using eggs, prawns, vegetables, herbs, and dried vermicelli wrapped in ‘bánh tráng’ (Vietnamese rice paper which can be found in the international section of most major supermarkets). Spring rolls are prepared by locals as a summertime appetizer throughout the southern, tropical regions of Vietnam in particular, and Tuan’s advice is to use an unripe pineapple rather than a ripe one, because the slight tartness will provide a contrast to the sweetness of the prawns and the heat of the chilli. If you’d like to try this dish in person where it’s made, Tuan’s agency offers a History, Heritage & Local Cuisine Tour, which, like all Evaneos’ tours, can be 100% customised to you and your travel companions.
Recipe: Prawn and omelette spring rolls (Nem Cuốn Tôm Trứng)
- 1 egg
- Oil, for frying
- 50g dried vermicelli
- 4 rice-paper wrapper
- 1/2 small iceberg or other crisp green lettuces, thinly sliced
- ¼ unripe pineapple, cut into 5 cm batons
- 1 chilli, seeded and cut into thin strips
- 4 cooked prawns, peeled and cut in half lengthways
- ½ handful coriander sprigs
- Classic dipping sauce to serve
Break egg into a small bowl, lightly season with salt and pepper and whisk to combine. Heat a little oil in a non-stick frying pan. Pour in the mixture; gently stir for 5 seconds, spreading the egg over the base of the pan, then cook until set. Cool the omelette, then cut into 3mm wide strips.
Soak the rice vermicelli in boiling water for 20 minutes. Stir to separate the noodles, then drain and refresh under cold water. Use kitchen scissors to cut the vermicelli into easy-to-manage lengths.
Dip a rice-paper wrapper in warm water for 1 second. Do not soak the wrapper as it will become too soft and tear when rolled. Place the wrapper on a flat surface. Wait for 20 seconds, then place the lettuce, noodles, pineapple, omelette, chili, prawns and coriander in a straight line on the bottom third of the wrapper up over the filling, fold in the sides and then roll up. Set aside, seam-side down, while you prepare the remaining spring rolls.
Serve with the dipping sauce.
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