Cooking time: A few minutes per batch
These delicious crispy rolls are traditional treats for Vietnamese New Year celebrations, but they are popular throughout the year in all regions of Vietnam. In the southern part of the country, they are known as cha gio.
Called "glass" or "cellophane" noodles because of their transparency, these vermicelli are also called "bean threads," since they are made from mung bean starch. They are sold in little bundles of entangled strands that look like nylon.
Simply soak them in boiling water or broth until they turn transparent, about 10-15 minutes. If you forget them in the water, don't worry. Their firmer texture ensures they won't turn to mush or stick together like other noodles.
- Soak the glass noodles in hot water until softened. Rinse them in cold water and cut into short lengths with scissors.
- In another bowl, soak the wood-ears in hot water until softened. Rinse in cold water and cut into very thin slices.
- In a bowl, thoroughly combine the first 12 ingredients to make the filling.
- Dip a sheet of rice paper into warm water just until softened and lay it flat on your work surface. Place a line of filling near the edge facing you. Fold in the two sides and roll up into a tight roll.
- Continue until the filling is used up.
- Deep fry the rolls in hot oil until golden and crispy.
- Combine the ingredients for the dipping sauce, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Serve the spring rolls hot, with the dipping sauce.
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