Deep frying for the first time

Tonight, we hosted a belated Chinese-Vietnamese New Year dinner, and I made five different dishes, including something I’ve always be interested in making, but was always scared to test out: Vietnamese fried spring rolls. I grew up with my mom making them, although with flour wrappers vs. rice paper wrappers, which are actually the most traditional kind in Vietnam. After seeing how relatively straightforward the process was with frying in a shallow pan at the Vietnamese cooking class Chris got me last month, and how good the rice paper wrappers came out, I decided that I would try this out for our dinner party tonight. If I could do it in the cooking class, I had to be able to do it at home, right? And with a Costco-priced container of canola oil, the oil would not be a huge investment. So I successfully made them tonight. I made the filling out of minced pork, shrimp, mung bean noodles, wood ear and cloud ear mushrooms, carrot, shallot, cilantro, and scallion. I tested out the seasoning by pan frying a little before stuffing and rolling them in rice paper. And I made sure to toggle the heat between medium and medium-low to make sure the oil didn’t burn. They weren’t as evenly golden as they always are in the restaurants, but they came out tasty and how I expected them to look. I was pretty proud of myself in the end. Now, the only thing I regret is not doubling the recipe and storing the second batch in the freezer for quick fried spring rolls in the future.

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