Mai Khanh

La folie des Nems

(activate English subtitles)

Crazy, CRAY-ZEE! “Allo Mai? Yeah it’s Mai! So how about that fried spring roll recipe?!”


Mai and I have known each other for about 20 years (aaaaaahhhhhhhh!), we were together at L’ESSEC but became friends later (life is never like we imagine it). She’s brilliant, she’s gentle, she’s courageous, Mai is someone who has always greatly inspired me.


We went to visit her one weekend in Lille with the kids, many thanks to her, her boyfriend and their little man (ISN’T HE CUTE THIS LITTLE ONE?!!!!).


For those of you who want to try the art of spring rolls, click to get the recipe.




For the Fried Spring rolls

-500g of ground pork or ground pork/veal

-pack of cellophane noodles (bean thread or glass noodle)

-bowl of dried wood-ear mushrooms

-1 yellow onion

-2 cans crab meat

-1-2 eggs to tie the filling

-black pepper

-nuoc mam (just a little bit to add salt, but do not use if you add crab)

-rice paper


For the Nuoc Mam

-1 lemon or lime

– sugar

-nuoc mam (fish sauce)

-1 garlic clove

-1 carrot

-1 turnip (optional)

-1 red chili pepper (optional)


Add: Lettuce leaf, fresh cilantro, fresh mint


For the measurements you can visit my bobun recipe here


To do the filling

  • Dice the onion
  • Soak the mushrooms in hot water to rehydrate them (about 20 minutes), drain, trim the chewy stems and finely chop.
  • Soak the noodles in boiling water and set aside, drain and rinse in cold water after 15 minutes. Cut in small pieces with scissors by cutting randomly into the noodles.
  • Sauté the onions and mushrooms in a skillet or pan and set aside to cool.
  • In a salad bowl mix the meat filling, the mushrooms, onions, noodles, crab meat, a drop of nuoc mam, a pinch of black pepper. To finish add 1-2 eggs to bind the filling giving it a smooth texture.



To Roll the spring rolls


  • In a large salad bowl filled with cold water add a drop of beer (to give the rice paper a crusty texture but not too much otherwise the paper will crack when frying).
  • Wet the rice paper sheet in the salad bowl by submerging them quickly and removing.
  • Lay the rice sheets on a clean kitchen towel, set flat on your counter (the towel will absorb the excess water).
  • Place a heaping tablespoon of the filing on the top third of the wet rice paper sheet. Using your fingers press the filling gently and shape into a small cylindrical shape keeping room on each side.
  • Lift the top edge over the filling and then fold in both sides. Roll into a small cylinder keeping it tight.


This is it!


Fry the spring roll two times in very hot vegetable oil.  You can also fry them once to be frozen and heat up later by deep-frying them again.


For the dipping sauce


  • Add water, lemon juice and sugar in a small pan.
  • Add the nuoc mam (fish sauce).
  • Taste (if too sour, add some water with sugar to sweeten; not lemony enough, add lemon juice and if not enough salt add more nuoc mam.
  • Let it cool off a bit and add the pressed garlic, the shredded carrot (and turnip if you like), a red chili pepper cut into thin slices (for those who like the sauce spicy).


Jonie Mitchell – California

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