Asparagus soup with black truffle cream

Asparagus: good fare for us

Originally appeared in the May 12, 2011 edition of the Southside Times.

Slender, healthy, and easy on the eyes.  While it might be a description to which some aspire, I’m actually talking about asparagus.  Harvested between March and late June, now is the perfect time to take advantage of this venerable perennial.  Continue to read after the jump: (more…)

Vietnamese Spring Rolls (Chá Giò), Version #1

Servings:  approximately 28, 3-inch rolls

  • As needed, 9-inch spring roll wrappers (rice paper sheets)
  • As needed, oil for cooking


  • 1 ounce cellophane noodles
  • ½ ounce dried mushrooms
  • 2 tablespoons dried, wood ear mushrooms
  • 1 scallion, minced
  • 2 ounce white onion, minced
  • 4 ounce ground pork
  • 4 ounces crab meat, cooked, shredded
  • 1 egg
  • To taste kosher salt
  • To taste cracked black pepper

1.  Soak dried mushrooms in warm water for at least thirty minutes.  Remove, slice fine.  Soak cellophane noodles in hot water for five minutes.  Drain and cut into 2 inch pieces.  Combine all filling ingredients, and temporarily reserve in refrigerator.

2.  In batches, soak spring roll wrappers in warm water—or a solution of water and rice wine vinegar—until sheets are soft and pliable.  Lay flat, dabbing with towel to soak up excess moisture.  (Depending on how large you want the spring rolls, you may need to cut the sheets in half or quarters.)

3.  Place a small amount of the filling (about 1 tablespoon) in a cigar shape on lower third of rice paper.  Fold bottom edge over the filling, then fold in both sides.  Brush top edge with water, then complete the rolling process, ensuring the filling is encased and roll is secure.  Place finished roll on a sheet pan and cover with a damp towel to prevent the roll from drying out.  Continue to make rolls until filling is used up.

4.  In a heavy-bottomed pot, heat frying oil to 350°F.  In batches, and using the swimming method, deep-fry until golden brown and crispy.  Drain on paper towel.

5.  Serve with nuoc cham or peanut dipping sauce.

Published in: on August 26, 2010 at 6:09 am  Leave a Comment  
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