An almost ten-year-old recipe but I still remember the day I made these spring rolls. The girls were away in college, and there was just my husbamd, Speedy, and myself at home. I was craving Vietnamese spring rolls but I was still allergic to shrimps at the time (thankfully, I no longer am). To satisfy the craving, I made these.
What do these spring rolls taste like, really? Sweet and sour with a little heat.
The filling simple enough to make. Stir fry ground pork, ginger and garlic, pour in Vietnamese mixed fish sauce and cook until the liquid has been soaked up by the meat. Then, stir in cubes of fresh pineapple.
Then, the spinach goes in. Because I used water / swamp spinach (we call it kangkong in the Philippines), the stalks went in first as they require a longer cooking time. When soft, the leaves were added.
The stir fried pork, swamp spinach and pineapple is already a fully cooked dish. You can serve it with rice and it’s very, very good.
But I wanted spring rolls. So, I waited a little bit until the mixture has cooled so as not to create steam inside the rice paper which would make it soggy. After the mixture has cooled to room temperature, you can use it as a spring roll filling, as I did.
Pork, spinach and pineapple rice paper spring rolls
Modified Vietnamese mixed fish sauce
- 1 ½ tablespoons fish sauce
- 2 tablespoons calamansi juice - or lime or lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon white sugar
- 1 big pinch chopped garlic
- 1 bird's eye chili - (optional)
- 1 tablespoon cooking oil
- 200 grams ground pork
- 1 teaspoon finely minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon finely chopped ginger
- 2 finger chilies - (mildly hot chilies work best), thinly sliced
- 2 to 3 slices fresh pineapple - cut into half-inch cubes to measure one cup
- 1 bunch kangkong (swamp / water spinach) - cut into half-inch pieces, thick stalks and leaves separated
To make the spring rolls
- 8 to 10 sheets rice paper
- 1 small handful cilantro
- Stir together all the ingredients for the sauce until the sugar is fully dissolved.
- Heat the cooking oil in a wok or frying pan.
- Over high heat, add the pork, garlic and ginger. Cook, stirring, until the pork is no longer pink.
- Add the chilies and cook, stirring, for a minute.
- Pour in the Vietnamese mixed fish sauce. Stir. Allow to cook with occasional stirring until almost dry.
- Add the pineapple cubes. Stir.
- Add the thick stalks of the kangkong. Stir. Cook for a minute.
- Add the thinner stalks and leaves of the kangkong. Stir. Cook for another minute. Taste. Adjust the seasonings, if needed.
- Transfer to a shallow bowl and cool completely.
- Moisten a sheet of rice paper in a shallow bowl of water until softened then lay flat on your work surface.
- Place a heaping tablespoonful or two (depending on the size of your rice paper) at the middle, top with some torn cilantro and wrap.
- Repeat until all the rice paper had been filled, or until you run of out filling, whichever happens first.