Spring Rolls (Paw Pia Thawt)


The little Thai CookbookThese savoury rolls are popular throughout Southeast Asia. The Thai version is a delicate cross between Chinese and Vietnamese styles. Thai spring rolls are deep-fried until light golden brown and crisp. They can be served with chilli or light soy sauce.



  • 2 oz (50 g) vermicelli, cellophane or wun sen noodles
  • ½ oz (15 g) dried black fungus (about half a handful)
  • 2 ablespoons plain (all-purpose) flour
  • 1½ tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 4 oz (100 g) minced (ground) chicken or pork
  • 1 small carrot, finely grated
  • 5 oz 123 (140 g) bean sprouts
  • 1 cm (½ in) piece of ginger, finely grated
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1½ tablespoons oyster sauce
  • ¼ teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 25 spring roll sheets, 13 cm (5 in) square
  • peanut oil, for deep-frying
  • a chilli sauce, to serve
How to Make It
  1. Soak the vermicelli in hot water for 1–2 minutes, or until soft. Drain, then cut into small pieces. Soak the dried mushrooms in hot water for 2–3 minutes, or until soft. Drain, then finely chop. To make a paste, stir the flour and 2 tablespoons of water together in a small bowl until smooth.
  2. Heat the oil in a wok or frying pan and stir-fry the garlic until golden brown. Add the chicken or pork and, using a spoon, break up the meat until it has separated and is cooked through. Add the vermicelli, mushrooms, carrot, bean sprouts, ginger, fish sauce, oyster sauce and white pepper. Cook for another 4–5 minutes, then adjust the seasoning. Allow to cool.
  3. Place 3 spring roll sheets on a work surface and spread some flour paste around the edges. Keep the remaining sheets in the plastic bag. Spoon 2 teaspoons of filling onto a sheet along the side nearest to you, about 2.5 cm (1 in) from the edge. Bring the edge up, then roll it away from you a half turn over the filling. Fold the sides into the centre to enclose the filling, then wrap and seal the join with the flour paste. Repeat with the rest of the filling and wrappers. (At this stage, the spring rolls can be frozen. If freezing, wrap each roll with another spring roll sheet.)
  4. Heat 5 cm (2 in) oil in a wok or deep frying pan over medium heat. When the oil seems hot, drop a small piece of spring roll sheet into the oil. If it sizzles immediately, the oil is ready. Don’t have the oil too hot. Lower five rolls into the oil and deep-fry for 2–3 minutes. When they start to go hard, lower another four rolls into the oil and deep-fry them all together. To help cook the tops, splash oil over the tops. Deep-fry for 6–8 minutes, or until crisp. As the spring rolls cook, lift out one at a time with a slotted spoon and add another. Drain on paper towels. Serve with a chilli sauce.

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