Tuesday, January 15, 2019


That's the French word for Vietnamese fried egg rolls. France has a history with Vietnam, and the exchange of food is probably one of the more significant legacies of that relationship. Aside from the war. But I digress.

The ingredients, assembled, for making nems.

We've made nems before, but it's been a long time. These days we find them easily in the supermarket. But I decided it would be fun to make some again, so a few months ago we got the wrappers from the Asian store. They're rice paper wrappers, dried and intended to be softened in water before use.

The filling on the wrapper, then I rolled it up, folding in the ends to keep the filling inside.

I pulled together all the ingredients for the filling. For the meat, I used finely diced chicken, leftover from the capon that Ken roasted the other day. The other ingredients include rice noodles (I used soy bean noodles), minced onion, carrot, ginger, and garlic, bean sprouts, nuoc-mâm (Vietnamese fish sauce), and some fresh and dried cilantro. I also added finely minced white mushrooms, squeezed to eliminate their water.

I got seventeen nems (Vietnamese egg rolls) from the batch of filling that I made. No photos of them cooked. Sorry!

I soaked the rice paper for thirty seconds in warm water, then stuffed each one, wrapping and rolling them to keep the filling in. The first batch got deep-fried in oil. That was a mistake. They burst open and the filling started to ooze out. They tasted fine, but looked awful. I baked the second batch in the oven with much better results. The rest, about half, went into the freezer for another time. They will be baked in the oven when it's time.


  1. Oh these look SO good! Believe it or not I used to make my own bite sized egg rolls for cocktail parties we would host. Yes I did. I’d cut the wrappers in half. And they were actually good. Not as gourmet I’m sure as yours but still good. I DID cook things sometimes!

  2. so you froze before you baked?

  3. When you baked them did you also oil the outsides?

  4. Now I am hungry. But I would have to make them without cilantro since I'm one of those people who lack the gene to appreciate this herb. But perhaps I could substitute parsley.

  5. Vietnamese also call it nem, nem rán or chả giò depending on the region. This type of rice paper can be quickly dipped in warm water for maybe 2-3 seconds and will soften up shortly after and be pliable for rolling and frying up!


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