In 2011, I spent six months living and working in Vietnam. One of the best parts of the experience was trying the local food! As part of a friendly cooking competition in 2013, my friend Ciorsdan and I made an Asian fusion menu for dinner. I was responsible for the starter, and I created a recipe for foie gras spring rolls. Ever since then, I have been asked by friends to make these again.
The combination of foie gras and Vietnamese food is not so hard to imagine. While living in Hanoi, the previous influence of the French was very apparent. For example, there is a French quarter in the city with an Opera house. One of the popular foods is banh mi, a meat and vegetable sandwich served in the Vietnamese version of a baguette.
In Vietnam, there are a number of different types of spring rolls. Some have a smooth wrapper like we usually see in the UK. These can be made of rice or wheat. I prefer these as they are easy to roll, and it is easy to find the ingredients. Others have a pastry that seems more like shredded dough, and these are called Hue spring rolls. I can recommend a few cooking courses in Hanoi where I learned to make spring rolls: Koto, Old Hanoi, and Hidden Hanoi.
Typical spring rolls are delicious either with vegetables only or with minced pork and vegetables. However, I think that the flavour and extra grease from the foie gras adds something special. I hope you will enjoy this Asian fusion recipe for foie gras spring rolls.
200 g foie gras
50 g rice vermicelli noodles, soaked in hot water for 8 minutes to soften, then drained
5 spring onions, thinly sliced
1 handful wood ear mushrooms, soaked in hot water until soft, then thinly sliced
1 large carrot, shredded
Handful bean sprouts (optional)
1/2 large cabbage head, shredded
4 cloves garlic
Salt and pepper to taste
1 Tbsp sesame oil
3 Tbsp oyster sauce
2 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp rice wine
1 pack spring roll wrappers (Vietnamese rice ones are round, otherwise the Chinese version is also okay)
Vegetable oil for frying
Sweet chili sauce for dipping (optional)
First, soak mushrooms in warm water for 15 minutes. Then soften rice vermicelli noodles in a bowl of hot water. Drain when soft, about 5 minutes, and set aside. Drain and cut wood centre from mushrooms, slice thinly and put in large bowl.
Next chop garlic, and spring onion. Grate the carrots and shred the cabbage. Add all to the mix.
Crush the bean sprouts by hand and add to mix. These are optional and I often leave them out. Cut the noodles into short lengths and add to mix. Then season with salt and pepper to taste. Add the sesame oil, oyster sauce, soy sauce and rice wine. Mix well and drain off any excess liquid.
Place a spoonful of the mixture onto a spring roll wrapper. If you are making with the foie gras, then top with a thin layer of foie gras, tuck in the ends and roll into a tight cylinder. Use fresh water to stick the wrapper together. Set onto a tray, seam side down. Continue until all of the mixture is used up.
Next, heat oil over medium for shallow frying in a pan. Heat the oil until wooden chopstick bubbles when placed in the oil. Put spring roll into the oil, seam side down to ensure a good seal.
Fry until golden brown, turning continually at low-med heat. Drain on a cooling rack lined with paper towels. Serve hot on their own or with sweet chili sauce
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