Walking down the street in Bangkok and just hearing the ploppity, plip, plat of Thai spring rolls frying up to golden perfection made my mouth water. I couldn’t resist buying a little baggy of them, and hearing that loud crunch after my first bite into their crispy layers as the tender steaming hot goodness of bean vermicelli noodles, shredded cabbage and ground pork flooded my mouth.
The Thai sweet spicy spring roll dipping sauce would dribble down my chin, but I didn’t even notice because I was so entranced with the wonder before me of fried Thai spring rolls.
My favorite place to order them in Bangkok was at Pisces, a hole-in-the-wall tiny restaurant on a soi (alleyway) near the Siam BTS station. It was a few steps away from Wendy’s House, a hostel where I’d first met one of my best ex-pat British friends, who lived there for awhile when we taught in Bangkok.
We taught at different schools, but during teaching breaks, we’d text, “Let’s meet up tonight for Thai spring rolls at Pisces!” After our classes ended, and Bangkok night life was just waking up, we’d meet up in front of Pisces. We’d give big hugs like we hadn’t seen each other in forever even though it was usually just a few days since we’d last met.
Then we’d sit at the rickety plastic table and chairs and chat about a hidden gem of a Thai beach our friend had just visited that we should definitely explore together on the next school holiday, and laugh about our fun students with nicknames like Time and Beer.
Then we’d crunch on our Thai spring rolls and declare how they must be the best in Bangkok, or were they the best because we found them near the nostalgic spot where we first became fast friends?
Now, 13 years later, instead of hopping on the Sky Train to go to my favorite Thai spring roll place with my British friend, Thai Hubby and I drive 30 minutes down Tennessee mountain roads to Monsoon, a restaurant adjacent to cow pastures of rolling green hills. No Thais sit around us at the long counter that overlooks the kitchen, but instead a Thai grandma cooks for us and Tennessee folks sit around chat with a country twang and live just down the way a bit.
But even though many of the regulars only have ever eaten Thai food at Monsoon, they’ve got good taste, because the most beloved dish of everyone who walks in the door is the crispy Thai spring rolls that with one bite flash Thai Hubby and I back to the sois of Bangkok.
The precious Thai grandma who owns the place rolls each Thai spring roll one by one to order, never in advance, like a special personalized present she wants to make for each individual customer, most of whom she knows by name and goes with to the Baptist church on the street over.
And now that same ploppity plip plat of frying up Thai crispy spring rolls that I used to hear on the streets of Bangkok is heard in my own kitchen. My Thai friend Nan who worked with in Bangkok visited me in Boone recently, and while wandering at the Asian market we saw spring roll wrappers in the refrigerated section and the drooling commenced!
She taught me this Thai Spring Roll recipe that her mom taught her: her mom who spent all her life cooking at the small restaurant they owned in Bangkok. It was my first time making them at home, and my kids couldn’t get enough of them.
I’d love to hear your Thai spring roll story! Where was your favorite place you’ve ever had them? And if you made them with this recipe, who did you make them for?
My favorite place to hang out is on Instagram, so send your pic to me @thaifoodie, and I’d love to share it in one of my Instagram stories!Print
Crunchy authentic Thai spring rolls that bring you back to the streets of Bangkok with every bite of crispy shell, slippery noodles, and flavorful pork paired with a Thai sweet and spicy spring roll dipping sauce. Drool worthy!
2 servings bean vermicelli noodles
1/2 tbsp minced garlic
1/2 lb ground pork (or any ground meat of choice)
4 cups shredded green cabbage (napa works too!)
1/2 tbsp sugar, or more, to taste
6 cups frying oil of choice (we like peanut, but canola or vegetable works too)
Cook the noodles according to package directions. Typically, I put 2 noodle servings in a noodle strainer in boiling water, and keep an eye on it for about 1-2 minutes, and once it’s soft, drain it.
Warm a wok or pan of choice over medium-hight heat. Add a few tablespoons of cooking oil to coat the pan.
Add the garlic and stir-fry until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Then push the garlic to the side of the pan or wok, and add the ground pork.
Stir-fry the pork, and when the pork is almost done, then add the cabbage, and stir until cabbage is soft, and meat is no longer pink and cooked through, just a few minutes.
Grab big sections of the noodles, and cut into about 5 inch long strips, so it’s easier to eat them once in the spring rolls.
Add the noodles to the ground pork and cabbage, and mix until combined. Add soy sauce and sugar to taste.
Let noodle mixture cool to room temperature before adding to the spring roll wraps because the wraps can fall apart if the mixture is too hot.
Place a small bowl of water and brush to the side of a cutting board.
Put a spring roll wrap on the cutting board, and lay it so it’s like a diamond (take a look at the pics above). Take about two tablespoons of the noodle, pork, cabbage mixture, and add to the corner closest to you, about a 1/2 inch or so from the tip of the spring roll sheet. Spread the filling out into a log-shape, leaving a little room on either side of the sheet.
Starting with the side closest to you, roll it up, tucking over the sides as you go, as super tight as you can, so oil doesn’t get inside. Lightly brush the unrolled spring roll wrapper with water as you roll to help secure it. Press firmly at the end to seal it. Continue until you’ve reached the amount of spring rolls you want. You make have some extra filling. Enjoy it with your meal! And if you have extra wrappers, wrap tightly and refrigerate or freeze them.
Heat oil in a wok, fryer, or Dutch oven to 325 to 350 degrees F. To test to see if it’s warm enough without an instant read thermometer, put in a wooden, unvarnished chopstick, and when bubbles start to stream up next to the chopstick, you know it’s warm enough. Or drop a little corner of the spring roll shell in, and if it bubbles up right away, it’s ready.
Place a baking sheet lined with paper towels next to the cooking area. Using tongs, fill the pot with as many spring rolls that will fit without overcrowding, and fry until golden brown.
If the oil is hot enough, it will cook quickly and just take a few minutes. Since everything is cooked inside the spring roll, you don’t have to worry about the inside cooking, so once it’s golden all over on the outside, use tongs to take it out and add the next batch. Keep an eye on it, since it can go from golden brown to dark brown very quickly.
Serve warm with Thai spring roll dipping sauce.
I’ve never baked mine since we love them crispy fried, but if you want to try it out, the best way to bake them is to preheat an oven to 400 degrees F. Put the spring rolls, seam side down, spaced out on a baking sheet, and brush each one with frying oil of choice.
Bake until crispy, 20-25 minutes.
- Prep Time: 10
- Cook Time: 30
- Category: Thai
- Method: Deep Fry
- Cuisine: Thai
Keywords: Thai spring roll sauce, Thai crispy spring rolls, Thai fried spring rolls recipe, how to make thai spring rolls, thai spring roll recipe, spring roll recipe, spring roll, thai spring roll