Egg Rolls and Vermicelli AKA Bun Cha Gio
Step one: cut a hole in a box.
Oh wait, wrong directions.
Step one: Rent a house with a washer and dryer in the kitchen.
Step two: Turn said washer and dryer into a cooking preparation surface.
Step three: Prevent Tide from spilling into the egg rolls.
Step four: Do not let Asian Grandma run to Tin Tin Oriental Market and leave you to finish up the rolling of the egg rolls. Grandmas these days. You'd think they would buy all the ingredients before making your meals.
So there I was, The Good Doctor conveniently playing with Emmy, while I took on the remaining rolls.
Plates, rice paper, water bowl to wet the rice paper, and yummylicious filling.
Moisten both sides of rice paper with water. Too much and the paper will tear. Very annoying. Too little and it won't soften. Also aggravating. Consult nearest Asian if you're having trouble.
Spoon appropriate amount of filling onto the moistened rice paper. HAH! I said "moistened."
Filling is made of chicken, clear rice noodles, seaweed, diced carrots, jicama, garlic and onion.
Roll up into neat and consistently sized rolls. Like Asian burritos. Which is not another way of saying Dirty Sanchez.
Fry in oil until golden brown.
The thin wrappers make for Vietnamese egg rolls. Thicker wrappers mean it's Filipino lumpia. Like most things this shape, straight is nice. But you can work with the bent ones too.
Cut up the egg rolls and toss onto a plate of warm rice vermicelli noodles, julienned cucumbers, and fresh bean sprouts. You can also add shredded lettuce and mint.
Critical ingredient: nuoc mam. Must douse everything with tasty nuoc mam.
If you want to order this in a Vietnamese restaurant: it's called "Bun Cha Gio." It usually comes with some grilled pork. Tu Lan in San Francisco makes a tremendous bowl. I've eaten it once, out of a plastic container in an NBC live truck parked on the Embarcadero under the Bay Bridge.
I do not recommend doing that. Balancing a plastic container full of nuoc mam in an Econoline van is only for advanced Viets. Savoring a bowl of this is for all humankind.