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Imperial Rolls & Nuoc Mam Pha

Imperial rolls and sweet, sour, and garlicky nuoc mam pha are inseparable friends.

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Nuoc Mam Pha
1 garlic clove, smashed
1 bird’s eye chili, smashed
1 tablespoon lime juice
4 tablespoons Red Boat fish sauce
8 tablespoons sugar
¾ cup hot water

Imperial Rolls
4 pounds ground pork
1 ounce wood ear mushrooms, dried
1 ounce dried glass noodles
2 shallots
1 bunch spring onions
1 teaspoon white pepper, ground
1 teaspoon black pepper, ground
3 tablespoon Red Boat fish sauce
2 packets rice paper
oil for frying


Step One: Make Nuoc Mam Pha
1. In a medium jar, add garlic, chili, sugar, lime juice, and hot water.  Stir to dissolve sugar. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Step Two: Make Imperial Roll filling
1.In separate bowls, soak oak wood ear mushrooms and glass noodles in water to rehydrate and plump up, about an hour or two. Once mushrooms and noodles are rehydrated, rinse them underwater a couple of times to remove any residue grit.  Drain, then mince the mushrooms and noodles. Set aside.
2. Mince shallots and spring onions.  Set aside.
3. Using a large mixing bowl, add ground pork, minced mushrooms, glass noodles, and shallots and spring onions.  Add Red Boat fish sauce and white and black peppers. Mix to incorporate all the ingredients.

Step Three: Make the rolls
1. Prepare a bowl of hot water for dipping rice paper.  Set aside.
2. Dip a sheet of rice paper into the hot water, shake off excess water, then place rice paper onto a cutting board. Place a dollop of filling at the bottom center of the rice paper.  Fold the left and right wings of the rice paper onto itself, covering the filling. Starting at the bottom, roll up the rice paper to make the shape of a mini cigar.
3. Set the roll, seam side down, and repeat with the remainder of the filling.

Step Four: Fry the rolls
1. Heat oil in a heavy-gauge pot to 325 degrees Farenheit. Working in batches, fry rolls until the crust is golden brown and crisp.  Remove from oil and let drain on a wire rack set inside a baking sheet.


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