Hand rolled Vietnamese spring rolls with East + West sausages, shrimp and winged beans

vietnamese spring rolls

I bought this pack of Vietnamese rice paper a while ago and decided to make a surprise supper for my other half last night. I had about 1 ½ hours before she came back and I wanted to try hand rolling these things coz I’ve never done it before. I have eaten a lot of Vietnamese cuisine (even had dog meat in Hanoi) but never actually wrapped even a single spring roll myself.

vietnamese wrap

I was quite surprised to find out that the Vietnamese rice paper are hard, flat circles like a tortilla wrap. You actually have to dip it into warm water to soften it up. My better half later told me that she’s seen a documentary to that effect – the rice paper are mass produced as flat, solid circles.

chinese english sausage

I first defrosted the fresh Chorizo sausage (had one left over) and took out a Chinese sausage (lap cheong). I could insert a joke on the relative sizes here but I can’t think of a tasteful one. Haha! Geddit?

frying sausages

Anyway, I fried up the Chinese sausage and Chorizo sausage (found out later that it’s better to first fry them both whole before cutting) and also a bit of shrimp. No seasoning! I reckon the two flavored sausages would do well.

kacang botol

I also made a pile of carrot shavings and slices and used a couple of winged beans for the vegetable bit. Winged beans are called kacang botol here and people usually eat it as ulam (traditional Malay raw vegetable side). I had wanted it to stick out like the picture but that was harder than I thought. Haha!

making vietnamese rolls

My first two attempts to make one failed – the Vietnamese rice paper are really gooey and sticky after the warm water treatment and it’s not very conducive to wrapping. You cannot mess it up! *One* mistake and the entire wrap is ruined!

sausages shrimp

I put one sliced sausage of each type, a couple of shrimp, then some carrots before sticking in a winged bean and wrapping the works up.

vietnamese rice paper

It took my third try for a slightly acceptable wrap and some came out looking like phalluses which is completely unintended, I assure you.

vietnamese rolls

I chucked it into the fridge to chill and it was really tasty! I made five and my dear ate 3 of them when she came back and left 2 for me but I wasn’t hungry so I only ate it later on in the night as a midnight snack (to the background noise of my neighbor arguing with his girlfriend and telling her not to come over any more and some scuffling and punches – there goes the neighborhood).

chilled spring rolls

The crunchy and crispy texture of the winged bean (kacang botol) with the two sausages made for a really good cold spring roll! It certainly wouldn’t have tasted as good in a tortilla wrap, it needs something more refined, less pushy, and the translucent Vietnamese rice paper fits the bill perfectly! I’ll make this again! :)

wondermilk cupcakes

My better half came back with cupcakes, which is perfect coz I had a 4 pints of two different ice cream in the freezer. Heh.

Rosti cottage pie with fresh Chorizo sausages, bacon, minced pork, fennel, curly kale and kidney

rosti pie topping

This is my attempt to do a cottage pie with lots of pork inside a pressure pan with a Rosti topping instead of mashed potatoes. I think it turned out pretty good despite the medley of ingredients – that’s what makes it work! :)

rosti cottage pie

You will need:

  • Rosti
  • Chorizo sausages
  • Minced pork
  • Fennel
  • Curly kale
  • Eggs
  • Flour
  • Whole pig kidney

frying rosti

I made the Rosti topping first. It’s a Swiss potato dish that comes out flat. It consists of sliced potatoes and herbs and you can make your own but we bought this packaged Rosti that had just enough to fill the pan.

rosti

I needed it to fill the pan coz it’s supposed to be a cottage pie – like a Shepard’s pie, the Rosti needed to cover all the ingredients underneath. I pan fried it until it was cooked and set it off to the side while I made the other ingredients in the pie.

bacon fryup

Next up was the bacon. I fried about 12 rashers of streaky bacon so I ended up with about 3 heaped tablespoons of fragrant pork oil.

bacon grease

Check it out! All this yield from just a dozen rashers of bacon. :)

chorizo sausages

The oil was used to fry up the fresh Chorizo sausages. I chose the fresh Chorizos as opposed to the cured sausage coz I didn’t want the flavorful sausages to overpower the taste of the pie.

fresh chorizo sausages

Plus, it was on special when we bought it so it cost just RM 31.57 for 4 sausages – about RM 8 per sausage (!!!). I also set these aside.

sliced fennel

Next, I cut up the fennel to small pieces and set it aside. I learned how to prepare fennel from a YouTube video and wanted to add it to the pie. Again, set this aside. I didn’t need to cook this so everything that needed to be cooked was given the heat treatment then set aside and the raw ingredients were just set to one side to be combined later in the cottage pie.

steamed kale

The curly kale was steamed while I was working on cooking the Chorizo sausages. Steamed kale is the best way to prepare it coz it retains all of it’s nutrients. It tastes delicious too!

kidney

I went on to cook the whole pig kidney. I didn’t slice it up or do anything fancy – it was just chucked into the frying pan with the remainder of the oil from the bacon fry up and then cooked for a bit.

broke spatula

It was a bit of a challenge to do this coz I forgot to take it out of the freezer and I actually broke a spatula while trying to fry it evenly!

pork mince

After replacing the spatula, I took about a pound of fresh minced pork and fried it. There was still bacon grease at this point! smirk

rosti pie ingredients

Now that I had everything I wanted to cook prepared and waiting set off and ready for the final combination. This is everything that goes into the Rosti cottage pie!

egg filling

I used four (4) eggs and beat them with some flour and baking powder…

raw milk

…before topping the mixture off with raw milk. This is an awesome find. It’s unpasteurized and non-homogenized milk. It’s supposed to be heated up before drinking (due to health concerns) but it tasted just fine from the bottle. Every bottle tastes different too coz there’s no homogenized treatment! I love this milk but it’s really *expensive* at about RM 9+ for 1 liter.

butter lined pan

I also used a long tube of butter and greased up the surface of the non-stick pressure fryer.

kidney pie

I then dumped everything except the vegetables into it – Chorizo sausages, bacon, minced pork, kidney.

meaty pie filling

The egg + fresh milk + flour + baking powder mixture was poured to cover all the meat inside.

setting pie

This was cooked for about 3 minutes and right before the egg mixture solidified, I put the pieces of sliced raw fennel into it.

fennel pie

I then closed the pressure pan again and let it cook until everything was done.

kale topping

The steamed curly kale was added on top and then the pressure pan closed so that it’ll retain the pie shape.

rosti topping

I left it for a couple of seconds before opening it again and sliding the cooked Rosti for the topping. It was left for another minute so the general shape of the cottage pie would be firm.

rosti pie serving

I served this just like a regular cottage pie. It tasted really good! The fresh Chorizo sausages and bacon added a lot of flavor to the pie. The minced pork filled it up and the generous bits of fennel and the curly kale topping made this into a full nutritious meal.

rosti pie

I think my Rosti cottage pie with fresh Chorizo sausages, bacon, minced pork, fennel, curly kale and kidney was quite awesome! My better half even ate more than her usual serving! :)

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