Thai-Style Spring Rolls with Crab

posted: 06/30/10

Take Home Chef, Episode 64: Desi's Menu



  • 2/3 cup/155 ml plus 1/4 cup/60 ml water
  • 1/4 cup/60 ml fish sauce (nam pla)
  • 3 tablespoons/60 g seedless tamarind paste
  • 1/2 to 1 red jalapeno chile (depending on the amount of heat desired), minced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 teaspoons/5 g cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup/60 g cane sugar
  • 4 cups/1 liter hot water
  • Eight 8-inch/21-cm-diameter Vietnamese spring roll sheets
  • 8 ounces/230 g fresh crab meat
  • 2 cups/160 ounces bean sprouts
  • 4 green onions, cut into thin strips
  • 2 carrots, peeled, cut into thin strips
  • 1/2 cup (lightly packed)/15 g fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1/2 cup/70 g coarsely chopped roasted unsalted peanuts
  • Fresh cilantro sprigs, for garnish


  1. Stir 2/3 cup/155 ml of the water with the fish sauce, tamarind paste, chile and garlic in a heavy small saucepan over medium heat until the paste dissolves.
  2. Stir the cornstarch into the remaining 1/4 cup/50 ml of water in a small bowl until it dissolves. Gradually add the cornstarch mixture to the sauce, stirring constantly. Simmer gently for 1 minute or until the sauce thickens slightly. Stir in the cane sugar. Pour the dipping sauce into serving bowls and set aside.
  3. Pour the hot water into a large bowl. Dip 1 spring roll sheet in the water for about 30 seconds or until it is pliable. Remove the spring roll sheet from the water and place it on a wet towel. Let stand for 30 seconds (if the spring roll sheet is still stiff, sprinkle it with more water).
  4. Place an eighth of the crab meat across the bottom third of the spring roll sheet. Top with an eighth of each of the green onions, carrots, bean sprouts and cilantro leaves. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon/10 g of the peanuts over the filling.
  5. Fold the bottom edge of the spring roll sheet over the filling, then fold in the ends of the sheet. Continue rolling the sheet around the filling and into a cylinder. Repeat with remaining spring roll sheets, crab meat, green onions, carrots, bean sprouts, cilantro leaves and peanuts.
  6. Using a very sharp large knife, cut the spring rolls crosswise on the diagonal in half. Arrange the spring rolls on a plate. Garnish with the cilantro sprigs and serve with the dipping sauce.
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