It’s All in the Wrist


Today’s blog concludes my weeklong affair with the Vietnamese spring roll. As I’m helping my mom prepare the food for a small dinner party,


I figure I might as well make some videos of how the rolls are made. Tonight we’re serving nem nuong (baked pork flavored in ground, roasted rice) and chao tom (fresh shrimp ground into a paste and then baked). The first video demonstrates the wrapping technique; it’s really all in the wrist. Apologies in advance for going off the grid at the end of the clip–I totally blank out on the recipe for the sauce and do not know how to edit the last bit out on my laptop. This is what I get for making unscripted videos!



This second clip picks up where I leave off, and it’s how to make the dipping sauce:



The pictures below show the fruits of our labor. And yes, that’s calamari Vietnamese style for appetizer…


nem nuong and chao tom as the dry entrees (this is what the shrimp looks like)…


and then pho bo as the wet entree. These two pictures show two types of beef (one is raw then quickly cooked by the hot broth and the other with cooked beef):

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This is my vegetarian pho:


Finally it’s Thai fruit cocktail (jack fruit, mango, papaya, mandarin orange, banana, palm nut) for dessert:


Raise your hand if you want to come over for dinner at Lily’s Cafe 🙂


All told, this batch of about 20 rolls comes out be about 50 cents a piece to make (I’m cheap labor) and can be done in under two hours, counting the time to bake the pork, prepare the condiments, and wrap everything.  I know more and more people are cutting back on eating out in these times to save their pocketbooks and waistlines, so if this video is useful to you, let me know and we’ll post more cooking lessons. My mom and I have a lot of fun in the kitchen together, and I don’t know a better way than filming our cooking to document our delicious culture. Oral history takes on a new meaning!


  1. Panda

    I’m loving all these food posts you’re making, love Vietnamese food, esp pho, how do you make the broth for pho? I always wonder, is it very difficult? I use the jar stuff normally but would love to know how it is properly done. really enjoyed all the eye candies you post normally but pl pl keep more food and recipes post coming! mums’recipes are always the best!!

  2. larkie

    Next time you’re in Dallas, come on over for dinner!! I’ve posted recipes for the two dishes + will make more videos for other dishes soon 😀

  3. chanellover

    Hi Larkie! (raising my hand) I’m coming over for dinner! :p 🙂 Thanks for the videos! I’ve been craving Vietnamese spring rolls! Can you show us how to make the nem nuong and chao tom? I want to try it myself! Thanks! 🙂

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