Spicy Shrimp Spring Rolls
Preheat a wok of peanut oil for frying. In a separate wok, heat the vegetable oil. When the oil is hot, add the sausage. Stir-fry for 3 minutes. Add the onions and garlic. Cook for 2 minutes. Add the cabbage and the shrimp. Season with nuoc cham and black pepper. Stir-fry for 1 minute. Remove from the heat and cool completely. Stir in the green onions. Bring 2 cups of water to a boil in a 10-inch saute pan and remove from the heat. Submerge each spring roll wrapper, one at a time, in the hot water. Move the wrappers around in the water until they become soft and pliable, about 10 to 15 seconds. Remove from the water and lay on parchment paper. Spread 1 tablespoon of the shrimp mixture evenly over each spring roll wrapper. On top of the shrimp mixture, sprinkle 1 tablespoon of the sprouts. Top the sprouts with 1 tablespoon of the carrots, 1 tablespoon of the cilantro, and 1 tablespoon of the mint. Fold two sides of the wrapper toward the center and then roll like a jelly roll, pressing the edges together to seal. Repeat until all 8 rolls are done. Fry until crispy, about 2 to 3 minutes. Remove and drain on paper towels. Serve with Nuoc Cham sauce.
Stem the chile. Split the chile in half, remove and discard the seeds and membrane. Finely chop the chile. Combine the chopped chile, garlic and sugar in a mortar. Pound the mixture into a paste. Remove the zest and pith from the lime, and discard. Add the lime to the chile mixture. Mash well. Add the fish sauce and the water. Mix well. Serve as a seasoning agent instead of salt and pepper. Yield: about 1/3 cup