Coming to Hai Phong to enjoy the unique crab spring rolls
Crab spring roll is one of the specialties only available in Hai Phong. With the crispness and sweetness of crab, the dish of the “port city” has attracted many diners.
An introduction to Hai Phong crab spring rolls
Crab spring roll is a specialty of Hai Phong. Photo: camnanghaiphong
Spring roll is a very popular dish in Vietnam with common ingredients such as pork mince, mung bean sprouts, vermicelli, eggs and so on. Meanwhile, the main ingredient in the dish of Hai Phong is crab meat as this city’s sea area has a very abundant source of seafood, especially crabs. The locals have created many delicious dishes from this available ingredient, such as crab cakes, roasted crabs with salt, braised crabs with water spinach, and crab spring rolls. This is also the typical culinary characteristic of this city - full of seafood-oriented dishes from shrimps, crabs, mangrove horseshoe crab, etc.
What is special about Hai Phong crab spring rolls?
The typical square shape of Hai Phong crab spring rolls. Photo: songgiatri
While common spring rolls have an elongated shape, Hai Phong crab spring rolls are wrapped into a square shape with the size of a palm. It is this special feature that makes diners impressed at first sight.
Ingredients for making Hai Phong crab spring rolls. Photo: 24h
The main ingredient for making Hai Phong crab spring rolls is crab meat. Some other ingredients are pork shoulder, spring onion, vermicelli, mung bean sprouts, wood ear, shiitake mushrooms and eggs. You must choose fat crabs with a thick body, weighing about 600-800g. The processing of crab requires skillful techniques, especially in the preservation as crab meat is very perishable. Therefore, crabs should be processed 10-15 minutes before you start to make spring rolls. Crabs are usually boiled or steamed, but the best way is steaming to keep their sweetness. Then you can separate the crab meat and put it in a bowl.
Vermicelli, mung bean sprouts, shiitake mushrooms and wood ear are mixed together. Photo: 24h
Pork shoulder is cleaned, minced and mixed with other above-mentioned ingredients that have been cleaned and chopped. You can also add some shrimp or minced fatty meat to create the richness for spring rolls, but the ratio must be small as they are not the main ingredients of the dish. All of these ingredients are mixed together.
The next step is wrapping spring rolls. As Hai Phong crab spring rolls have a strange square shape unlike common ones in other regions, the way of wrapping is also somewhat “special”. Instead of putting all the ingredients into the rice paper and rolling it, Hai Phong people need to arrange the pre-mixed ingredients and crab meat on a rice paper and “pack” it into a square shape. Either way, it is necessary to ensure that the spring rolls are not burst or torn when fried. At the same time, the smell of the spring rolls must not be fishy, and the flavor of crab meat should be easily recognised.
When frying, you have to constantly turn the rolls over to prevent them from being scorched. Photo: camnanghaiphong
In order for the crab spring rolls to be well-cooked, you have to be very skillful. When the cooking oil boils, put the spring rolls in to deep-fry them. You have to constantly turn the rolls over to prevent them from being scorched. At the same time, the heat should be maintained low to make the cooked crab meat white.
The dipping sauce has a sweet and sour taste to enhance the rich flavor of crab spring rolls.. Photo: dulich.petrotimes
The dipping sauce is also a very important part that determines the taste of this dish. It is usually made from high-quality fish sauce, pure water, vinegar, garlic, hot chili, lemon, sugar, pepper and some sliced green papaya. The sauce should have a sweet and sour taste to enhance the rich flavor of crab spring rolls.
Attractive crab spring rolls served with lettuce, herbs. Photo: thucphamsachhd
Crab spring rolls are usually cut in half or four and served with dipping sauce, raw vegetables and rice noodles. You should enjoy the dish within about 10 minutes after taking the spring rolls out of the frying pan to fully experience the crispness of the rolls and the freshness of crab meat. You can dip a piece of crispy crab spring rolls into the dipping sauce and enjoy it with lettuce, coriander and rice noodles. The harmonious flavors, including the richness of spring rolls, the chewiness of vermicelli, and the freshness of green vegetables, will impress you from the first taste.
Delicious crab spring rolls. Photo: youtube
You can enjoy crab spring rolls at both popular and luxury restaurants in Hai Phong with a price of about VND 50,000 - 60,000/roll.