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Authentic Vietnamese recipes from the Motherland

How to Make Crispy Fried Shallots (Hanh Phi)

Like many elderly people (I’m on my way at age 36), I enjoy doing mundane, repetitive tasks every now and then. One of which is making my own fried shallots (hanh phi). Getting comfy and doing nothing but peeling shallots while listening to good music soothes my soul.

 Fried Shallots (Hanh Phi)

Fried Shallots (Hanh Phi)

My first few attempts at frying shallots yielded either burnt shallots or soggy shallots, and I simply wonder why I didn’t pick up fried shallots at the grocery store and call it a day. However, once you master your own fried shallots, you can never go back to the store-bought version. The homemade version is tastier, fresher, and so much cheaper.

 Fried Shallots (Hanh Phi)

Fried Shallots (Hanh Phi)

There are so many dishes that call for fried shallots that I always appreciate my past-self for making them in advance in large batches. I sprinkle fried shallots on Vietnamese Chicken Soup with Bamboo Shoots (Canh Ga Nau Mang). I sprinkle fried shallots on noodle soups like Vietnamese Egg Noodle Soup with Wontons (Mi Hoanh Thanh), Vietnamese Pork & Seafood Noodle Soup (Hu Tieu Mi) and Vietnamese Combination Dry Egg Noodle Recipe (Mi Kho Thap Cam). I sprinkle fried shallots on Vietnamese Steamed Rice Rolls (Banh Cuon). I sprinkle fried shallots on Vietnamese thick rice porridge. I also sprinkle fried shallots on Vietnamese Chicken Salad (Goi Ga Bap Cai). If I can swim in fried shallots, I would.

Follow my recipe below to get the techniques so that you too can have perfectly fried shallots each and every time.

 Add shallots to room temperature oil.

Add shallots to room temperature oil.

 Heat oil to 250°F and cook for 8 minutes or when the majority of the shallots turn light brown.

Heat oil to 250°F and cook for 8 minutes or when the majority of the shallots turn light brown.

 Perfectly fried shallots (hanh phi)

Perfectly fried shallots (hanh phi)

How to Make Crispy Fried Shallots (Hanh Phi)

Makes 2 cups

Ingredients

  • 10 large shallots (peel and slice thin)
  • 2 cups vegetable oil

Instructions

  1. Spread shallots evenly on a microwave-safe plate lined with several layers of paper towels. Microwave for 1 minute. Remove from microwave and dab the soften shallots with paper towels to remove excess moisture. Allow them to air dry for 30 minutes.
  2. Add oil and shallots to a frying pan (yes, add shallot to room temperature oil). Heat oil to 250°F and cook for 8 minutes or when the majority of the shallots turn light brown. Occasionally stir the shallots for even browning. Note: residual heat will continue to cook the shallots so get them out of the oil before the desired color.
  3. Remove shallots with a slotted spoon or a fine mesh sieve. Transfer them a to plate lined with paper towels. Once cool, the shallots are ready to use. Store extra in an airtight container at room temperature.

Vietnamese Shrimp & Pork Egg Rolls (Cha Gio Tom Thit)

The Holidays are around the corner and that means one thing. Gaining weight with lots of good food.

 Vietnamese Shrimp & Pork Egg Rolls (Cha Gio Tom Thit)

Vietnamese Shrimp & Pork Egg Rolls (Cha Gio Tom Thit)

One of my favorite dishes to make during the Holidays is Vietnamese shrimp and pork egg rolls (Cha Gio Tom Thit). It’s a combination of traditional Vietnamese egg rolls (Cha Gio) and whole shrimp. Carry a basket of these bad boys to a dinner party and you’ll be the life of the party… or at least until the egg rolls runs out.

If you don’t like pork or would like a simpler appetizer, check out the shrimp version.

 Vietnamese Shrimp & Pork Egg Rolls (Cha Gio Tom Thit)

Vietnamese Shrimp & Pork Egg Rolls (Cha Gio Tom Thit)

 Vietnamese Shrimp & Pork Egg Rolls (Cha Gio Tom Thit)

Vietnamese Shrimp & Pork Egg Rolls (Cha Gio Tom Thit)

 How to Assemble Vietnamese Shrimp & Pork Egg Rolls (Cha Gio Tom Thit)

How to Assemble Vietnamese Shrimp & Pork Egg Rolls (Cha Gio Tom Thit)

 Vietnamese Shrimp & Pork Egg Rolls (Cha Gio Tom Thit) Ready for the Fryer

Vietnamese Shrimp & Pork Egg Rolls (Cha Gio Tom Thit) Ready for the Fryer

Vietnamese Shrimp & Pork Egg Rolls (Cha Gio Tom Thit)

Makes 28

Ingredients

    Shrimp Marinade

  • 2 lbs size 21-25 shrimp (Peel, devein, set aside 10 shrimp and mince into paste for pork mixture)
  • 2 tablespoons oyster sauce
  • 1 teaspoon granulated white sugar

  • Pork Marinade

  • 8 oz ground pork
  • Shrimp paste (see above)
  • 1 green onion (slice thin)
  • 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon granulated white sugar
  • 1 teaspon sesame oil
  • Pinch black pepper

  • Other Ingredients

  • 1 egg (beaten)
  • 1 package egg roll wrapper (2 lbs)
  • Oil for deep frying
  • Bottled sweet chili dipping sauce or make your own

Instructions

  1. Set aside 10 shrimp. Marinate the rest of the shrimp with oyster sauce and sugar for at least 30 minutes.
  2. Mince the reserved 10 shrimp into a paste and combine with ground pork. Marinate the ground pork mixture with green onion, oyster sauce, sugar, sesame oil and black pepper for at least 30 minutes.
  3. Assemble the egg rolls. See step-by-step picture above.
  4. In a large pan, heat oil to 325°F. Deep fry for 3-5 minutes per batch. Remove and drain excess oil on wired rack or paper towels. Serve with a sweet chili dipping sauce. Note: You can also assemble the egg rolls in advance and keep them in freezer. No need to defrost once you are ready to fry. The cooking time will increase slightly..