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Monday, February 21, 2011

Hot-Pan Buttered Meat Spring Rolls (Bo Lan Bo) for a Snow Day

It's been snowing for the last two days in Minneapolis, and all Minneapolis and Bloomington campuses are closed, including Augsburg. One of my classes tomorrow is also cancelled giving me more time to write about one of my favorite Vietnamese dishes in the chilling weather of Minneapolis winters: Hot-Pan Buttered Meat Rolls (or Bo Lan Bo in Vietnamese):

This dish is rather easy to prepare because there is no cooking involved until serving time (more like a Vietnamese hot pot), but required a lot of chopping. All of the ingredients that you may need is:

  • Beef (a tender type) 1-2 lbs, thin-sliced
  • Shallots, Garlics, Gingers, Jalapenos (well-chopped)

  • Vietnamese rice-noodles (boiled then washedwith cold water twice)
  • Shrimps (medium/large size for ones who likes seafood)-peeled but leave the tails for decorations
  • Vegetables (salad-any preferred type, mint, cilantro), butter (2 bars), Vietnamese Spring Roll wrappers.

Prepare the dipping sauce
There are multiple types of sauce could be used for this dish depending on your tastes. The original one has a bit stronger smell even reek for one to tolerate: Mam Nem or (Fermented Anchovy Dip):

Fermented Anchovy Dip Recipe

(Mam Nem)

Ingredients :
2 tablespoons
2 tablespoons
1 clove
1 stalk
1 teaspoon
125 ml
Fermented anchovy paste
Pineapple, finely crushed
Garlic, peeled and finely chopped
Red chili, seeded and finely chopped
Lemon grass, bulbous portion only, finely chopped
Method :
  • Combine ingredients and mix well. Bring to the boil stirring then allow to cool.
  • Serve as a dipping sauce.

For ones that can't tolerate the strong exotic taste of this sauce, replace it with just some basic Hoisin Sauce cooked with some water and peanut chunks (add a half spoon of Vietnamese Sriracha Chilli sauce if you want to make it spicy). 

First, present all the ingredients on your a dinning table with an electric hot pot in the middle of the table. Don't forget a big bowl of warm water for them to soften the spring roll wrappers. 
When the guests are seated, start to melt the butter and start adding the mixture of Shallots, Garlic and Gingers to create a tasty aroma. Then ask your guests to help them self frying any meat ingredients that they prefer (the salad and vegetable remain fresh).

Start rolling the spring rolls with different ingredients and get ready to eat and enjoy a Spring Roll Night!!!!!!



  1. Dat, this is a great recipe with wonderful illustrations. Can't wait to try it. Preferably with you!

  2. Thank you Lisa. I'll try to write more if I have more free time.

  3. My ex's mom used to use vinegar instead of butter sometimes.