Mushroom Nems or Spring Rolls, Happy St. Patrick’s Day

“May those who
Love us, love us.

And those that don’t love us
May God turn their hearts;

And if he doesn’t turn their hearts
May he turn their ankles.

So we’ll know them
By their limping.”

There is a lot of Irish wisdom floating around today: some sappy; some satirical.  But none
embodies the true Irish spirit for me as much as this simple Irish poem.

“So we’ll know them by their limping” – That just sums it all up nicely….

Happy St. Patrick’s Day.

At the Asian store last week, when I wasn’t shopping, I managed to spend enough money (30 euro) to get a free gift: a bottle of Lemongrass Sauce for Nems.

Nems are Vietnamese spring rolls or egg rolls.

It just seemed ordained that I make some spring rolls to go with the sauce.

Nems are very popular and very common here. One can find a large selection at the deli counter in most supermarkets.

Mushroom Nems or Spring Rolls

Total time: 25 minutes


  • 2 sheets phyllo dough
  • 3/4 cup chopped mushrooms
  • 1/4 cup chopped water chestnuts
  • 1/4 cup chopped pepper
  • 1/2 leek, chopped
  • 1 slice dry-cured ham (Prosciutto), chopped
  • 1/4 cup bean sprouts
  • 2 tsp mushroom soy sauce
  • 4 tsp olive oil
  • 4 tsp oyster sauce
  • 4 tsp lemongrass sauce



  • Sauté mushrooms, pepper, leeks and ham in 2 tsp olive oil until tender and starting to brown.
  • Add mushroom soy sauce and stir well. Remove from heat, stir in water chestnuts and bean sprouts.
  • Remove 1 sheet of pastry and re-wrap the rest.  It’s important to keep filo covered at all times or it will dry out very quickly.
  • Lay the sheet out flat and lightly brush all over with olive oil.
  • Cut pastry in half the long way.
  • At the narrow end of one half divide and arrange 1/4 of the vegetables.
  • Roll up like a cigar, tucking in sides as you roll.
  • Place on an oiled baking sheet and brush the top and sides with oil.
  • Repeat with the remaining phyllo sheets and filling, making 4 rolls in all
  • Bake at 400F (200C) for 12 – 15 minutes, until golden brown.
  • Divide oyster sauce and put into 2 small dishes.
  • Pour lemongrass sauce over the top
  • Remove rolls and serve with dipping sauce

Print Recipe

This is the first time I’ve posted a recipe with specific, unusual ingredients.

I can’t even suggest a substitution for the lemongrass sauce. It was great combined with the oyster sauce. You could use just the oyster sauce or an egg roll sauce.

The mushroom soy sauce is very thick and very dark but not overly salty. Regular soy sauce would work but use 1 tsp, or use oyster sauce or even a thick teriyaki sauce.

Or do what I did…. Play.

It’s been sunny lately. The grass and mud have been drying out. I was sitting on the lawn, playing with the dogs the other day (yes, I do that) when I noticed all the colors and details in the hyacinths.


I’ve always thought of them as being white or pink or purple. I never noticed all the details of the individual flowers before.


I thought I’d share.


Yes, I actually stopped to smell the hyacinths….

Mon mari has been busy mowing, shoveling shit and building garden paths. Nothing as pretty as my flowers.

5 thoughts on “Mushroom Nems or Spring Rolls, Happy St. Patrick’s Day”

  1. Those springrolls look fabulous!

    Hyacinths? You have hyacinths?! They do smell lovely, don’t they? But ONLY outdoors. I had a potted one in the house one spring and had to take it outside because it was just toooo much.

  2. We or rather, my husband harvested the first crop of dog poop yesterday. Yes, it has finally gotten warm enough for the snow to melt. Not the temp mind, just the sunlight. So a big YAY for that. It will be another month before I see any shoots coming up though.

    I love spring rolls. I really do, but even around me, they’re only ever the commercial kind. I had ‘real’ ones in NYC long ago and have never been able to find a place that produces fresh ones. I might just have to try these!

  3. Kate, I love them too – and they last a fairly long time here

    Mimi, they’re just Vietnamese egg rolls – but smaller than the egg rolls in the U.S.

    Elizabeth, inside they counteract the ‘eau de wet dog’)

    nightsmusic, ah, yes, the annual spring poop harvest. I remember that from snowy winters…. Try these… they’re easy and not particularly unhealthy LOL

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