November 7, 2016

Tara O’Brady’s Vietnamese-Inspired Sausage Rolls

Recipe: Tara O'Brady

Try this recipe from the Seven Spoons: My Favorite Recipes for Any and Every Day cookbook by Tara O’Brady. Plus, check out Tara’s recipes for Roasted CarrotsMake-Ahead Apple Pie and Roasted Squash Soup.

“I often crave Vietnamese food; I think what I crave is its intensely salivating balance of succulent meats with enough salt and sharpness to save them from their own unctuousness. With inspiration from a traditional banh mi, this is a quick pork sausage, sweet with shallot and apple; seasoned with soy, chile sauce, fish sauce, cilantro, and basil; then parceled up in butter pastry. Once baked, the crackling layers of pastry contrast with the tender filling. Serenity and moxie in one bite.”


  • 2 tablespoons mild olive oil
  • 3 shallots, minced
  • 1 small apple, peeled, cored, and finely diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup (15 g) packed cilantro leaves and tender stems, minced
  • ¼ cup (15 g) packed basil leaves, preferably Thai, minced
  • 1½ tablespoons sweet Thai chile sauce
  • 2 teaspoons fish sauce
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1 pound (455 g) ground pork, preferably not lean
  • 1 pound (455 g) all-butter puff pastry, thawed per package instruction
  • Flour, for the work surface
  • Sriracha, gochujang (Korean hot pepper paste), or prepared hot mustard (Chinese or English)
  • 1 egg yolk, beaten with 1 teaspoon water
  • Poppy or sesame seeds (white or black) or both, for garnish

To serve

  • Nuoc cham (ingredients below)
  • Pickled jalapeños (see page 271 of the Seven Spoons cookbook)


Nuoc cham

Makes about 1¼ cups (300 ml)

  • ¾ cup (180 ml) water
  • ¼ cup (50 g) natural cane or granulated sugar
  • Juice from 1 lime
  • 3 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and left whole
  • 2 Thai bird chiles, stemmed and seeded


Yield: 24 pieces

  1. In a medium skillet, warm the olive oil over medium-low heat. Cook the shallots for 2 minutes, stirring, then add the apple and garlic. Continue to cook, stirring now and again, until the shallots are quite soft and the apple is tender, 8 minutes more. Scrape the mixture into a large bowl with the cilantro, basil, sweet chili sauce, fish sauce, soy sauce, and cornstarch. Stir with a fork and then set aside to cool completely. With clean hands, mix the ground pork into the cooled shallot and apple mixture. If possible, cover and refrigerate for a few hours to let the flavors get to know one another.
  2. Preheat an oven to 400°F (200°C). Line a half sheet pan or rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. If not already portioned, divide the puff pastry in half. On a lightly floured work surface, roll one piece of the pastry to a square measuring about 10 by 10 inches (25 by 25 cm). Cut the square in half horizontally with a sharp knife or pizza wheel. Spread a thin smear of sriracha ¼ inch (6 mm) away from the long side closest to you, going all the way from end to end. Take a quarter of the pork and arrange in a sausage-like shape on top of the sriracha. Brush the near pastry edge with beaten yolk, then roll the pastry over to encase the meat tightly, pressing to seal with fingers or the tines of a fork. Trim to neaten the seam side, if desired. Place the roll on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat, using a third of the remaining meat for the other half of the rolled pastry, then continue with the second block of pastry and the remaining filling. Keep the egg wash for glazing later. Place the rolls in the freezer for 10 minutes to firm up, then move the rolls back to the work surface. Brush the rolls with the egg wash, slash decoratively (optional), sprinkle with sesame seeds, and cut each large roll into 6 portions. Arrange the pieces on the baking sheet with a bit of room in between.
  4. Bake in the preheated oven until deep bronze and hot through and through, 25 minutes. Eat straight away, with nuoc cham. Serve the pickled jalapeños alongside.

Note: If you don’t want to make the nuoc cham, serve rolls with Sriracha-swirled (preferably Japanese) mayonnaise or gochuchang mixed with honey, or prepared hot mustard.

Nuoc Cham

  1. Mix the water, sugar, and lime juice in a small bowl. Taste, and adjust until the sweet and sour is balanced. Stir in the fish sauce and set aside.
  2. In a mortar and pestle, crush the garlic and chiles into a paste. Scrape the paste into the lime mixture and stir well. Let stand for 20 minutes before serving, or store, covered and refrigerated, for up to 2 days.

Excerpted from Seven Spoons: My Favorite Recipes for Any and Every Day by Tara O’Brady. Copyright © 2015 Tara O’Brady. Published by Appetite by Random House®, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.