Pork and Glass Noodle Spring Rolls and…Another Phone Call

Pork and Glass Noodle Spring Rolls

There’s been another phone call.  It would be so wonderful to be one of those families that don’t get phone calls of this nature but we’re not of that ilk.  I was just about to sit down to a lunch of spicy Thai noodles when the phone rang.  It was the principal of the local primary school.  My heart sank on hearing his voice because I knew he wasn’t phoning to find out if I had enjoyed my weekend.

Some children pass through school without their parents becoming known by all the staff who sit in larger offices but my children are of the kind where receiving phone calls or being asked to come in for a meeting is standard.  At Alfie’s school, we’re on first name terms now, he (principal) and I, and this is not out of the ordinary because I’m on first name terms with all the principals, vice-principals, counsellors and Year Coordinators that have had the pleasure of ‘educating’ my children.

The spring roll mixture

So I let him speak.

‘There’s been an incident involving your son…’

And a million possibilities flashed across my mind.

‘He’s not in any kind of trouble…’

Then why’s he ringing?

‘It’s just that during recess…’

And on and on he went.

Rolling the spring rolls

Alfie, my charming little six-year-old, is best not left unsupervised.  As the story goes, during recess he walked into the office block (apparently totally unnoticed by all ancillary staff – a great feat in itself), then he headed into the vacant principal’s office (still unnoticed) and hid under the principal’s desk.  When the bell rang for the end of recess the principal returned to his office and sat down on his swivel chair at his desk.  Right at that moment Alfie jumped up from under the desk and roared like a lion.  The headmaster received the fright of his life.   His startled reaction threw him backwards and that upturned his swivel chair and resulted in him being splattered across the carpet tiles.  He looked up to see Alfie standing there with a huge grin on his face like this was the best possible result for his planned assault.

No, the principal wasn’t the slightest bit amused and once he had picked himself up off the tiles and smoothed down his crumpled suit, he questioned the ancillary staff as to how this boy came to be in his office and did anyone know how long he had been there.

Alfie could have answered those questions.

And the problem the principal now faced is that he very much would like to discipline Alfie for giving him a shock of such magnitude it nearly caused his heart to cease to beat, but sadly, there just wasn’t a precedent for sneaking into the principal’s office, hiding under his desk and waiting to give him an aging experience.  So being completely confused as to what to do with him, he decided to call me.

Apart from suggesting he lock his office, what did he expect me to say?

I think I did ask after his well-being, ‘Not too bruised I hope?’  And I did soothe things over by saying his father and I would have a serious word to him about how hiding under the principal’s desk waiting to scare him half to death was probably a poor choice of activity.

On being somewhat ‘soothed’ the principal then let me know that Alfie would not be punished; mostly because they are unsure as to what disciplinary measures they should take.  He’s left them all confused!

My spicy Thai noodles are now cold.  But I have on hand the exact ingredients I need to cook Thai Spring Rolls so I’m making these instead.  Alfie loves these and they’ll be ready for when he returns from his busy day at school.

The recipe I have used is from the Spirit House cookbook.


Pork and Glass Noodle Spring Rolls

Makes 20 spring rolls

Degree of Difficulty:  2/5

Cost:  Very inexpensive

2 cloves garlic

1/2 tspn white peppercorns

1 tbspn chopped coriander root and stem

1 tbspn vegetable oil

1/2 red onion, finely diced

120g minced pork

1tbspn palm sugar

2 tbspns fish sauce

50g glass noodles, soaked and cut into 5cm pieces

100g bean sprouts

1/4 cup chopped fresh coriander leaves

packet of spring roll wrappers

2 tbspns cornfour

2 tbspns water

vegetable oil for frying

1/2 cup sweet chilli sauce

In a mortar, pound garlic, peppercorns, coriander root and stem to a paste.  Heat 1 tbspn of oil in wok, add onion and stir-fry until softened.  Add paste and stir-fry briefly.  Add pork and stir-fry until cooked, about 5 minutes.  Add palm sugar, fish sauce and glass noodles, then remove from heat.  Allow to cool.  Stir in bean sprouts and coriander leaves.

Lay a spring roll wrapper on a board.  Place 1 tbspn of mixture in centre and roll packed as tightly as possible.  Seal the ends with a paste made from the cornflour and water.  Heat oil in wok until medium hot and fry spring rolls until golden, about 5 minutes.  Drain on paper towel.  Serve with sweet chilli sauce.

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  1. Ayn Mielke says:

    Here I am in cold rainy Croatia having yet another great laugh at your article. Charlie your writing is superb! I love these stories and the food always looks fantastic (photos by Andrew?) well done to both of you and thank you for warming my day with a good hearty serve of humour. thank goodness (?) you have naughty children… a never ending supply of adventures 🙂 xx Ayn

    • Hi Ayn, so lovely to hear from you. Thanks for the wonderful feedback. I think you know that school principal only too well! I’m enjoying following your adventures on FB. When you return to Oz we’d love to get together with you and Pete – would love to meet him and hear all about your adventures.

  2. I think Alfie’s imaginative style deserved the reward of these delicious looking rolls. I seriously am still cackling out loud imagining the events. Fantastic!

  3. Magnificent tale and wonderful photos, not sure whether I was spitting with laughter or drooling at the spring rolls. Where did he get the idea from? He sounds full of life and fun 🙂

  4. Those rolls look awesome and ever so scrumptious!

    LOL. That is a funny story!



  5. Sounds to me like young Alfie will go along way in this life – he’s a boy who clearly knows how to make an impression!

  6. LOL I’m convinced that Alfie is destined for great things! I mean the boy has guts and imagination! He’s one step ahead of them 😛

  7. Oh my what an adventurous little chap. Perhaps a little lively for the Blue Mountains!. Love the spring rolls and also Spirit House. Nice

  8. Ha! Love that story-I can chuckle now that we are out of that stage. But, I must admit, we too, received phone calls like that 🙂

    And those spring rolls look both beautiful AND delicious!

  9. Wish I’d thought of that when I was Alfie’s age. I had my share of calls from the school over my boys. So glad they are all grown up and doing well now.

    I love the Spirit House. We went on a very wet day and it was beautiful, but I’d like to go back on a sunny day.

  10. wow…sounds scrumptiously tasty..
    love your space..happy following you..
    do stop by mine sometime..
    Tasty Appetite

  11. Oh oh oh, I know that perhaps I shouldn’t be, but I’m so impressed by Alfie and find this absolutely hysterical. This is the type of trick my brother and I have played on each other all our lives, and just the other day I creeped up behind one of my work colleagues so that when she turned around, I was mere centimetres from her face. (She’s also one of my best friends, I should probably admit that.) However, I’ve never had the courage to do this to anyone in a senior position like my principal. 😛 So, um, naughty Alfie, but awesome Alfie too. *giggles*

  12. Very funny, maybe Alfie was checking/testing the security procedures. He should actually be rewarded for identifying a huge hole, and the principal should be thankful it was him and not a burglar. Now you need to make the phonecall.

  13. I am so happy to discover your blog! What delightful writing. Truly inspiring. And great recipes, like thi9s one, to boot! I wish you had a subscribe by email option…

    • hotlyspiced says:

      Thanks Victoria, I certainly used to have a ‘subscribe by email’ option. I’ll try to find out what happened to it.

  14. I couldn’t help but smile at this story! Alfie sounds adorable!

  15. LOL – there are much worse things he could have done, and not being the victim of his prank, I rather enjoyed it. Love the look of these spring rolls – I have always been alittle scared of making things like this myself in case I stuff it up royally, but they certainly look delicious.

  16. It does amuse me that we all want perfectly compliant, well-behaved children and then expect them to transform magincally into feisty, confident, go-getting, imaginative adults. Alfie showed resourcefulness and creativity. I don’t advocate that children run riot but what does the headmaster expect of a 6 year old! Loved your tale – it made me laugh and the spring rolls look great too.

  17. Sigh…I have one of those. It’s the lack of predictability that always throws me. Mind you, I don’t think either of my boys were ever as bold as your Alfie! Spring rolls look great! 🙂

  18. Excellent! I like the boy!

  19. First time visiting your blog, and nearly fell out of my chair in amusement/horror at your son’s hilarity. I guess I shouldn’t be condoning his behavior but in a sea of non-descript children, be thankful you have a really unique one 🙂

  20. Oh dear, don’t you hate it when phone calls from the school principal make your lovely noodle lunch go cold? Perhaps next time you should express great concern that Alfie was left to wonder the school halls alone and to be missing for so long unnoticed … at least he was ‘safe’ under the principal’s desk, LOL. I like his style!

  21. Our sons would get along nicely! As much ‘trouble’ as they cause, I often remind myself that life would be quite boring with perfectly behaved kids!

  22. I absolutely agree, the principal should most definitely lock his office, especially if he doesn’t want any unwanted surprise visits.
    Your spring rolls look fabulous and your photography is awesome!
    Thanks again for stopping by my little spot in the blogosphere.
    Have a great week.
    🙂 Mandy

  23. I know what you mean….When my son was small, he used to spend long hours talking with the principal….I remember a phone call, saying/ Don’t get nervous madam, but your son has had an injury with the ceiling fan…etc etc
    By the way, thanks for the photos of the rolls, I didn’t know how to do it !!

  24. That is hilarious. The poor old man must have got the fright of his life. That is a golden story to tell about your son down the track though. I had my own 5 year old incident recently, there was much gulping and mutterings of “oh”.

  25. Haha too funny! Love the look of these rolls 🙂

  26. Oh bravo, Alfie. Our scholl principle’s name is Barbara and when she starts our meetings telling me I have beautiful eyes I know it’s going to be bad, very bad …

  27. Thank you for sharing the story! I hope Alfie enjoyed the spring rolls – they look fabulous! I love how yours all look the same – mine don’t all look the same, but still taste great.

  28. hilarious ! love your writing 😀 the spring rolls look delicious 🙂

  29. Hello there! thanks for visiting my blog so that I could discover your lovely blog!
    I love this well written post! I think Alfie was pretty couragous for doing that! hahahahaha!

    Those spring rolls look so tempting & truly appetizing, hot or cold!

  30. LOL love your story and writing.. this is my first visit to your lovely blog and I have to say I love what I see!! thanks for visiting my blog btw 🙂

    love the look of the spring rolls.. glad you were able to make use of your noodle ingredients!

  31. Your little boy is so hilarious. He sure has a sense of humour.

  32. Great Story, have a good weekend

  33. One day, you will laugh at this, as I’m sure his principal will, once he’s out of school. He sounds like a very bright and curious child, which aren’t always a great combination but, it could be worse.

    This story made my day. I actually sent this to my boyfriend’s dad, who is an elementary school principal. Now, he’s also been a principal and vice principal at area high schools and middle schools so we know when we heard “We were intimate at times” that it’s code for “He was not the good child.” However, I’m sure that this story will make your principal laugh years down the line, even if the others do not.

  34. This is the cutest story ever! Cute and frustrating in equal amounts for how to “discipline” a playful young boy for actions which are just too fun-filled to be admonished.

  35. Enjoyed reading the story! You are good story teller. 😉 I love egg rolls especially with sweet chili sauce! Yum!

  36. Your spring rolls look so delicious and wonderful. This is perfect for a snack, appetizer, or even for dinner. Wonderful recipe

  37. Love the story and the recipe!
    I used to get these calls- in fact I generated some for my mother, as well.
    I would not worry overmuch, as it seems to me that Alfie has the situation well in control ( mind you, he was the one in charge in this case- sad that our school administrators are not more experienced in the hi-jinx of creative children.)
    Thanks for visiting my blog- I’ll be back to read more of yours. 🙂

  38. this is possibly the single greatest foodblog post i’ve ever had the pleasure to read. totally hilarious. love your blog and glad I stumbled on it today.

  39. Still laughing!! Thanks for your comments on my blog. I suppose you couldn’t go mad at your son. If he has a sense of humour like yourself and just wanted to surprise the principal for a laugh. I love your wit.
    I love your blog header.


  40. This is hilarious! Good on him for trying something different I say! I absolutely love spring rolls, these have made my mouth water and my stomach growl!

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