Canola oil, for deep-frying
To make the tomato sauce, in a saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the shallots and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 3 minutes, until light golden brown. Add garlic and chiles and cook, stirring occasionally, 45 seconds more, until aromatic. Stir in the rice wine, tomatoes and stock and bring to a boil. Decrease the heat so the mixture is at a gentle simmer, stirring occasionally for 45 minutes, to blend the flavors.
Remove the sauce from the heat and stir in the fish sauce. Let cool slightly, then transfer to a blender and process until smooth. Keep warm. (The sauce can be made a day ahead, cooled, covered and refrigerated; reheat before using.)
To form the wontons, place a wonton wrapper on a work surface. Lightly brush the edges of the wrapper with water and place 1 teaspoon of the ground pork in the center. Top with a second wonton wrapper, pressing to enclose the filling and form a square, like a ravioli. Force out as much air as possible as you seal the edges to prevent the wontons from puffing up when you fry them. Transfer the finished wontons to a baking sheet or large tray lightly dusted with cornstarch. Repeat until you have used up all of the filling.
Pour the oil to a depth of 2 inches into a wok or high-sided pot and heat over high heat to 375°F on a deep-frying thermometer. Line a rimmed baking sheet with paper towels and place near the stove. Place a second rimmed baking sheet alongside. Preheat the oven to 200°F.
When the oil is ready, add one-third of the wontons to the oil and fry for 3 minutes, until deep golden brown and crisp. Using a spider or slotted spoon, transfer to the paper towel-lined baking sheet to drain briefly, then transfer to the second sheet pan and keep warm in the oven. Repeat with remaining wontons in two batches, always allowing the oil to return to temperature between batches.
Arrange the wontons on a platter and serve immediately, accompanied by the tomato sauce. Dip the wontons in the sauce and eat.
Pork and Shrimp Spring Rolls
Makes 10 rolls, enough to serve 10 people as an appetizer
10 ounces dried rice vermicelli
15 medium-size shrimp, peeled and deveined
8 ounces boneless pork shoulder
1 egg yolk
1/2 cup shallot oil or canola oil
1/4 tsp kosher salt
30 fresh mint leaves
1 head red leaf lettuce, leaves separated
10 (12-inch) rice paper rounds
Bring a saucepan filled with water to a boil over high heat. Add the rice vermicelli and cook until they are tender yet still have some bite, according to package directions. Drain the noodles, rinse them under cold running water until cool, then rinse under very hot running water before rinsing them a second time under cold running water. This cold-hot-cold rinse prevents the noodles from sticking together and breaking. Set the noodles aside.
Refill the saucepan with water and bring to a boil over high heat. Add the shrimp and cook for about 3 minutes, until bright pink. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the shrimp to a colander and rinse under cold running water. Transfer to paper towels to drain. Cut each shrimp in half lengthwise and set aside.
Return the water to a boil and add the pork. Decrease the heat so the water is at a simmer and cook the pork for 20 minutes, until it is cooked through. Transfer to a plate and poke it with a chopstick; the juices should run clear. Let cool completely, then cut against the grain into 1/8-inch-thick slices. (The meat can be cooked a day ahead, covered and refrigerated. Slice just before using.)
To make the shallot mayonnaise, put the egg yolk in a bowl, and set the bowl on top of a dry kitchen towel. Pour the shallot (or canola) oil into a measuring cup. Whisk the yolk well, then begin adding the oil, one droplet at a time at first, until the mixture thickens. Continue to add the oil, drop by drop and whisking constantly, until the mixture is well emulsified and thick. Add the remaining oil in a steady stream, whisking constantly, until all of it has been incorporated. The mayonnaise will be very thick. Whisk in the salt and set aside.
Put the shrimp, pork, lettuce, mint and mayonnaise within easy reach of your work surface. Fill a large bowl with very hot water. Working with 1 rice paper round at a time, dip it into the hot water until pliable. This will take only about 5 seconds. Remove the round from the water and spread it flat on the work surface.