Vietnamese Spring Rolls (Cha Gio)

Putting things together.

In honor of the time I spent in Vietnam during undergrad, I bought a copy of Annabel Jackson’s “Street Cafe Vietnam” cookbook. She’s the same lady that wrote the “Chinese Cooking” cookbook that I’ve found (so far) to be one of the most authentic Chinese cookbooks out there. When I asked Jake what he really wanted when he came home he said: “spring rolls, the fried kind.” I was excited as I’ve never made spring rolls and also intimidated for the same reason. This ended up being a lot of prep but a delicious worthwhile end result. I encourage you to try this recipe at home too. Make your significant other help. Also, stay tuned for part 2 of this dinner, Hanoi Fried Fish, which I’ll be posting sometime tomorrow night. Yum!

Vietnamese Spring Rolls (Cha Gio)
12 dried rice papers
vegetable oil for deep-frying

For the filling:
85 grams boneless pork, minced
55 grams white crab meat, shredded
55 grams peeled raw prawns, finely chopped
25 grams yam, finely chopped
15 1/2 grams turnip, finely chopped
15 grams bean-thread vermicelli, softened in warm water and chopped
pinch of salt and black pepper

To serve:
sprigs of fresh herbs such as basil, Thai basil, coriander and mint
leaves of mustard greens or lettuce
nuoc cham dipping sauce

1. Combine the filling ingredients, mixing well.
2. Soften each rice paper by lightly brushing it with warm water and leaving it for 20 seconds.
3. Using scissors, cut each paper in half.
4. With the straight edge at the bottom, place a generous teaspoon of filling in the centre of each rice paper half.
5. Wrap the sides over, then roll up tightly from the bottom, squashing the filling into all corners. Use a little egg white to seal the roll if necessary.
6. Deep-fry the rolls till they’re golden brown. Serve wrapped with herbs inside leaves, dipping in nuoc cham before eating.

Doesn't that look yummy?

Nuoc Cham dipping sauce
1 tablespoon nuoc mam (fish sauce)
3 tablespoons lime juice
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 fresh red chili, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon caster sugar

1. Combine all the ingredients for the dipping sauce with 2 tablespoons water.

Vietnamese Spring Rolls, or Cha Gio


2 thoughts on “Vietnamese Spring Rolls (Cha Gio)

    • Well…it wasn’t exactly my first time making them. It was my first time making them on my own. I’ve rolled spring rolls before but always under the supervision of wise old Chinese grannies who had already made the filling and who were careful to make sure that the hilarious laowai (foreigner) didn’t ruin all of them. Haha!

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