Chả Giò: Best Vietnamese Egg Rolls Recipe & Ingredients
Chả Giò, (Vietnamese Fried Egg Rolls or Nem Rán in Northen Vietnam) is a very popular and tasty appetizer in Vietnam. If you eat out at any Vietnamese restaurants, you’ve probably tried these tasty morsels.
What is Cha Gio? Cha Gio is Fried Spring Rolls made by wrapping filling in clear rice paper wrappers (Bánh Tráng) and then frying them in cooking oil. The filling usually consists of ground pork, vegetables, wood ear mushrooms, and vermicelli noodles. They’re often served wrapped with lettuce and herbs, with Nuoc Mam Cham as the Dipping Sauce.
From the long line of Vietnamese Traditional Food, Chả Giò is among those which strongly translate many of Vietnam’s colorful festivities, the Vietnamese inclination for abundance in taste, and a beautiful expression of close family ties. A popular Vietnamese dish, Chả Giò are tasty rolls of blended pork, shrimp and spices wrapped in rice papers then deep-fired until golden and crispy.
Served in Vietnam either as a appetizer or main course, these great-smelling and delicious little packages of goodness may be known as holiday treats, yet they can practically be served in any occasion or just any day when you desire a hearty snack.
Because of its flavorful character, its unique and exquisite cuisine makes Vietnam attractive across the globe apart from the rich culture, interesting history and wonderful sceneries it takes pride on. But for why Chả Giò is considered a staple food for the Vietnamese is a tell-tale sign of how the dish is close to many people’s heart, and most importantly, to their taste buds.
- Unique Identity of Cha Gio:
Chả Giò Sping Rolls is often called by a lot of names. Crispy spring rolls, summer rolls, egg rolls and imperial rolls are just among the names associated to it. However, many Vietnamese cooks and Chả Giò lovers would argue that the closest and perhaps the most correct name to describe Chả Giò is Vietnamese Fried Egg Rolls.
Sure everyone is familiar of the wheat-flour based, wonton-wrapped egg rolls in many Chinese restaurants around. Chả Giò is often mistakenly referred to as an egg roll or spring roll on many restaurant menus. As both dishes have fillings in a wrapper, and both cylindrical in shape, that wouldn’t come as much a surprise. Though the differences are not that enormous, Chả Giò, is in fact, a different dish with a lot of unique characteristics. You may think of it as a more delicate cousin of the Chinese egg rolls as they are wrapped with rice paper which is really thin, thus, gets very brittle especially when fried much longer.
Though its rice paper is its biggest distinction, another major difference between the two is that Chả Giò is also a bit smaller than the regular egg rolls. With just about the length of the finger, and equaling to three fingers in thickness, it is therefore lighter and a lot crispier than egg rolls. Typically, the filling of the Chinese egg rolls is made from a blend of chopped cabbage, bean sprouts, onions and could be tossed in with varying ingredients as well. Chả Giò, on the other hand, though also made from chopped vegetables, bean threads or bean sprouts, vermicelli noodles, and sometimes mushrooms and carrots, but it is never without meat (usually a combination of pork and shrimp). More so, Chả Giò is served with lettuce leaves, slices of fresh cucumbers and tempting garnishing like fresh cilantro and basil leaves.
With the characteristics of the rice paper being very delicate, Chả Giò easily turns crispy when fried and results to a beautiful blistered finish. Despite the superior crispness and remarkable browning property of the rice wrapper, when cooked, Chả Giò could only stay crispy for a few hours. Thus, is best consumed while freshly removed from the burner. All the confusion between the two may have stemmed from restaurants outside Vietnam who have adopted flour sheet or generic wrappers to make Chả Giò in place of the rice paper due to unavailability or for longer-lasting crisp quality. People who have spelled the difference between the two and have experienced the lightness of rice paper and the entirety of the dish itself would understand the need to isolate the two from each other and not to confuse the two separate dishes which has its own unique identity.
Recipe of Vietnamese Cha Gio: The main recipe of Chả Giò is a flavorful blend of seasoned ground meat and diced vegetables rolled up into a sheet of the slightly moistened thin rice paper. But every family in every kitchen could add in their own favorite ingredient, even take out some of the other ingredients, and develop their own Chả Giò Recipe for Vegan / Vegetarian / Seafood,.. Chả Giò. Commonly, a single recipe of Chả Giò includes the following ingredients:
- ½ lb. or minced raw shrimp
- ½ lb. of lean ground pork
- ½ pound of bean sprouts
- 2 medium carrots, grated
- 2/z oz. glass noodle
- 2 medium white onions, chopped
- 3 teaspoons fresh ground black pepper
- 3 teaspoons salts
- 1 package round/square rice paper
- 2 eggs, beaten
- Lettuce leaves
- Vegetable oil for deep frying
- 2 to 3 minced shallots, if desired
- ¾ cup dried wood ear mushrooms
- Instructions of How to Make and Cook Cha Gio:
In the same bowl, rehydrate dried wood ear mushroom and bean thread vermicelli/cellophane noodles in hot water for 10 minutes or until softened. Remove from water and finely mince. Set aside.
In a medium-sized bowl, mix together ground pork, wood ear mushroom, vermicelli noodles, green onions, white/yellow onion, sugar, black pepper, sesame oil, salt, oyster sauce, and chicken bouillon powder. Set aside.
Thaw out the egg roll wrappers if frozen. Separate into individual sheets by pulling them apart slowly to prevent tearing. There will be one side of the sheet with a hard edge (the side that connects all the egg roll wrappers together). Tear or cut off that hard edge so that all sides are the same thickness.
Use about 2 tablespoons of filling for each egg roll and follow the step-by-step picture instructions above on how to wrap egg rolls.
In a wok or tall skillet, heat vegetable oil to 325°F. Fry in small batches for 2-3 minutes or until egg rolls are golden brown. Transfer egg rolls onto a wire rack to drain off excess oil.
Serve immediately with Vietnamese Fish sauce dipping sauce (Nuoc Mam Cham). You can eat the egg rolls by themselves or wrapped with lettuce and assorted Vietnamese herbs such as sorrel (rau chua), fish mint (diep ca), Vietnamese coriander (rau ram), and perilla (tia to). Leftover egg rolls can be frozen and deep-fried straight from the freezer. Frozen egg rolls take about 6-7 minutes to cook.
- Instructions of How to Make Dipping Sauce for Cha Gio:
Spring rolls are a familiar dish in Vietnamese families. This dish will be more flavorful when combined with a delicious cup of fish sauce. Depending on the preferences of each person and the culture of each region, there are many different types of sauces used for spring rolls such as soy sauce, chili sauce, etc. However, fish sauce is the most commonly used type of spring rolls.
Here are the most common dipping sauces for spring rolls with ingredients:
- 1 rice bowl of fish sauce
- 1 tablespoon of sugar
- 200ml coconut water
- 1 bulb of garlic
- 1-2 hot chili
- ½ lemon or 1 tablespoon of vinegar
- Processing Steps:
- Step 1: Prepare Ingredients
- Peel the garlic and mince the outside.
- Chilli washed, de-stemmed, finely chopped.
- Wash the lemon, cut it in half, squeeze the juice, remove the seeds.
- Step 2: Make Southern-style spring roll fish sauce
- Dissolve fish sauce, sugar, coconut water. Then add lemon or vinegar to the bowl of fish sauce just mixed.
- Stir in the chopped chili and garlic. The chili garlic added in the end will rise to help the bowl of dipping sauce become more attractive.
- You can peel the lemon and drop the lemon cloves into the dipping sauce bowl to garnish.
- Mission Completed:
The fish sauce dipping the spring rolls is just right with the special sweet taste of fresh coconut water mixed with the rich flavor of fish sauce, a little sourness of vinegar and the tinge of red pepper. Not only dipping with spring rolls, this recipe can also be used with grilled pork vermicelli, pancakes.
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