Vietnamese Style Deep Fried Spring Rolls (Cha Gio/Nem Ran)

Yum
  • Preparation: 30 mins
  • Cooking: 15 mins
  • Skill level: Medium
  • Servings: 4

Description Vietnamese Style Deep Fried Spring Rolls (Chả Giò/Nem Rán)

Vietnamese Style Deep Fried Spring Rolls (Cha Gio/Nem Ran) can be served all year round, and present in almost every menu of Vietnamese restaurant abroad: A dish that is so famous that many locals of Vietnam assume it as their own specialty and give it their own name such as: “Nem Ran” by northerners and “Cha Gio” by southerners.
Vietnamese Style Deep Fried Spring Rolls (Chả Giò/Nem Rán) was brought to Hanoi from the Southern part of Vietnam and this dish has rapidly become a favorite one of Hanoian, and to express the affection as well as to remember the real origin of the dish, people here call it “Nem Sai Gon”.
Unlike popular myth, Vietnamese do not eat fried spring rolls with rice everyday. In fact it is a preferred food on special occasions such as Tet and other family festivities. Vietnamese Spring Rolls not always go along with rice but also seen with round noodle in the mouth-watering bún nem dish.

Ingredients

  • 30 dried rice paper wrappers (each 8 in/20 cm in diameter)
  • Oil for deep-frying
  • 1 bunch each of several fragrant leaves (a mixture of Asian basil, saw-leaf herb, coriander leaves (cilantro) and mint leaves), spring onions, to serve
  • 1 small head butter or leafy lettuce leaves, washed and separated, to serve
  • 1 cup (50 g) bean sprouts, to serve
  • Carrot and Radish Pickles, to serve (optional)
  • Fish Sauce Dip for dipping
  • Filling
  • 1 lb (500 g) lean ground pork
  • 7 oz (200 g) fresh shrimp or prawns, peeled, deveined and minced
  • 4 oz (100 g) crabmeat (optional)
  • 4 tablespoons minced shallots (about 6 shallots)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced to yield 50 g
  • 3 dried wood ear fungus, soaked in water until soft, sliced into thin strips to yield 50 g
  • 2 oz (50 g) dried glass noodles, soaked in water until soft, drained and cut into thirds
  • 1 carrot, cut into thin strips to yield 1 cup
  • 1 egg white (optional)
  • 1-2 teaspoons ground white pepper
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)
  • 3 tablespoons fish sauce

Method Vietnamese Style Deep Fried Spring Rolls (Chả Giò/Nem Rán)

1, Make the Filling first by combining all the ingredients in a large bowl and mixing until well blended. Set aside.
2, To make the spring rolls, dip a rice paper wrapper in a bowl of water until soft. Remove and place on a dry surface, smoothing it with your fingers. Place 21/2 heaping tablespoons of the Filling onto the wrapper. Fold one end of the wrapper over the Filling, then fold the sides and roll up tightly, pressing to seal. Repeat until all the ingredients are used up.
3, Heat the oil in a wok over medium heat until hot. Deep-fry the spring rolls, a few at a time, for about 5 minutes each until golden brown on all sides. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.
4, Place the spring rolls on a serving platter and serve with the fragrant leaves, lettuce, bean sprouts, Carrot and Radish Pickles and a bowl of Fish Sauce Dip on the side.

Chef's Note

Wrap the fragrant leaves and lettuce around the spring rolls before dipping into the sauce and eating them. This is a fun recipe to experiment with. Try using different ingredients such as ground chicken or duck in the Filling.
To make mini-sized spring rolls (as shown on photo), use smaller size rice paper wrappers (each 5 in/12.5 cm in diameter) with 1 heaping tablespoon of Filling. This would make about 50 mini rolls.

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