These are Vietnamese Spring Rolls or aka Cha Gio. These deep-fried spring rolls are crispy and they are great appetizers. Simply wrap the spring rolls with some lettuce leaves, fresh herbs, and then dip-it lightly into the dipping sauce. Delicious!
Recipe adapted from Pleasures Of The Vietnamese Table by Mai Pham
Vietnamese Spring Rolls-Cha Gio
2/3 lb Ground Pork
1/3 lb Cooked Crab Meat, picked clean, or coarsely chopped Raw Shrimp
1 Medium (2/3 Cup) Yellow Onion, minced and squeezed gently to remove excess liquid
1 Taro/Yam Root, peeled and finely grated (about 1 cup) or 1 cup grated carrots
1 1/2 oz (50 g) Cellophane Noodles (Bean Thread), soaked in hot water for 30 minutes, drained and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
3 Scallions, cut into thin rings
6 Dried Wood-Ear Mushrooms, soaked in hot water for 30 minutes, drained, trimmed chewy stems and finely chopped (about ¼ cup)
2 Tbsp Fish Sauce
2 tsp Minced Garlic
¼ tsp Sea Salt
2 tsp Sugar
3/4 tsp Ground Black Pepper
2 Large Eggs, lightly beaten
2 quarts Warm Water
2 Tbsp Sugar
30 (6 or 8-inch) Dried Rice Paper Rounds, plus extras
Vegetable Oil for deep-frying
Vietnamese Dipping Sauce
Table Salad for serving
In a large bowl, combine the pork, crabmeat, onion, taro root, cellophane noodles, scallions, mushrooms, fish sauce, garlic, sea salt, sugar, and black pepper. Using a fork, gently mix all the ingredients until well blended. Then add the beaten egg and toss to coat.
To make the rolls, fill a large bowl with warm water. Add the 2 Tbsp sugar to the water and stir to dissolve. (This helps the rice paper turn golden when fried and crispier texture) Quickly dip the rice paper into the warm water and turn to moisten the sheet completely. Lay the sheet on a damp kitchen cloth before using.
Spoon 1 heaping Tbsp of the filling on the bottom third of the sheet. Using your fingers, press the filling gently and shape into a small cylindrical shape. Lift the bottom edge over the filling, and then fold in both sides. Roll into a small cylinder, about 2/3 inch wide and 2 inches long. Place the seam side down. Do not stack the rolls. Cover lightly with plastic wrap to prevent from drying and continue to make the rolls with the remaining filling and paper in this way. If a wrapper has a tear, reinforce it by patching it with a small piece of dampened rice paper.
In a wok or a large skillet, heat 2 inches of vegetable oil to about 350˚F (180˚C). Test the temperature by carefully placing a spring roll in it. If the oil foams but not too vigorously upon contact, it is hot enough. Add the rolls without crowding, and fry until crisp and golden brown, about 5 to 6 minutes. (Cook in batches) Remove the spring rolls with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Serve the spring rolls immediately with the dipping sauce and table salad.
Makes 30 Rolls
Note: Vietnamese Dipping Sauce: Mix together 2-3 Thai Bird's Eye Chilies chopped), 2 cloves Garlic (sliced), 3 Tbsp sugar, 2/3 cup warm water, 1 1/2 Tsp Lime Juice, 5 Tbsp fish sauce and 2 Tbsp shredded carrots.