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Vietnamese Spring Rolls - Cha Gio

Vietnamese Spring Rolls - Cha Gio

These little morsels are probably the most popular dish to come out of Vietnam. Each one is filled with pork, prawns and a variety vegetables which are seasoned with traditional Vietnamese flavours. Bean thread noodles and wood ear mushrooms are added to provide extra texture as you bite through the crispy golden pastry.

Course Finger Food, Snack
Cuisine Vietnamese
Keyword Spring Rolls
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 50 - 60 rolls
Author Scruff and Mum

Ingredients

  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 50 - 60 medium (12.5 cm x 12.5 cm) spring roll (egg roll) wrappers (available at Asian groceries) (Note 1)
  • Vegetable oil for deep frying

Filling

  • 20 gm shredded dried black fungus / wood ear mushroom, roughly chopped (available at Asian groceries)
  • 1/2 brown onion, finely chopped
  • 150 gm carrot, grated
  • 150 gm green cabbage, roughly chopped
  • 100 gm white potato, chopped into small cubes
  • 30 gm dried bean vermicelli
  • 300 gm pork mince
  • 200 gm raw prawn meat (approx 400 gm of prawns with shell), chopped into small chunks (Note 2)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp fish sauce
  • 1/2 tsp freshly cracked pepper

Cornstarch Mixture

  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • 2 tbsp water

Instructions

Preparing the Filling

  1. In a bowl, soak the black fungus in boiling water and leave aside.

  2. Prep all your vegetables and proteins.

  3. Add the cubed white potato in a bowl with 1 tbsp of water. Cover with cling wrap and microwave on high for 4 minutes. 

  4. Strain the black fungus and pat dry with some kitchen towels. Roughly chop. 

  5. Rinse the bean vermicelli noodles under a tap for a few seconds and cut into 2 - 3 cm pieces with a pair of scissors. 

  6. Take out a mixing bowl and thoroughly combine all the filling ingredients with your hands. 

Making the Cornstarch Mixture

  1. In a small bowl, combine the cornstarch and water.

  2. Heat in the microwave for 30 seconds. If the mixture hasn't thickened, then microwave for a further 10 seconds. 

Assembly (refer to the pictures in the post)

  1. Separate a few spring roll wrappers at a time and put rest back into the packaging. Do not separate them all at once because they will dry out.

  2. Place the wrapper in front of you with a corner pointing towards you, like a diamond.

  3. Place a heaped teaspoon in the middle of the wrapper and spread the filling out in a small log shape going across the wrapper. Do not spread all the way to the side corners, and make sure the mixture is evenly spread.

  4. Fold the side corners towards the middle and press down around the filling to make sure it is compacted. 

  5. Lift the bottom corner over the filling and roll tightly without squeezing the filling out.

  6. Finish the roll with a bit of cornstarch mixture on the top corner to keep it together.

Cooking (refer to the pictures above)

  1. Add enough vegetable oil to a pot so that the depth is at least 3 cm. Heat the oil on medium heat. 

  2. Slide the fresh / frozen spring rolls into the oil one at a time and be careful of splash back. Try not to overcrowd the pot with spring rolls. 

  3. Cook the spring rolls until they are floating on top of the oil and are a golden colour. It usually takes roughly 3 mins for fresh spring rolls and 3 - 4 for frozen. (Note 3)

  4. Take them out with a slotted spoon or a pair of tongs and let them drain on a rack. Do not let them cool on top of each other. 

  5. Repeat until all done and serve ASAP!

Recipe Notes

  1. Spring roll wrappers usually come with egg or no egg. The one with egg gives a better golden finish.
  2. Prawn meat is expensive and can be substituted for more pork mince.
  3. If your spring rolls are pale but cooked, then the oil is not hot enough. If your spring rolls are forming bubbles on the skin then the oil is too hot.