Learn the best receipt for cooking tasty Vietnamese Fried Spring Rolls (Cha Gio).
- 1 small (50 g/1½ oz) bundle bean thread vermicelli
- 3 golden shallots, finely chopped
- 3 spring onions, finely chopped
- 250 g (8 oz) minced pork or beef
- 250 g (8 oz) raw prawns, chopped
- 100 g (3½ oz) cooked crab meat
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon sugar
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 24 sheets spring roll wrappers or Vietnamese rice paper rounds
- oil for deep-frying
- Nuoc Cham
Remove the threads tying the bundle of vermicelli, place vermicelli in a bowl and pour boiling water over. Soak for 15 minutes, then drain and cut the vermicelli into short lengths. Combine with the shallots, spring onions, pork, prawns, crab meat, fish sauce, salt, sugar and pepper. If using spring roll wrappers, cut the sheets in half. Return to the plastic packet or cover the wrappers with a tea towel or they will dry out and be difficult to use. Shape 2 teaspoons of filling into a neat roll and place on one end of the wrapper. Fold in the ends and roll up so the filling is completely enclosed.
If using rice paper circles or triangles, dip each one quickly in tepid water for a few seconds to make them pliable, or brush the paper with a pastry brush dipped in water. Lay them on a working surface. Take 2 teaspoons of filling and shape into a neat roll. Place near one end of the circle, bring in the sides to cover the filling and roll up to enclose. Do not roll too tightly or the rolls may split during frying. Lay the rolls on sheets of absorbent kitchen paper and let them dry out slightly before frying. When all are made, deep-fry a few at a time in hot oil over medium heat until crisp and golden. Do not have the heat too high or they will brown before the filling cooks through. Drain on absorbent kitchen paper. Serve with soft lettuce leaves (oak leaf lettuce is suitable) and a selection of fresh herbs such as mint, coriander, Vietnamese mint (rau ram), slender cucumber spears and fresh bean sprouts. Each roll is wrapped in a lettuce leaf with a cucumber spear and choice of herbs, then dipped in Nuoc Cham and eaten.