Wednesday, May 12, 2010
Vietnamese Spring Rolls (Cha Gio)
One of my fondest memories of spending time with my mom was learning how to wrap spring rolls. I often joke about how my fingers would be slapped for not squeezing them in the proper way to form the perfect spring roll. After rolling about a million spring rolls in my lifetime now though, I could honestly say that I understand the exact gentle squeezing pressure needed to form the perfect round spring roll. I think my parents even will agree that I roll a better spring roll than them now (from the fear of having slapped fingers…j/k). In any case, I hope you enjoy this recipe. It is definitely a lot of work, but well worth the effort the moment you take a bite at the end of the long process (or manage to steal one during the cooking process which seems to happen very often – just checking that it’s cooked right?).
2 Lbs. Ground Pork
½ lb. Shrimp (cut up in small pieces)
1 Taro Root (grated)
3 Carrots (grated)
1 Onion (cut up in small pieces)
1 cup Black Fungus (minced)
1 cup Bean Sprouts (cut up in small pieces)
5 oz. Cellophane Noodles
1/3 cup Fish Sauce
3 tbsp. Sugar
3 tbsp. Pepper
3 tbsp. Sesame Oil
1 tbsp. Soy Sauce
2 Packages of Spring Roll Pastry (6” Square)
Oil for Deep Frying
1 tbsp. Flour
In a large bowl, mix together ground pork, shrimp, taro root, carrots, onions, black fungus, bean sprouts, and cellophane noodles. When everything is incorporated, add fish sauce, sugar, pepper, sesame oil and soy sauce and mix well. Beat eggs in a small bowl and then add to the large bowl and combine. Marinate overnight.
Leave spring roll pastry in the freezer until almost ready to wrap because the pastry dries out very quickly. Prior to wrapping, if you are using, as suggested in my ingredients list, the 6” square, you may want to cut the pastry into fours, and separate the wraps to allow for quick wrapping. However, remember after you have cut and separated, put the pastry wrappers back in the bag so they won’t dry out. If you don’t want to cut the wrappers into fours, there is a smaller size of spring roll pastry that you can buy, but I think the size of the spring roll end up being a bit bigger.
In a small sauce dish, mix the flour with a little bit of water until it is a paste. Pull out the filling from the fridge and you are ready to wrap your spring rolls.
On a plate, set your wrapper in front of you so that an edge is facing you (diamond shape). Place approximately 1 tbsp. of filling on the bottom half. Take the bottom corner and fold over the filling and squeeze gently. Fold both the left side corner, then the right side corner, then squeeze gently while rolling forward. Seal the spring roll with a dab of the flour/water paste. Repeat until all the filling is used up.
Heat up oil in a deep frying or in a wok. When oil is very hot, place enough spring rolls to fill the width of deep fryer or wok without overlapping. If you are frying in a wok, you will have to flip half way through (approximately 3-4 minutes per side). It should take approximately 8 minutes in the deep fryer. Repeat until spring rolls are all cooked. (If you decide to not cook all the spring rolls, you must freeze the remainder as soon as possible)
Arrange on a platter and serve with Vietnamese Dipping Sauce (Nước chấm) (See Lemongrass Pork Chops blog for recipe).