Cha Gio (Vietnamese Egg Rolls)
1 lb ground pork
1/2 to 1 lb shrimp, minced or ground in a food processor
1 package spring roll or rice paper wrappers
1 small section bean thread vermicelli. (They're sold individually or in packages, but the packages will tie a small bundle together. You just need one.)
1 large onion, minced or grated
1 or 2 carrots, peeled and grated
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon salt, adjust to taste
1 teaspoon sugar, adjust to taste
1 teaspoon black pepper, adjust to taste
2 teaspoon nuoc mam (Vietnamese fish sauce), adjust to taste
Mix everything thoroughly. To check for taste, I usually take a tiny lump of the meat and pop it into the microwave for 30 seconds or so. It's easier to adjust seasonings if necessary this way. Just remember to factor in that the fish sauce will make the mixture saltier as it gets absorbed and cooked.
Roll the eggrolls.
Fill a wok or fry pan with several inches of oil, and an optional 2 teaspoons of white vinegar. You need enough oil that the egg rolls won't touch the pan so that it can cook evenly. The vinegar helps to make the egg rolls crispy. Do this first and then turn to medium heat or else the vinegar will make the oil splatter. As for oil, I recommend canola or safflower because they're tasteless and healthier than just vegetable or corn oil. Don't use olive oil because it has a different heating point and isn't as effective for deep-frying. The lower temperature is needed to thoroughly cook the raw meat, and allow the wrappers to reach golden perfection. Turning the temperature too high will burn the wrapper, without cooking the meat. To test if the oil is hot enough for frying, flick some water into the pan. If it starts sizzling, the oil is ready for frying.
Drain on brown paper bags, it'll absorb oil but won't make the egg rolls soggy like draining on paper towels will.
Allow to cool and serve
Pairs Well With
This recipe came from my Mum. She would always make it for us when we were little in Vietnam. It is a great appetiser.
Submitted by: "Kim Liang"