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Vietnamese Spring Rolls - firechef - 04-05-2008

I think I will give these a shot sometime soon. The Asian Foods section at one of the local grocery stores is impressive and has most of these things. Go figure, I can't get good cheese but I can get most of this with out a trip to Des Moines...

Vietnamese Spring Rolls
(Cha Gio)
1 serving

* FILLING 2 oz Cellophane noodles, -soaked in warm water for -20 minutes, then drained -and cut into 1-inch lengths
* 1 lb Ground pork
* 1 lg Onion, finely chopped
* 2 tb Tree ears, soaked in warm -water for 30 minutes, then -drained and finely chopped
* 3 Cloves garlic, finely -chopped
* 3 Shallots or white part of 3 -scallions, finely chopped
* 1 cn (7 ounces) crabmeat, -cartilage removed and meat -flaked with fingers
* 1/2 ts Freshly ground black pepper
* 20 Sheets dried rice papers -(banh trang)
* 4 Eggs, well beaten
* 2 c Peanut oil
* Basic Vegetable Platter
* Carrot Salad
* Double recipe of Nuoc Cham

Combine the filling ingredients in a bowl and set aside.

Cut a round rice paper sheet into quarters. Place the cut rice paper on a flat surface. With a pastry brush, paint the beaten egg over the entire surface of each of the pieces. Before filling, wait for the egg mixture to take effect, softening the wrappers; this takes about 2 minutes. When you become adept at this, you can work on several wrappers at a time.

When the wrapper looks soft and transparent, place about 1 teaspoon of filling near the curved side, in the shape of a rectangle. Fold the sides over to enclose the filling and continue to roll.

After filling all the wrappers, pour the oil into a large frying pan, put the spring rolls into the cold oil, turn the heat to moderate, and fry for 20 to 30 minutes, until a lovely golden brown. (This is Bach's special method of keeping spring rolls crisp).

To serve the spring rolls, proceed as follows:

Arrange the ingredients for the vegetable platter (lettuce, mint leaves, coriander, and the cucumber slices) according to the directions preceding. Have ready the carrot salad and a bowl of nuoc cham. Each person has a bowl into which he places a bit of lettuce, 2 or 3 mint leaves, some coriander, and 2 cucumber slices. Each person then adds 1 or 2 spring rolls to his bowl, sprinkles with the nuoc cham, and eats the spring rolls and vegetables together, using chopsticks or a fork.

Additional carrot salad may be added to taste.

Another very popular serving method calls for placing the vegetables on a lettuce leaf, adding the spring roll, and rolling it into a cylinder. Holding the cylinder with his fingers, each diner then dips it into his own small bowl of nuoc cham.

NOTE: We have found that frying the spring rolls in peanut oil keeps them crisper than frying in any other oil.

From "The Classic Cuisine of Vietnam", Bach Ngo and Gloria Zimmerman, Barron's, 1979.

Going to find the Nouc Cham recipe now...

Re: Vietnamese Spring Rolls - firechef - 04-05-2008

Here is the Nouc Cham recipe I found at the same site...

Nuoc Cham
(Vietnamese Chili Sauce for Dipping)

* 2 Dried red chilies
* 2 Cloves garlic
* 1/2 ts Sugar
* 2 tb Fish sauce
* 1 tb Vinegar
* 1 tb Lemon juice

The red stuff can be had in stores. It comes in a clear plastic bottle with a green lid and a red rooster on the plastic. Or in smaller glass jars. It's called "Tuong ot toi Viet Nam" (tung ot toy) and is nothing more than red chiles mashed up with a bit of garlic. You could easily make it by smashing up a handful of the little red hot peppers and a couple of cloves of garlic in a mortar and pestle. There's a similar Filipino sauce called "Sambal Oeleck"++virtually the same but with the addition of vinegar. Here's my favorite recipe for nuoc cham. I have some variants if you'd like to see those too. I use it on a lot of stuff++it's very good with poached or white cooked chicken, thousand year eggs, shrimp chips.

Mince chilies and garlic finely and place in a mortar. Mash with the heel of a cleaver or pestle. Add sugar and stir until it dissolves. Add fish sauce, vinegar and lemon juice, stirring between each addition. This makes enough for 2 to 4 people. I almost always double the recipe just to make sure there's enough. I've kept it for long periods of time but unless you freeze it, it's past it's prime after a few days.

From "Great Asia Steambook" by Irene Wong. Published by Taylor and Ng, distributed by Random House. 1977. ISBN 0-912738-11-1.

This is a basic chili sauce used for a dip for chicken or whatever. Variations of this are found in Cambodia, Thailand and other Southeast Asian countries. You can fiddle with it endlessly. This is a good starting point. The proportions shown here produce what I consider a mildly warm dip. I generally use two to six times as many chilies, depending on their strength and how hot I want it.

VARIATIONS: Use green serrano chilies instead of dried red ones, thinly slice a red or green chili into rounds and toss them in, lime juice instead of the lemon juice or palm sugar instead of granulated. If you make it in a food processor, don't over process. It should have small chunks of each ingredient rather than being a homogeneous liquid. The taste is sour and hot, very puckery. It's great with poached or steamed chicken, duck or game hens. Much better with basically bland dishes rather than something like curry which has it's own blend of spices. Good with Chinese white-cut chicken or Steamed Ginger Chicken with Black Bean sauce. It's truly addictive and I often serve it with meals that are not Oriental in origin. Should be good with a firm- fleshed white fish or boiled shrimp or crab. Fish sauce is a liquid made with anchovies and salt. It's not really fishy tasting. Look for it in the oriental section of supermarkets or at markets catering to Asian clientele. Tiparos is a good brand made in the Philippines. I prefer Thai or Vietnamese fish sauce, but they'll probably be harder to find. A timesaver is to combine large quantities of the liquid ingredients and store them in the fridge. Then, when you want some Nuoc Cham, just chop up the chilies and garlic, pound them with the sugar and add them to the liquid.

A usable recipe and some "background" information. I love knowing about what I eat and the cultures of the people of the country of origin...

Re: Vietnamese Spring Rolls - firechef - 04-05-2008

This sauce might be good for those that do not like the thought of "hot and spicy"???

It comes from the same site as the others...

Nuoc Cham Gung
(Ginger Dipping Sauce)

* 2 garlic cloves, crushed
* 1-1/2 tablespoons sugar
* 1 fresh red chile pepper, seeded and minced
* 1 tablespoon grated fresh gingerroot
* 3 tablespoons fresh lime or lemon juice
* 3-1/2 tablespoons nuoc mam (Vietnamese fish sauce)

Combine the garlic, sugar, chile and ginger in a small bowl or mortar. Crush the mixture to a paste.2Add the lime juice and fish sauce and stir to blend.

Thinking the ginger might counter act some of the chile pepper???
Will go find the nouc mam as well...

Re: Vietnamese Spring Rolls - firechef - 04-05-2008

Well, I think most of us, if not all of us should buy our Vietnamese Fish Sauce already made...what a process.

Here is what I found about it...

Fish Sauce (Nuoc Mam)

Yield: 1 servings

Fish Sauce Information

Fish sauce is to Vietnamese cooking what salt is to Western and soy
sauce to Chinese cooking. It is included in practically all recipes.
Prepared from fresh anchovies and salt, layered in huge wooden
barrels, the manufacture of fish sauce is a major industry. The
factories are located along the coast to assure the freshness of the
fish to be processed. Fermentation is started once a year, during the
fishing season. After about 3 months in the barrel, liquid drips from
an open spigot, to be poured back into the top of the barrel. After
about 6 months the fish sauce is produced.

The first draining is the very best fish sauce, lighter in color and
perfectly clear. It is relatively expensive and is reserved for table use. The second and
third drainings yield a fish sauce of lower quality and lower cost
for general- purpose cooking. The two towns most noted for their
fish sauce are Phu Quoc and Phan Thiet. Phu Quoc produces the best
fish sauce, some of which is exported. On the label, the “nhi”
signifies the highest quality. When fish sauce manufactured in
Vietnam is not available, that of Thailand or Hong Kong is quite
acceptable. Philippine or Chinese fish sauce will not be
satisfactory. For table use and available in all Oriental groceries
is Squid Brand Fish Sauce, the best one on the market. Whatever
brand, look for the “Ca Com” on the label, which means that only
anchovies were used++an indication of the highest quality for table

From “The Classic Cuisine of Vietnam”, Bach Ngo and Gloria Zimmerman,
Barron's, 1979.

Re: Vietnamese Spring Rolls - luvnit - 04-05-2008


This is wonderful. Hubby and I love these kind of eggrolls and have been wanting to try these. Definitely will be making these in the very near future.

Re: Vietnamese Spring Rolls - firechef - 04-05-2008

I just miss the ones I used to get in Phoenix as a teenager at a place near where my mother worked. Had to go find a recipe that sounded like the ones I can almost taste right now...

Re: Vietnamese Spring Rolls - luvnit - 04-05-2008

I think we are gonna make these on Monday evening. Looks like the weather will be good and I can cook them in the garage. (Give some to the neighbors that poke their nose in).

Re: Vietnamese Spring Rolls - luvnit - 04-05-2008

Okay, what are 'tree ears'?

Re: Vietnamese Spring Rolls - cjs - 04-05-2008

mushrooms, Laura

I love to make spring rolls - here's one I've done for parties - oh, there is another one even better, if I can find it.


Ingredients for Filling:
1 lb Crab Claw Meat
1 t Nutmeg
2 t Cumin
2 t Dry Mustard
1 t Cayenne
1 T Cilantro, minced
1 T Fresh Thyme Leaves
Salt and Pepper

1/2 C Diced Yellow Bell Pepper
1/2 C Diced Red Bell Pepper
1/2 C Diced Yellow Onion
1 T Minced Garlic
Spring Roll Wrappers

Sweat the peppers, onions, and garlic in clarified butter.
Combine with remaining ingredients.
Place filling on wrappers, roll, and seal with egg wash.
Fry rolls in 350 degree oil 2-4 minutes until golden and warm in the center.
Serve with mango catsup.

Ingredients for Mango Catsup:
1 C Mango Puree (or diced fresh mango)
4 T Major Grey’s Chutney
4 T Catsup
2 T Soy
2 T Champagne Vinegar
4-6 each Dashes Tobasco Sauce
Puree ingredients in food processor.


This I've done for the winery and everyone loved it.

* Exported from MasterCook *


1 cooked lobster tail from a 1 1/2 - 2-lb. lobster
1/2 cucumber -- peeled
1 ripe mango
4 to 8-inch round dried rice paper sheets (or butter lettuce leaves) -- ¥
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 T. Apricot Vinaigrette (see recipe) -- (3 to 4)

Serves 12 - one bite (makes 4 spring rolls)

Remove the lobster meat from the shell in one piece & cut the meat lengthwise into quarters.
Trim each piece so that it is about 4" long.
Pull out the digestive tract if it's present.

Remove the seeds from the cuc w/a small spoon.
Discard the seeds.
Cut 4 strips from the cuc, each one about 1/3" thick and 4" long, so that they match the lobster strips.
Make the strips as even as possible. Save any extra cuc for another use.

Peel skin from the mango w/peeler.
Slice the flesh to the pit, squaring it as much as you can.
Cut 4 strips from the mango to match the cuc strips.
Make the strips as even as possible.
Save extra for another use.

Fill a large, shallow bowl with warm water and spread a lint-free dish towel on a work surface.

One at a time, drop the rice paper in the water till all are submerged.

Soak for 3 (or so) minutes or till they are completely softened and pliable.

Lift the sheets out of the water and spread them out on the dish towel to drain, making sure they don't overlap.

Arrange a strip of each - lobster, cuc, and mango across the bottom third of the wrapper. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Fold the wrapper over the filling and roll into a tight cylinder up to the halfway mark.

Fold in the two sides and continue to roll till sealed.
Place the roll on a flat plate, seam side down.
Repeat to make 3 more rolls. Allow to rest for a few minutes to seal completely.

To serve, cut the rolls on the bias into thirds. (for Camaraderie, cut in fourths)

Spoon some vin. On a small plate and set a slice on top of the sauce, cut side down. Or, slice the spring rolls into smaller pieces and serve on small plates w/a small ramekin of vinaigrette for dipping.

Can make up to 3 hours ahead

Re: Vietnamese Spring Rolls - luvnit - 04-05-2008

Thanks Jean.

Egg rolls are easy to do. I like the ones that aren't fried also. Great for a lunch on a hot day. Or evening appetizers.

Love it.