1. Food

Vietnamese Spring Rolls - Cha Gio

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Sweet and sour fish sauce gives added flavor to delicate Vietnamese spring rolls.

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2 ounces bean thread noodles
  • 2 dried Chinese black mushrooms or dried Shiitake mushrooms
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1/2 cucumber
  • 1/2 cup mung bean sprouts, or as needed
  • 1/3 pound shelled shrimp, deveined and finely chopped
  • 1/3 pound lean ground pork
  • 1 large egg
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 4 cups oil for deep-frying, or as needed
  • 8 to 10 rice paper wrappers (banh trang) round shaped
  • 1/4 cup chopped basil (Thai basil if possible) and cilantro leaves
  • Sweet and sour dipping sauce (see directions below for link to recipe)

Preparation:

Soak the bean thread noodles in warm water to soften. Drain thoroughly. Reconstitute the dried mushrooms by soaking them in warm water until softened (20 to 30 minutes). Squeeze the excess moisture out and slice. Peel and shred the carrot. Cut the red pepper and the cucumber julienne style. Rinse and drain the mung bean sprouts.

Combine all the filling ingredients (the bean thread noodles, mushrooms, shredded carrot, chopped pepper and cucumber, mung bean sprouts, pork, shrimp, and the egg). Season with salt and pepper.

Heat the oil for deep-frying in a wok to between 350 to 375 degrees. Make sure there is enough oil to completely submerge the rolls.

Soften the rice paper wrappers by submerging them very briefly in hot (not boiling) water, with the patterned side up. Immediately remove the wrapper from the water. Let it dry for a few seconds, then add 2 heaping tablespoons of filling. Fold the left and right sides of the wrapper over the filling, and then roll it up

Deep-fry the rolls until they are golden brown (about 2 minutes). Drain the rolls on a tempura rack if you have one, or on paper towels.

Serve the rolls whole or cut cross-wise into serving size pieces, garnished with the basil and cilantro leaves, and with Sweet and sour fish sauce for dipping.      

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