When the mood is right, we enjoy it with fresh leafy greens and herbs or wrapped in rice paper with the fresh herbs and greens.
Chả giò (egg rolls) are deep fried meat rolls. Vietnamese egg rolls are generally made with a ground pork base, seasonings, vegetables and mung bean threads. It’s quite a popular dish that can be served as an appetizer or main dish along with dipping sauce, fresh leafy greens, herbs and pickled vegetables.
Chả giò is very popular in my parent’s household. My siblings and I can’t get enough of the crispy crunchy shell and the savory pork roll inside dipped in nước chấm (a Vietnamese dipping sauce consisting of fermented fish sauce, lime juice, chilies, garlic and sugar). Sometimes we eat the Chả giò just with dipping sauce. When the mood is right, we enjoy it with fresh leafy greens and herbs or wrapped in rice paper with the fresh herbs and greens. It’s so versatile, that restaurants serve them in rice noodle bowls and rice plates. It doesn’t matter how one enjoys this tasty treat, as long as it fits the mood!
2 lbs ground pork
1 bundle mung bean thread soaked
2 cups chopped cabbage
1 cups chopped carrots
½ cup chopped red onion
2 clove garlic minced
1 large egg
2 tsp salt
2 tsp sugar
¼ tsp black pepper
1 tsp chicken bullion
1 package wheat egg roll wrappers
veggie/peanut/grapeseed oil for frying
1 tbsp water
1 tbsp cornstarch
Dipping sauce (See nước chấm recipe)
Fresh herbs (mints, basil, cilantro, chives, french sorrel)
Soak mung bean thread in warm water and set aside.
Place ground pork into a large mixing bowl.
Let’s get chopping! I generally use ¼ of a large cabbage in my meat mixture. It measures approximately two cups once chopped.
Chop cabbage, carrots and red onions into small pieces that won’t fall out of the meat mixture. Add chopped pieces to the mixing bowl.
Smash garlic and mince well and add to the mixture.
The mung bean threads should be ready after all the chopping you’ve done! Drain those clear noodle threads and chop into ½ long pieces. Add to the mixing bowl.
Add all remaining ingredients (egg, salt, sugar, black pepper, chicken bullion) to the mixing bowl. Using your hands, mix all ingredients so that they are all well incorporated.
It’s “ROLLING” time! Let’s wrap the delicious mixture! Gently peel the wheat wrappers apart. Keep them covered and protected against air. They dry out super easily and will begin to crack.
Prepare the sealing paste. Combine water and cornstarch.
Place egg roll wrapper at an angle that creates a diamond. Add 2-3 tablespoons of filling on lower ⅓ of wrapper. Fold the triangle piece up to cover filling and bring the left and right sides together like an envelope.
Keep rolling till there’s only 1.5 inches left of the wrapper exposed. Dip a finger into the sealing past and trace the triangle; finish rolling and sealing the egg roll. Repeat until you have no more filling left.
Frying time! In a deep pan, pour enough oil in so that it’s at a height of 1.5-2 inches. Set heat to medium. Oil is ready when it reaches 350°F or check with a wooden spoon or chopstick. Dip wooden utensil to the bottom of the pan, if it begins to bubble fast, the oil is ready.
Always do a tempered initial check. That means you’ll only fry one egg roll to help settle the oil. That first fried piece will always be more cooked than we want or even burnt. But after that initial tester, the other egg rolls will be perfect!
Don’t overcrowd the pan. Place enough egg rolls in the pan but still leave ½ inch space between them. Cook for 3-minutes per side or until golden brown. This can take up to 7-minutes total.
Let rest on a wire rack or a plate with paper towels to catch the excess oil.
Eat alone with dipping sauce or serve with carbohydrates and fresh lettuce and herbs! Bon Appétit!