Crispy spring rolls, egg rolls or imperial rolls, whatever you call them, it's cha gio in Vietnamese. My mom's cha gio was one of my favorite things to eat growing up. Nothing compares to my mom's crispy spring rolls. I know I say that about all of her cooking, but I really mean it. When I was younger and attended a lot of Viet gatherings and parties, I would always leave thinking my mom's cooking was better.
Cha gio comes in many different sizes and can be made with spring roll wrappers or rice paper. Traditionally, rice paper is used in Vietnam, but my mom has been using spring roll wrappers for as long as I can remember, so I'm partial to them. I grew up on pork and shrimp cha gio, but a few years ago, my dad became a pescetarian. So last month when I visited my parents, my mom made shrimp and crab rolls.
I don't eat cha gio very often because it's deep fried. So it was a really special treat when my mom made the rolls. Of course, she doesn't measure any ingredients and just cooks by taste and feel. She knew I wanted to document the process for SND and indulged me by measuring everything out. Isn't she great?
The cha gio were fantastic. They contain a few of my favorite things — crab, shrimp, cabbage and shiitake mushrooms. Since they are deep fried, they are obviously nice and crispy. Wrapped up in a fresh piece of lettuce and dipped in nuoc cham (Vietnamese dipping sauce), they are absolutely delicious and take me back to my childhood.
Vietnamese Shrimp and Crab Crispy Spring Rolls Recipe
SND Note: Pork and shrimp cha gio can be made by using 1 pound ground pork and 1/2 pound shrimp. 1-1 1/2 ounces of thin cellophane noodles, chopped into 1/2" pieces and soaked in water until soft, is a common ingredient and can also be added to the mixture.
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 carrots, small dice
6 green onions, thinly sliced
1/2 head small cabbage, thinly sliced
4-5 Shiitake mushrooms, stems removed, diced
1 pound shrimp, shelled and deveined
4 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 pound crab meat
1 egg, white and yolk separated
1 package large (8 inch) spring roll wrappers
1) Blanch cabbage and place into ice bath. Drain and squeeze out excess water. In a large bowl, mix together garlic, carrots, green onions and cabbage.
2) Chop shrimp into small pieces. To the large bowl, add shrimp, soy sauce, sesame oil, sugar, and black pepper and mix. Add crab meat and egg white to mixture and combine evenly.
3) Brush egg yolk on three corners of wrapper. Add 2 tablespoons of filling in center of wrapper, diagonally. Fold the two sides on the diagonal over the filling. Fold the non-egg yolk corner over and tuck snugly under filling and roll up. See the slideshow for pictures of the rolling process.
4) Deep fry the spring rolls in peanut oil at 350°F for 4-5 minutes or until golden brown. Work in batches. Flip half way through. Remove and place on paper towels to absorb excess oil. Eat wrapped in lettuce with nuoc cham.
Makes 25-30 rolls, which serves 4-6
[tags]vietnamese, deep fried, crispy, spring roll, crab, shrimp, cha gio, shiitake, mushrooms[/tags]