Vietnamese Egg Rolls - Cha Gio
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 14
 
Ingredients
  • 1 lb ground pork
  • ½ lb shrimp, cleaned, deveined, chopped
  • 1 cup dried mushrooms
  • 1 bundle of bean thread noodles, sometimes referred to as cellophane noodles, chopped
  • 1 large carrot, grated
  • 1 large onion, grated
  • 6 cloves of garlic, minced
  • ½ tbsp cracked black pepper
  • 4 tbsp oyster sauce, optional
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 package of Banh Trang rice papers
  • 1 large bowl water
  • 3 cups of Canola oil
  • Ingredients for Serving:
  • 1 head Boston, or Bibb lettuce, cleaned, leaves separated
  • 1 carrots, grated
  • 1 cucumber, thinly sliced
  • Fresh cilantro, torn
  • Fresh mint, leaves only
  • Nuoc Cham dipping sauce, optional
Instructions
  1. Begin by soaking your mushrooms in hot water. Keep them soaking until they are nice and tender. Once tender, about 15 minutes or so, drain them, then chop them.
  2. To another large bowl, add hot water. Toss in the bean thread, immerse in the water, and soak until they are tender. You do not want them to be a mushy noodle, so just soak them until they have softened. Once softened, drain, and chop them.
  3. To a large mixing bowl, add the pork, shrimp, mushrooms, and bean thread.
  4. To a food processor, add the carrot. Pulse until it is nicely grated. Remove the carrot, and place on some thick paper towel. Bundle up the paper towel and press out any liquid. Trust me, there is plenty of liquid from once carrot! Once drained, add the grated carrot to the mixing bowl.
  5. Add the onion and garlic to the food processor, and pulse that down until they are finely grated. Add to the mixing bowl.
  6. Add the oyster sauce and black pepper to the mixing bowl, and with both hands, preferably with cooking cloves on, mix, and thoroughly mix to combine all of the ingredients.
  7. Take a bit of the mixture and add it to a preheated skillet. Cook the mixture until the pork is fully cooked. Once cooked, taste it. Does it need any salt? More pepper? If so, season the mixture, and repeat until you have the balance you are looking for. There is nothing worse than wrapping 25-50 egg rolls and have a unseasoned meat mixture, trust me.
  8. Once the mixture is ready, get another large bowl of warm water ready. We are going to soak the wrappers until they are softened, then begin wrapping. We will repeat this process.
  9. Get your frying pot ready, and add the oil. Bring the oil up to about 325 degrees. This will take a while, so we will begin wrapping the cha gio.
  10. Add a wrapper to the bowl of water, and move around with your hand until it gets soft, or workable for wrapping, about a minute or so.
  11. Lay the softened wrapper on a plate, and add about two tablespoons, or more, of the filling. Lay this filling closest to you, with about an inch or so of the wrapper, closest to you, open.
  12. Fold the wrapper over the meat mixture, and gently roll half way up. Fold over both sides, and continue to roll, sealing the wrapper. Make sure there are no tears or areas where oil can enter the roll. Place on a baking sheet, lined with lightly moistened paper towel.
  13. Repeat. This takes a bit of time, so have some good music playing.
  14. The oil should be ready now.
  15. Carefully place a few of them into the oil, and let them sit there, cooking for about a minute or so without interacting with them. After a minute or so, carefully move them around, being careful not to tear the wrapper.
  16. Cook for about 5 minutes, then remove with a kitchen spyder, and place them on a baking sheet, lined with paper towel to let any excess oil drain.
  17. Repeat.
  18. When you are ready to eat, and trust me, you will be ready after removing the first few of them, plate them up.
  19. This is the best part. Eating.
  20. Take one of the lettuce leaves, and add one of the cha gio. Place some fresh mint, cilantro, and cucumber onto the side of the cha gio. Fold the lettuce leaf over the mixture, dip into some nuoc cham, and eat.
Recipe by Simple Comfort Food at http://www.simplecomfortfood.com/2013/02/10/vietnamese-egg-rolls-cha-gio/