Crispy Vietnamese Egg Rolls

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Crispy Vietnamese Egg Rolls (Cha Gio), also known as spring rolls, are delicious deep-fried rolls filled with a savory mixture of ground pork, vegetables, and vermicelli noodles. They’re typically served with a side of lettuce, herbs, and dipping sauce.

Cha Gio has a long history in Vietnamese cuisine, dating back to the 18th century. Originally, they were made with rice paper, but as wheat flour became more readily available, they started to use wrappers made of wheat flour and egg. The wheat flour egg roll wrappers stay crunchy for much longer.

Today, Vietnamese egg rolls are enjoyed worldwide and are a staple in Vietnamese cuisine. They can be eaten as an appetizer or added to virtually any Vietnamese dish to upgrade the meal (to top this Simple Vietnamese Chicken Rice Porridge Chao Ga, for example).

Why You’ll Love This Cha Gio Recipe

Crispy Vietnamese egg rolls are a crowd-pleaser and perfect for parties or gatherings. I mean, who doesn’t love crunchy and savory finger food with a tasty dipping sauce?

The combination of flavors and textures in each bite is addictively delicious. The crispiness of the outer shell gives way to the savory filling, creating a perfect balance of textures. 

Cha gio are also relatively easy to make and can be prepared ahead of time and frozen for later use. Make sure to check out the instructions for freezing under “Should you freeze egg rolls before or after cooking?”.

What Do I Need To Make Vietnamese Egg Rolls At Home?

You can find most ingredients at your local Asian market, or you can source them from an online Asian store. Here’s the list of ingredients for crispy Vietnamese spring rolls:

  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 1/2 cup chopped onions
  • 1/4 cup dehydrated wood ear mushrooms (fungus)
  • 1/4 cup shredded carrots
  • ¼ cup shredded jicama (or more carrots)
  • 3-4 oz. dried glass noodles (bean thread noodles)
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tsp. chicken bouillon powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ½ tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 egg (plus another for sealing the egg rolls)
  • 1 pack of spring roll wrappers
  • Oil for frying

How To Make Crispy Vietnamese Egg Rolls?

Step 1: Soak the wood ear mushrooms in warm water

Soak the wood ear mushrooms in warm water for 15-20 minutes until rehydrated. 

Step 2: Soak the bean thread noodles in hot water.

Soak the bean thread noodles in hot water for 10-15 minutes. Then rinse them under cold water to halt the cooking process and drain them well. Chop them up with scissors. 

Shred the carrot and jicama, dice the onion, and chop the rehydrated mushrooms.

Step 3: Mix ingredients in a bowl.

In a large bowl, mix the ground pork, onions, mushrooms, carrots, jicama, glass noodles, egg, fish sauce, salt, sugar, chicken bouillon powder, and black pepper. I find that using my hands works best here. Wear kitchen gloves or simply plastic bags if you don’t like the feeling of raw meat.

Gently peel apart all the spring roll wrapper sheets, and then cover them with a damp towel to avoid them from drying out. 

Step 4: Diagonally lay a wrapper and spoon 1-2 tablespoons of filling into the bottom corner.

Take an egg roll wrapper and place it diagonally. Add about 1-2 tablespoons of the mixture across the bottom corner of the wrapper. But don’t spread it to the edges.

Step 5: Fold the bottom corner of the wrapper over the filling, ensuring a tight wrap.

Fold the bottom corner of the wrapper up to cover the filling and make sure it’s tight. 

Roll the wrapped filling up to the center, keeping it tight as you go. Then tuck in the sides (so it looks like an envelope), and roll tightly until you reach the opposite corner. Seal the edges with a bit of water or a beaten egg.

Step 6: Fry the egg rolls 

Heat oil in a heavy-bottom pot or deep-frying pan over medium heat. The temperature should be 350°F.

Once the oil is hot, carefully add the egg rolls to the pan, making sure not to overcrowd it. Fry for about 12-14 minutes or until golden brown, flipping occasionally to ensure even browning.

Step 7: Enjoy your Crispy Vietnamese Egg Rolls!

Remove the egg rolls with a slotted spoon and place them standing up on a plate lined with paper towels to drain excess oil. Serve crispy egg rolls warm with lettuce, Vietnamese herbs, and nuom cham dipping sauce (see recipe below).

Notes & Tips

  • Make sure to use egg roll wrappers specifically made for deep-frying, as other wrappers may fall apart during the frying process.
  • The correct wrappers for this crispy Vietnamese egg roll recipe are labeled “spring roll wrappers” or “spring roll pastry”. Don’t buy the ones for “gyoza”, “dumplings”, or “egg rolls”. I know that last one is a bit counter-intuitive, but trust me. 
  • Also, make sure you defrost the wrappers before using them. Overnight in the fridge or 30 minutes at room temperature should do the trick.
  • It’s okay if you’re egg rolls don’t look perfect. As long as they’re tightly wrapped and there’s no filling coming out from any corner, you’re good to go.
  • If the egg rolls are not tightly wrapped, they may burst during frying, so be sure to seal the edges of the wrappers well.
  • While frying the egg rolls, it’s important to maintain the oil temperature at 350°F. If the oil is too hot, the wrappers will burn but the inside will be underdone. If the oil isn’t hot enough, the egg rolls will be greasy.
  • To make the process easier, you can also use a deep fryer instead of a frying pan. Having a thermometer can be of great help.
  • But if you don’t have a thermometer, you can check the temperature of the oil using the chopstick method. Submerge a chopstick in the oil until it touches the bottom of the pan and observe the bubbles. The bubbles should be small and steady.
  • Be careful not to burn yourself when placing the egg rolls in the hot oil. I recommend using chopsticks or tongs to grab each egg roll and lower it into the oil.
  • Lastly, to remove excess oil from the crispy egg rolls, stand them up and line the bowl with paper towels. This will help the oil drain to the bottom.

Variations & Substitutions

You can substitute ground pork with ground chicken, beef, or turkey. Or try a combination of two types of meat.

If you can’t find bean thread noodles (glass noodles), you can use rice vermicelli noodles. 

Instead of jicama, try shredded taro or simply add more shredded carrots. Feel free to add any other starchy veggies you’d like.

For a vegetarian version, you can omit the meat and add more vegetables like cabbage, bean sprouts, and onions. Or even crumbled tofu. And use vegetable bouillon powder to replace the chicken bouillon and fish sauce.

If you can’t find wood ear mushrooms, feel free to use any other type of mushroom. Shiitake, Portobello, or oyster mushrooms work well.

How To Make Nuom Cham Fish Dipping Sauce

Crispy Vietnamese egg rolls are delicious on their own, but they’re traditionally served with lettuce leaves, herbs like mint and cilantro, and dipping sauce. 

To make the fish sauce dipping sauce, first, dissolve 2 tablespoons of sugar in ½ cup of hot water, then add 2 tablespoons of fish sauce, juice of 1 lime, 2-3 minced garlic cloves, and optional sliced Thai chili. Mix it up and it’s ready to serve!

The best part about nuom cham dipping sauce is that you can make it your own. Taste and adjust to your liking, adding more tanginess, sweetness, heat, or fish sauce.

How Do You Make Egg Rolls Stay Crispy?

It’s important to use a good brand of spring roll wrappers. I find that Menlo brand wrappers are the best.

Also, make sure you don’t stack the egg rolls once fried – this can make them turn soggy. Instead, stand them upright, next to each other on paper towels over a drying rack. 

How Do You Reheat Egg Rolls?

When it comes to reheating leftover crispy egg rolls, the microwave is your enemy. It’ll turn the egg rolls into a sad soggy experience. 

The most popular way to reheat egg rolls is on the stovetop. You don’t even need to add any oil to the pan. 

To find out more about how to reheat deep-fried spring rolls (or egg rolls), check out our detailed article Can You Reheat Spring Rolls.

You can also reheat leftover egg rolls in the oven at 425°F for 10 minutes. They taste as good as freshly deep-fried. 

Should You Freeze Egg Rolls Before Or After Cooking?

You can freeze the egg rolls uncooked. Simply place each egg roll in a single layer in a large Ziploc freezer-safe bag and fry them directly, but for 1-2 minutes longer.

For the best result, fry the egg rolls until about 2/3 done (about 8 minutes), then let them cool completely and freeze them in a freezer-safe bag.

Once you’re ready to eat the cha gio, let them thaw in the fridge and then fry them in hot oil for about 5 minutes or until brown and crisp. 
Egg rolls can last for up to 4 months in the freezer, so feel free to double this recipe and make a big batch that lasts!

Vietnamese Egg Rolls

Prep Time: 40 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings: 25
Calories: 137kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 lb ground pork
  • ½ cup chopped onions
  • ¼ cup dehydrated wood ear mushrooms
  • ¼ cup shredded carrots
  • ¼ cup shredded jicama
  • 3-4 oz. dried glass noodles
  • 1 tbsp each fish sauce and sugar
  • 1 tsp. each of salt black pepper, and chicken bouillon powder
  • 1 egg plus another for sealing the egg rolls
  • 1 pack of spring roll wrappers
  • Oil for frying

Instructions

  • Soak the mushrooms in warm water for 15-20 minutes until rehydrated. Chop.
  • Soak the bean thread noodles in hot water for 10-15 minutes. Rinse under cold water and drain them well. Chop them up with scissors.
  • In a large bowl, mix the ground pork, onions, mushrooms, carrots, jicama, glass noodles, egg, fish sauce, salt, sugar, bouillon powder, and black pepper.
  • Take an egg roll wrapper and place it diagonally. Add about 1-2 tablespoons of the mixture across the bottom corner of the wrapper, but not till the edges.
  • Fold the bottom corner of the wrapper up to cover the filling and make sure it’s tight. Roll the wrapped filling up to the center, then fold the sides in and roll tightly until you reach the opposite corner. Seal the edges with a beaten egg.
  • Heat oil in a deep-frying pan over medium heat (about 350°F).
  • Once the oil is hot, carefully add the egg rolls, making sure not to overcrowd. Fry for 12-14 minutes or until golden brown; flip occasionally to brown evenly.
  • Remove the egg rolls with a slotted spoon and place them standing up on a plate lined with paper towels to drain excess oil. Serve warm and enjoy!

Video

Nutrition

Calories: 137kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Cholesterol: 21mg | Sodium: 250mg | Potassium: 85mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 0.3g | Vitamin A: 228IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 15mg | Iron: 1mg

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