Crispy rice paper spring rolls filled with pork and prawns, wrapped in crunchy lettuce with fresh mint leaves and dipped in a spicy, tangy, salty and sweet dipping sauce, what’s not to like!
I usually make gỏi cuốn, which are the fresh spring rolls, but I thought I’d try a fried version this time and oh boy am I glad that I did! Brings me straight back to the streets of Vietnam.
I served it as an appetizer, but would be great as finger food at a party as well.
Recipe by the amazing Marion Grasby.
Cha Gio with Nuoc Cham Dipping Sauce
- The spring rolls
- 80 g dried glass noodles
- 250 g ground pork (or filling from 2 pork sausages)
- 200 g deveined & peeled shrimp, finely chopped
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2 small shallot, finely chopped
- 1.5 tbsp fish sauce
- 1 tsp white pepper
- salt to taste
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- Vietnamese rice paper
- oil, for deep frying
- Nuoc Cham Dipping Sauce
- 3 tbsp fish sauce
- 2 tbsp lime juice
- 2 tbsp white vinegar
- 3 tbsp sugar
- 1 long red chili, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, grated or minced
- To serve
- Lettuce leaves (preferably baby gems, otherwise any lettuce will do)
- Mint leaves, plucked
Start by making the nuoc cham dipping sauce. Add all the ingredients in a small ball, whisk together and set aside until ready to serve.
Prepare the lettuce leaves and mint leaves and lay them on a large plate, set aside.
Soak the glass noodles in hot water for about 2 minutes or until just softened.
Drain and rinse in cold water to stop the noodles from cooking further.
Place the noodles onto a clean tea towel. Twist the tea towel around the noodles to extract as much water as possible.
Place the noodles in a large bowl. Use scissors to cut the noodles into short lengths.
To the noodles, add the prawns, pork mince, shallots, egg, fish sauce, sugar, pepper and salt. Mix until well combined.
In a large flat dish dissolve 1 tablespoon of sugar in 500 ml of warm water.
Place a clean tea towel on your work surface
Submerge a rice paper wrapper into the water for 2-3 seconds and then place it onto the tea towel.
Place 2 heaped tablespoons of the filling onto the middle of the wrapper, shaping it into a cilinder shape.
Fold the rice paper lengthwise over the filling, fold over the sides, making sure to squeeze out as much air as possible, and continue to roll the wrapper into a cylinder shape.
Place on a tray lined with paper towel. Repeat until all the filling is used.
Place the tray with the spring rolls uncovered into the fridge for 30 minutes.
Fill a saucepan or wok to about 1/3 capacity with the vegetable oil. Heat over high heat. Once the oil at 165°C (or when a wooden spoon dipped into the oil forms small little bubbles) deep fry the spring rolls until golden and blistered, ± 3-4 minutes.
Drain on kitchen paper.
Place on a large plate, with the lettuce and mint on the side.
Serve with the nuoc cham dipping sauce and use the lettuce leaves to wrap up the spring rolls along with a few mint leaves.