Recipe courtesy of Le Yellow Sub (Food Truck)

Le Yellow Sub (Cha-gio)

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  • Level: Advanced
  • Total: 2 hr 15 min (includes soaking time)
  • Active: 1 hr 50 min
  • Yield: 50 spring rolls
  • Nutrition Info
When rolled in rice paper, these are usually referred to as spring rolls. But when the wrapper is made out of wheat and eggs, they are called nem ran in northern Vietnam and cha-gio in southern. Whatever you call it, it's just deep-fried delicious.

Ingredients

Dipping sauce (Nuoc Cham):

Le Yellow Sub (Cha-gio):

Directions

  1. For the dipping sauce: Combine the hot water, fish sauce and sugar in a bowl and mix until dissolved. Let it cool, then add the vinegar, calamansi juice, garlic and chile peppers. Taste test and adjust the dipping sauce to your liking. (You can prepare the sauce in advance. Extra sauce can be stored in the fridge for up three months.)
  2. For the cha-gio: Boil the mushrooms in water for 2 minutes, then drain. Chop 1/2-inch large and set aside.
  3. Submerge glass noodles in a large bowl of hot water. Let soften 10 minutes, then drain and cut into 1-inch lengths.
  4. In wok or medium deep pot (no oil, ground pork has plenty of pork fat), combine
  5. ground pork, taro root and wood-ear mushroom. Cook, mixing on low heat until pork and taro are well done. Turn off heat, then combine with carrots, cabbage, glass noodles, onions, fish sauce, sugar and pepper.
  6. Separate wrappers into individual sheets by pulling them apart slowly to prevent tearing. There will be one side of the sheet with a hard edge (the side that connects all wrappers together). Tear or cut off that hard edge so that all sides are the same thickness.
  7. Use about 1 full tablespoon filling for each roll, and fold top over, then the right side, then left, and fold down to end. Dab a little egg to seal the roll. Repeat with remaining filling and wrappers.
  8. In a wok or deep skillet, heat vegetable oil to 325 degrees F.
  9. Fry in small batches until rolls are golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer rolls to a tray lined with paper towels to drain off excess oil. Serve fresh and hot.

Cook’s Note

Traditionally, cha-gio are wrapped with rice paper. To work with rice paper, you have to wet each sheet so that it is pliable for rolling and folding. I prefer to use wheat wrappers over rice paper because I can exclude that extra step. Also, rice paper doesn't maintain the crispiness as well as wheat wrappers when fried. Cha-gio, wraps with lettuce and assorted Vietnamese herbs (rau thơm) such as fresh mint, cilantro, and Thai basil, or any herbs that are available. Eating these rolls with fresh lettuce and herbs and dipping in nuoc cham sauce helps to reduce the greasiness from deep frying.