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Cha Gio Heo Tôm – Vietnamese spring rolls get the ball rolling

15 January 2021

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Ingredients for spring rolls

Wanderlust can be quite persistent. I learned this the hard way at home on my couch. I was totally hungry after my Vietnam-trip this year and so I was longing for spring rolls. Authentic, Vietnamese spring rolls with a good filling. So I pulled myself together and did research. First, I noticed the so-called nems. These rolls wound in damp rice-paper particularly tasted nice on my trip through the country. But then I found a recipe, which aroused my interest immediately: Spring rolls of minced pork and shrimps. What an extraordinary blend! This recipe is called Cha Gio Heo Tôm and now I want to show you, how it is done.

Of course, not all local supermarkets have the same variety as an Asian market in Hanoi has. Therefore, my preparation-tips are not necessarily Vietnamese; but include ingredients that you will find almost anywhere. The anxious hobby cooks among you don’t have to be afraid: These spring rolls are very easy to manufacture. Since the filling is processed in the crude state, also the folding is not a big deal. But why a lot of talk around the bush: Let’s go!

Following products should be on your shopping list:

  • 25 g Thai (or Chinese) bean vermicelli or fine glass noodles
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 medium onion or 4 shallots
  • 7 dried black Chinese mushrooms (optional)
  • 300 g thawed (uncooked) medium shrimps
  • 300 g not to lean minced pork meat
  • 2 tablespoons of Asian fish sauce
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 1 package of frozen Chinese sping roll pastry, 40 sheets

So get to the chopping board – ready – go: First, the raw shrimps are shelled and the head is removed. Also, remove the intestine at the back of the shrimp. Next, you chop them.

Then we take a closer look at the black mushrooms (optional) and the Chinese bean vermicelli: There are placed in bowls filled with warm water for about 10 minutes. After it, you press out the water by hand. Mushrooms and glass noodles are cut into 2 cm long pieces. Garlic and onions are peeled and chopped as fine as possible.

Now, the cutting work is over. All ingredients (pork, shrimp, mushrooms, onion, garlic, glass noodles) are mixed together with a pinch of salt (be careful because the fish sauce we use is very salty) and pepper in a large bowl. Put a tablespoon or two of the fish sauce in it and mix the ingredients well.

In the process of making spring rolls
Next, we devote ourselves to the spring roll. If you cannot find small “spring roll wrappers or pastry” also normal dough can be taken. It is only important that it is shortened at the two sides by 1/3, so a small square is formed (14 x 14 cm). The thawed spring rolls dough sheets are wrap in a damp towel to prevent them from drying out.

Each dough sheet should put on a wooden board with the tip directed to you. In the middle of the lower half, place a heaped teaspoon of our filling and form a little sausage with your fingers. A 1.5 cm margin should remain free. Put the tip, which is in your direction carefully across the filling and roll it shortly. After it, put the laterally margins inwards and roll it almost to the end. Take a brush and brush water on the dough and continue to toll.

Thus, the rolls are indeed still raw, but almost ready to serve. As the final step the spring rolls are fired in plenty of hot oil for 5 minutes on each side. Since the filling is raw, the rolls must not be fried too quickly, otherwise they will not be cooked properly.

In Vietnam, the Chả Giò Heo Tôm are eaten with Hoisin sauce. But this sauce is quite difficult to manufacture. We suggest you to take the widely available Chinese sweet-sour sauce instead. Wrap your spring roll in a lettuce leaf, dip it into the sauce and take a bite. You instantly feel like being transported to Asia.

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