Cha Gio (Vietnamese Eggrolls)
Growing up I had the pleasure of eating food from two cultures – Vietnamese and Chinese. Growing up Cha Gio otherwise known as eggrolls were made for birthday parties and family get togethers. So, it was always a treat to have them. Of course, as a child, we all grow accustomed to the certain styles our parents cook. In my case, I always preferred my mom’s ratio of meats to seafood to vegetables in her egg rolls, so here I’ll share with you my mom’s recipe for eggrolls.
Food process all these ingredients but the lump crab meat:
1-2 lb. shrimp (optimally 2:3 ratio of shrimp to pork)
1 lb. pork shoulder (fat trimmed)
1 lb. crab meat (freshly steamed from whole crab preferred)
1 package dried black fungus, rinse, soak overnight, trim stems
1-2 small/medium Jicama (smoother and smaller is better)
2 yellow onions
1-2 rolls of vermicelli
1 carrot for color
Approximate seasonings to the meat filling:
4 tsp of salt
3 tsp of sugar
Pepper to taste
2 beaten eggs
Makes 100 egg rolls
Egg roll Wrapper Sealant:
Prep tapioca starch and water – stir until thickened. Approx 1:10 starch to water ratio.
Mix all ingredients thoroughly. Put your back into it.
Wrap ‘em up in egg roll wrappers
Fry at 350 degrees in peanut oil until floating and golden about 11-12 minutes. Serve hot and fresh with your favorite vegetables and nuoc cham (fish sauce). Enjoy!
1. Rid of excess moisture in all ingredients before incorporating together to minimize bubbling of the egg roll wrapper when deep frying. So, Mom literally squeezes the moisture or of the veggies, shrimp, fungus, etc.
2. The trick to wrapping it – Place meat almost in middle. Tuck the wrapper snug so there are no air pockets. Roll partial way until you see the second layer and then fold side flaps to equalize thickness and minimize jutting corners. Finish rolling and seal. Don’t be overzealous like me, and add too much sealant. It will cause the other rolls to stick together in the pile.
3. Why no egg for binder in the mixture? Supposedly the egg rolls fry better without it – something about affecting the oil, too.
4. Why no egg yolk to seal the egg roll wrapper? Supposedly the tapioca starch mixture will not affect the frying oil as much and looks better
5. If you want the real deal holyfield with rice paper, mom says you will need to wrap and deep fry immediately. The advantage with the egg roll wrappers is that you can wait to deep fry.
6. Do not overcrowd your deep fryer because it will decrease the optimal frying temperature.