Carrot & Cabbage Egg Rolls (Chả Giò Chiên Cà Rốt Bắp Cải)
Vietnamese Egg Roll, or Chả giò is a popular appetizer. The basic Vietnamese egg roll consists of marinated ground pork, onions, woodear mushroom and thin cellophane noodles. The roll is then wrapped in rice paper and deep-fried until golden brown and crispy, and served alongside a sweet and spicy dipping sauce (Nước Mắm Chấm / Nước Mắm Pha).
In the States, the egg rolls forego the traditional rice paper and use wheat wrappers. Wheat wrappers are the same ones used in Filipino egg rolls, lumpia.
Wheat wrappers work much better than traditional rice paper. They crisp up quickly and nicely. Rice paper, on the other hand, requires a bit of preparation or else it doesn’t brown. Some people brush rice paper with a bit of sweetened coconut milk to brown and crisp up. Save yourself the time and trouble by using wheat wrappers instead. They are labeled as Cha Gio / Lumpia / Spring Roll and are usually found in the freezer aisle in Asian grocery stores.
Fillings to the egg rolls can vary. This particular egg roll recipe is more vegetable-based, using lots of carrot and cabbage. This is how I get my kids to get their vegetables =).
However, you can add any vegetable of your choice. You can also add other ground meats if you don’t like ground pork. You can also substitute the meat with crumpled tofu for a vegetarian / vegan option.
Since I’m using lots of carrots and cabbage in this particular recipe, I semi-cook the vegetables to reduce the bulk and moisture. This makes rolling the egg rolls easier and ensures the egg rolls are not soggy.
Recipe below. Happy cooking!
Carrot & Cabbage Egg Rolls (Cha Gio Carot Bap Cai)
Makes 40 egg rolls
- 1 lb ground pork
- 1 cup dried Woodear mushrooms (rehydrate in water for 30 minutes or until soften then finely mince)
- 4 oz dried bean thread vermicelli/cellophane noodles (approximately 1 cup, rehydrate in water for 30 minutes or until soften then finely mince)
- 2 green onions (trim off ends and slice thinly)
- 1 small yellow onion (peel and finely dice)
- 1 teaspoon granulated white sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 teaspoons sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons oyster sauce
- 1 teaspoon chicken bouillon powder
Carrot & Cabbage
- 1 medium carrot (peel and thinly shred)
- 1 small cabbage (thinly shred)
Egg Roll Wrappers
- Menlo All Purpose Wrappers or TYJ Spring Roll Pastry Wrappers (40 sheets)
- 1 beaten egg yolk (to seal egg rolls)
- Vegetable oil for frying
- Vietnamese Fish sauce dipping sauce (Nuoc Mam Cham)
- In a large bowl, combine ground pork, mushroom, bean thread noodles, green onions and yellow onion. Marinate mixture with sugar, black pepper, sesame oil, salt, oyster sauce and chicken bouillon powder. Set aside.
- In a large skillet, bring 1/2 cup water to a boil. Add and cook for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Add cabbage and toss around until cabbage is limp and moisture has all evaporated. Drain excess water (if any) by pouring the carrot and cabbage through a colander. Add to the ground pork mixture.
- Thaw out the egg roll wrappers if frozen. Separate into individual sheets by pulling them apart slowly. Lay the wrapper in a diamond shape in front of you. Fold the bottom corner of the wrapper up to the center of the wrapper. Add about 1/3 cup filling on the folded corner. Fold the two sides over then roll upward, neatly tucking everything in. Dab top corner with the beaten egg to seal.
- In a wok or tall skillet, heat vegetable oil to 325°F. Fry in small batches for around 5 minutes until egg rolls are golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack to drain off excess oil.
- Serve immediately with Vietnamese Fish sauce dipping sauce (Nuoc Mam Cham). You can eat the egg rolls by themselves or wrapped with lettuce and assorted Vietnamese herbs such as sorrel (rau chua), fish mint (diep ca), Vietnamese coriander (rau ram), and perilla (tia to). Leftover egg rolls can be frozen and deep-fried straight from the freezer. Frozen egg rolls take about 10 minutes to cook.