Vietnamese Spring Rolls (Cha Gio)
March 16th, 2010 106 Comments

Vietnamese Spring Rolls (Cha Gio)

Vietnamese Spring Rolls (Cha Gio) - BEST spring rolls ever deep-fried to crispy perfection. Loaded with crazy delicious filling, a perfect appetizer!! |

Vietnamese Spring Rolls (Cha Gio)

Vietnamese Spring Rolls (Cha Gio) – BEST spring rolls ever deep-fried to crispy perfection. Loaded with crazy delicious filling, a perfect appetizer!!

I am a huge fan of Vietnamese spring rolls, or cha gio, roughly means “minced pork rolls” in Vietnamese language. I don’t like most Chinese spring rolls or egg rolls served in the United States. They are mostly bad, filled with vegetables flavored with MSG. Some of them even taste like they are infused with a dose of antibiotics. I am not kidding. I am sure you have had one of those!

Vietnamese Spring Rolls (Cha Gio) - BEST spring rolls ever deep-fried to crispy perfection. Loaded with crazy delicious filling, a perfect appetizer!! |

But cha gio, the Vietnamese interpretation of spring roll, is what spring roll should be. The filling is made of group pork, shrimp, crab meat, with shredded carrots, mung bean noodles (cellophane noodles/glass noodles), etc., and the end result is utterly delicious and tantalizing. The deep-fried, crunchy, and golden brown exterior is just another plus.

Vietnamese Spring Rolls (Cha Gio) - BEST spring rolls ever deep-fried to crispy perfection. Loaded with crazy delicious filling, a perfect appetizer!! |

The most refreshing part about Vietnamese spring rolls (cha gio) is that they can be served with fresh herbs and lettuce leaves. Eat them as is, of course, with nuoc cham (Vietnamese dipping sauce), or wrap your cha gio with fresh lettuce leaves and other aromatic herbs such as mint leaves (my favorite). Either way, they are deeply satisfying!

If you like Vietnamese food, you should check out the Vietnamese recipes on Rasa Malaysia.

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106 comments... read them below or add one

  1. dave says:

    Great post, I never thought these got enough credit, they’re tasty! I might be weird, but I’m a huge fan of noodles inside spring rolls.

  2. noobcook says:

    your spring rolls have no beansprouts which is great because I don’t dare to eat them. They look really delectable especially with the dip ^^

  3. another great post and photos. we’ve made these with shredded jicama and even taro as well instead of carrots..perhaps slightly crunchier texture.

  4. Brian Asis says:

    Very nice recipe :D Thanks for sharing it. The pictures are very enticing :D

  5. Hannie says:

    I am a Vietnamese now living in Hanoi city. I love your food sure, and I visit this website almost every day. I hope you to try once our other traditional sping roll recipe which we cook for Lunar New Year. The ingredients is ground pork, 豆芽、蔥花、香菇末、木耳末、東粉、雞蛋、鹽、胡椒粉。You’ll like it, I think.

    • Hannie, wow, you are a Vietnamese and you can type in Chinese. I don’t really like bean sprouts in my spring rolls though, but I love jicama. Malaysian version of spring rolls are wrapped with jicama, so sweet and juicy. :)

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  7. Kate says:

    LOL, you are right about the antibiotic spring rolls, they are often served at American-Chinese restaurants in the US. Big fat like burrito, and with the thick egg rolls skin and filled with antibiotic and cheap MSG cabbages, so bad. I prefer this Vietnamese cha gio, too, although Thai version is also similar but with the regular spring rolls skin.

  8. Mark says:

    These look great. I really like all the different textures. Mmmmm

  9. Tuty @Scentofspice says:

    Love these… our version use pork and chicken. For extra crunch texture, I add julienned black ear mushrooms :-)

    Great clicks, Bee!

  10. Memoria says:

    Not only do these photos look gorgeous, the food also looks scrumptious.

  11. Jayne says:

    Will it become oily if I serve it a few hours later? I’m thinking of making them for a gathering but of course have to prep a while before as I need to get bathed and dressed. Thanks!

  12. I am also not a fan of chinese ones, but the vietname ones i love, i tried to make them, but was never so good as the one i eat from places. Will try your recipe. I can never make them so plump looking :-)

  13. Oh Bee, I just watched a food show last night on Vietnamese food and the spring rolls really appealed to me. And then I see your spring rolls here. Time to make some. They look so, so delicious! One question, do the rice paper turn soggy after a while?

    • Yes, they all turn soggy but the rice paper has a different texture compared to the regular spring rolls wrappers. It’s more stretchy and
      chewy, so the sogginess is not that obvious I guess.

    • Peter Kong says:

      Looks like you are fated to make the VN Spring Rolls. :)

      I wonder if coating the prepared rolls with corn flour or brushing them with egg whites before frying will make the rice paper skin crispier for longer?

  14. מתכונים says:

    אחלה מתכון

  15. MaryMoh says:

    Looks very delicious. I always love fried spring rolls. I remember once we went to a Vietnamese restaurant looking for authentic Vietnamese food. I asked the waitress, a friend, whether the spring rolls are authentic and she said ‘No’. Imagine my horror! Then I found out later that the chefs were Malaysians….no wonder…hmmm

  16. tigerfish says:

    My Chinese friend taught me another version (typically Shanghai it seems) with napa cabbage, ground meat, mushrooms and/or black fungus. She made it, I tried it and they were delicious. The filling is definitely “wetter” than Cha-Gio but that’s what makes it moist and juicy inside.
    I seldom order spring rolls in the US too. Guess it is due to the cost with the “risk” involved. What if I’m served lousy spring rolls (thanks for confirming the facts) ? Kekeke…getting too analytical here. Woops!

    • Yes, I know the Shanghainese version. My cookbook has a similar recipe, adapted from my favorite Chinese restaurant, more moist and it tastes very good. I prefer the Malaysian style of spring rolls with jicama. Not sure about Singapore version.

  17. Masa says:

    your rolls look yummy. i love making these things. can i ask you about your frying technique. i’ve noticed when making cha gio with rice paper that the oil gets rather “used” fairly quick, meaning after frying a dozen or so, even with skimming. also, that it’s a bad idea to wrap and wait a while before frying as the wrapper can get rather frail, and i’m rather careful that the filling is not too moist and the wrapper is not over soften. is this experience yours also?

    • Yes the rice paper soaks up oil. I fried mine almost immediately after wrapping. They are not easy to fry, that’s why I recommend low to medium heat.

    • Peter Kong says:

      Thinking if it is so problematic frying them wrapped in rice paper, maybe we can try frying the ingredients in a tablespoon of two of oil without wrapping them.

      How to eat them then? Wrap a spoon-full of the fried ingredients with fresh lettuce or cabbage leaves and dip into sauce and pop them into the mouth. That will also be great without the hassle or wrapping them. No soggy wrapper skin problem. QED. :)

  18. Ed Schenk says:

    Thanks for the recipe. I love all fried rolls Egg rolls,spring rolls, lumpia etc.)

  19. Cha Gio is great! They can also be eaten with rice noodles and fresh lettuce and herbs and topped off with some nouc cham. Great Post!

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  21. Clarice says:

    Mmmm these look great! Should I cook the pork and shrimp before stuffing the rolls?

  22. Melanie says:

    YUM!!are the summer rolls the rolls that are not fried and stuffed with shrimp and cilantro and glasseine noodles??please post a recipe for these when you can. They are one of my favorite dishes. Lovely post.

  23. shannon says:

    I am SOOOOO very confused about Spring Roll Wrappers. I have made delicious Vietnamese Spring rolls, that are made with the round opaque wrappers that are brittle and then you dip them in water and they become stretchy, and served cold…. but I am looking for the “egg roll type” not thick like that but thinner, is this what you used? I have seen frozen spring roll “pastry” on websites, what is this? I hope you can clear this up for me once and for all. LOVE your photos and your recipes, tried the Walnut shrimp the other day and other than adding a tish more condensed milk, they were amazing!!

    • Shannon, I used Vietnamese rice paper, the ones you describe as opaque and brittle and dip in water before wrapping. Not sure about spring rolls pastry, never seen them. For Chinese spring rolls, I used the frozen square ones which is thin and crispy after frying.

  24. Alta says:

    I LOVE cha gio. It was my first taste of Vietnamese cuisine when I was a teenager. Funny enough, I’ve never made them myself, and I always thought they were wrapped with the same wheat-based eggroll wrappers, like the sad versions of Chinese egg rolls at take-out restaurants. So I’d resigned to not being able to eat them. What joy in finding that you make them with rice paper! I can SO do this in my home. Cha gio making party, here we come!

  25. Punch says:

    Are these the same thing as nem? In France these fried spring rolls are on every Vietnamese menu, in the US I get greeted with a blank look when I ask for nem.

    • Paul says:

      Actually “Nem Ráng” is called by people in the north.”Ram” in the center and “Chả Giò” in the south. Over 90% of the Vietnamese living in the US and Canada are from south Vietnam. Thank you BYL for promoting all kind of yummy food.

  26. Dina says:

    I love the veggie spring rolls — they are so delicious!

  27. Cynthia says:

    I want a whole plateful of these!

  28. I am a huge fan and liked this recipe. I much prefer to make Vietnamese rolls with more herbs and eat then fresh – that is rice paper is OK to eat without frying

  29. Greetings from Tokyo! I love spring rolls too, crispy on outside and succulent on inside. Your blog is amazing :)

  30. Sharene says:

    EVERYBOBY here love spring rolls, called “nem” here in France…. I always have a few in the freezer just in case….should friends drop by impromptu for “aperitif’ popular for an evening get-together “apéro-dinatoire” !!. Naturally the crispy rolls is a must when you are Asian. Your recipe seems much easier to make, I sure will try it this weekend. Just a question; how do you make the nuoc nam sauce, as I have already the pure fish sauce….what else should I add ??
    And I love your site and your recipes…TQ

  31. DailyChef says:

    Love these! I always get them in restaurants, and now I can try making them at home too :)

  32. Nice if eaten with hot spicy chilli!

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  34. Maryam says:

    Hi. Thank you for your awesome recipes. I tried your orange chicken before and it was a hit in my family! Your rolls look absolutely mouth-watering delicious! I was wondering what kind of meat I can substitute in place of pork, since I don’t eat pork. Thanks once again.

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  37. Lori Lynn says:

    They look fantastic. I always order them at our local Vietnamese restaurant, Nam’s Red Door, but I have yet to make them myself. Your printed recipe is the perfect inspiration to give it a try!

  38. Sending you some Link Love!! I have posted you up today on my blog!!! I love your recipes!

  39. hectic says:

    i love these. i am blessed to have a vietnamese mother and a mexican father. a by-product of the vietnam war. my mother makes these almost every weekend. we love them. my friends always ask when she makes them if i can bring them some. i tell them i will, if they make it home. lol. she uses pork, and shrimp. the noodles add a texture that the chinese take- out industry cannot touch. i found your blog on accident and now i am addicted. thank you.

  40. Kim says:

    Hello, my Mother is Vietnamese and just to add a little extra flavor we fry our eggrolls in peanut oil. I think it adds that last little bit of flavor.

  41. Mary says:

    Wow! These look absolutely delicious! I am so glad I read your recipe. I have been making eggrolls for years, and I have always had a problem with the rice paper skins. I did not know you had to fry them on low to medium heat. Every time I have tried using rice paper, they would break open, and the filling would spill in to the oil. I have found acceptable substitues, however, they just don’t taste as good as the rice paper! I can’t wait to try these! Your website is AWESOME. Thank you!

  42. eli says:

    Hi, I’ve tried making Cha Gio before and it was delicious. However, I’m awful at estimating how long it takes to throughly cook through the pork. I ended up with some being too dry on the inside as I’ve fried it for too long. Any advice on how to estimate that?

    Another thing is, how much oil did you use to fry it? As in, covering the rolls partially or fully immersing the rolls in the hot oil?

    Really love your blog! Keep up the good work! =D

    • Hi Eli – thanks for your comment. For the oil, you need to make sure it’s cover the rolls completely to make sure they are cooked properly and through. Too little oil will mean that the heat might not be enough to cook it through, hence the uncooked pork problem you experienced. Good luck.

  43. Viet says:

    I am a fan of your website even though I only read it for the last few days. I love food and cooking and I just want to share a bit knowledge of Viet Namese spring rolls which I collected from my travel in Viet Nam.

    There are a few versions of Vietnamese spring roll in Viet Nam. The recipe you described has influence from the Northern Viet Nam style. However, Northern Vietnamese often put beansprouts inside (the real fresh beansprouts do not have strange taste, pity that nowadays most of us can not buy fresh vegetable any more, most of them are kept in freezer for a long time before selling to us). Southern people often use taro instead of beansprout, and shrimp is main ingredient for central of Viet Nam spring roll. The spring rolls with crab and shrimp meat originated from a coastal town in the north. It is the only place where spring rolls have the squared shape.

    In the authentic Vietnamese cooking, there is no carrot or garlic in spring rolls. Instead, there is always black fungus (or cloud ear fungus, 云耳) in the spring rolls.

    • Hi Viet,

      Thanks for your information. It’s great to learn so much about cha gio from you. I have yet to go to Vietnam but can’t wait to try out the real version.

      • Curly Bamboo says:

        A great tip I learnt from my relative in Vietnam… use lemon water to wet your rice paper, this ensures a crisp result from deep frying.

  44. Jeannie says:

    Thanks for the great cha gio recipe. I can’t wait to try it! I was wondering would it be possible to fry them and then store them in the freezer for later?

  45. Lariana says:

    LLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLooooooooooooooooooooooooooovvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvveeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiitttttttttttttttttt.

  46. Belka says:

    I am wondering where can I get Taochu is US, I went to Asia grocery store, but they do not have it.

  47. Anty says:

    Hi. I love your site and congratulation on your new cook book.
    I tried to make spring rolls using rice paper before (my husband is a coeliac) but the oil spitting so much and the rolls absorbed too much oil (disgustingly greasy).
    Could you give some suggestions to avoid those? I love any kind of springrolls but I want my husband to be able to enjoy it too.

    Thanks a million.

    • For deep-drying, use a deep pot, when the oil is hot, turn the heat to medium and deep-fry the Cha Gio in batches, perhaps 3-4 so the oil doesn’t splatter too much. You can use the pot cover to fend off the oil. For more tips of deep-frying, you should check out my cookbook. :)

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  49. Hoang says:

    You indeed have a good taste.
    Vietnamese spring rolls, egg rolls are very much better than the Chinese. But the “chả giò” recipe above is the egg roll recipe. These rolls traditionally are eaten with Vietnamese soft rice noddle + mint + bean sprouts + fried onion + flavor fish sauce.
    The real spring rolls are not fried because spring means “fresh”, so you eat them fresh. Here is the simple recipe :
    + Boiled pork slices
    + Shrimps cut in half (or whole, whatever, I refer whole)
    + mint leaves
    + bean sprouts
    + lettuce
    + watered glass rice paper
    And the sauce is either the fish sauce above or flavored bean sauce.
    The bean sauce is a mixture black-bean sauce (you can buy it in any Vietnamese market) and another grounded boiled bean (green bean or peanut will be great) + fried onion + fried garlic.
    You roll each one and you eat it right after. Don’t keep it for later because it will dry out very fast :)

  50. imetmadonna says:

    Hi! I made these tonight, and used chicken (which I minced) instead of the other meats, as it’s what I had on hand. Delicious! I did find that running the wrapper under the faucet for about 3-5 seconds, then letting it sit for 30 seconds made them easier to roll. I will definitely be making these again!

  51. Merina says:

    Correction. These are NOT Vietnamese spring rolls, spring rolls are never ever fried. You’re thinking of Vietnamese egg rolls, which uses rice paper instead of the regular eggroll sheets and shredded/minced ingriedients.

    • Andrew Nguyen says:

      Rasa is right, Merina! That dish is spring roll or “chả giò” called by South Vietnamese (it’s called “nem” in North Vietnam). The dish that you mention is called Vietnamese fresh spring roll or Vietnamese salad roll or Vietnamese rice paper roll or Vietnamese summer roll. Don’t ask me why there are so many English translation. Vietnamese name for this dish is “gỏi cuốn”. I’m Vietnamese.

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  53. Jennifer Ly says:

    Hi do I suppose to fry the pork first for the filling? or leave it uncooked and roll it?

  54. Jennifer Ly says:

    Also, do you think the unfried spring rolls will last in the freezer if I have leftovers? Or will it turn hard and crack?

    • Best not to freeze or you need to defrost before frying also the texture of the filling might change.

      • daisy huang says:

        There are variations of this recipes. It all depends on your palate. We do not use crabmeat, and we also use jicama and wooden ear mushrooms. The rest of the ingredients mentioned in this recipe are pretty much the same. With jicama, we lightly cook it first first with a little pinch of salt. After it cools down, we use our hands to squeeze the excess liquids out of the jicama. Once you mix it with other ingredients to make the filling, this will prevent the filling from turning soggy. We also use wheat paper instead of rice paper. When we make them, we make them in a batch of 200-300 at a time and freeze them uncooked in a heavy duty freezer zip loc bags. When you set them out to thaw them (no defrost), just make sure you line them in a single layer on a several pieces of paper towels. This will keep the spring roll wrappers dry so when you fry them the wrappers won’t break apart.

        • Tuyen Nguyen says:

          Hey in regards to the freezing, are these done with the rice paper rolls? I’m worried once you thaw them out, the rice paper is too thin to hold onto all the moisture?

          i also heard it’s good to pre fry them and then freeze them?


  55. jpowers says:

    We just had these and what a success! I asked my family if maybe next time I should add a bit of grated ginger, and something that stays crunchy like water chestnut, and they said “Don’t change anything!”

  56. Leanne651 says:

    Thank You , Thank You, Thank You!!!!!!! I can’t believe how close these are to restaurant quality. With some tweaking they will be perfect.

  57. takamats says:

    we call them Nem in the french-speaking world… and yours are perfect !

  58. sjr1016a says:

    These look yummy…I think I will try this on the weekend. :-)

  59. Shellybean says:

    Hi, this recipe is such a Godsend. I’m just wondering, could another type of sauce be replaced for the fish sauce? Anyone could answer (^_^). Thanks so much!

  60. anna frederiksen says:

    I live in Atenas, Costa Rica (in the middle of the rain forest)and REALLY miss Vietnamese food! But some of the ingredients are impossible to find here…but…I substituted rice for the noodles, added some finely shredded cabbage, had to leave out the crab and fish sauce [sigh] Also, i live alone so had to 1/2 the recipe! Still wonderful!

  61. Brad Peake says:

    I love your site, it is such a time-saver! I got a book with quite a few traditional Chinese recipes, but your site is awesome with all the recipes from the East I could want in one place! My rice paper rolls kept turning out terrible cause I tried cooking them like the deep fried egg roll recipe and they would expand and rip open! I am excited to try them again now!

    • This is a challenging recipe mostly because of the rice paper wrapper. You can use regular spring roll wrapper for ease of use.

      • Brad Peake says:

        Yeah, it is. I am trying to learn how to diminish wheat in my diet to extensive studies of health and having to much wheat in the diet is not good and it is overused in supermarket ingredients. I will play around with different heat levels on the oven range. The rolls did not bubble up and tear open like last time, but I think this time I turned the heat down to much. Next time I will turn the heat up a little bit higher but still lower than deep frying temperature.

  62. Kathy says:

    Whatever you choose to call these rolls, they are delicious! I like to replace a little of the ground pork with a bit of finely sliced scallion, a few chopped up bean sprouts, a few woodear mushrooms, and a little bit of diced water chestnut for crunch. What really knocks it out of the park though is the nuoc cham sauce. I like fish but, even if you do not, don’t let the fact that the main ingredient is fish sauce scare you from trying it. It’s insanely good! Some rolls, a big bowl of nuoc cham sauce and some fresh herbs (my favorite is cilantro but mint and Tai basil are also excellent) and I’m in clover. Thanks for posting this recipe!

  63. Ben says:

    Hi, thanks for posting this delish recipe. I just tried making these and the filling is perfection, however my rice paper turned out crispy, white and translucent. Did I fry them over too low a heat?

  64. Lani says:

    love this rolls and want to try this recipe! how many rolls will this recipe make? is 1 medium carrot shredded enough?

  65. chris says:

    i had tasted these cha gio prepared by Vietnamese in Msia. Really tasty. Thank you for the recipe.

  66. Bella says:

    This looks just like the spring rolls I order at my favorite vietnamese restaurant! I love the texture and how crunchy these are. I can’t wait to make these! However, I’m a little confused as to what kind of wrapper to use. I make summer rolls often using rice paper that I soak in warm water for a few seconds before adding the filling. Do I use the same rice paper to make these? Is there a certain brand you recommend?

  67. Azusa says:

    husband was craving vietnamese spring rolls and i made this, he said its just like he had in vietnam. We didn’t have pork mince so just used chicken breast minced up instead. wow yum! thanks Bee!
    this is going to appear on christmas lunch table!

  68. leah says:

    Thank you for the recipe. I’m gonna try this one. We’ll be serving it in my restaurant. Thank you again. I love your recipes.. Keep it up.

  69. Lucy says:

    Hi, can you please tell me how many springrolls this recipe is?
    I have to make about fifty for saturday!!

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