Vietnamese Fried Lumpia Recipe
Serve it with a homemade sweet-spicy dipping sauce!
What are Vietnamese Fried Spring Rolls?
Just as Filipinos have the classic lumpiang shanghai, the Vietnamese also have their own classic fried spring rolls. Known as cha gio (pronunciation: /cha-yaw/), these fried spring rolls are not wrapped in the usual lumpia wrapper made from flour, water, and eggs; instead, authentic cha gio are wrapped in rice paper.
These spring rolls also have a different kind of filling from our meaty lumpia: sotanghon, tenga ng daga or wood ear mushrooms, ground pork, carrots, and lots of patis and ground pepper. Not to be confused with Vietnamese Spring Rolls or goi cuon, which are served fresh and without frying, cha gio are a lot like Vietnamese fried lumpia rolls.
Cha gio is also usually served with a classic Vietnamese dipping sauce called nuoc cham, which also serves as a basic dipping sauce for many Vietnamese dishes. This Vietnamese fried spring roll recipe is super easy to make, and the ingredients you'll need are all easily available!
Tips on Making Vietnamese Fried Spring Rolls:
1 Don't leave the rice paper soaking for too long.
When you buy rice paper, it is usually dry and brittle. Moistening the rice paper will soften it and enable you to wrap the filling tightly. If you are using rice paper for the first time, it's a common mistake to soak in water until it's visibly soft; this will make your rice paper tacky and difficult to roll. Instead, dip it in water briefly, just enough for the whole sheet to get wet, and then proceed to wrapping. The rice paper will continue to absorb the moisture as you go, and will soften without becoming too tacky.
2 Can't find rice paper? Use lumpia wrapper.
While using rice paper would make for more authentic cha gio, you can always substitute lumpia wrapper if you can't find rice paper at your local supermarket.
3 Wrap the Vietnamese spring rolls tightly and avoid air bubbles.
Unlike wheat-based lumpia wrappers which are a little more forgiving, it is important to wrap the rice paper tightly, making sure that there aren't any air bubbles. This can become a safety hazard as air bubbles that are trapped in rice paper may burst and spray hot oil everhwhere. This happens because when the trapped air inside the rice paper is fried in hot oil, the air expands due to the heat and can burst out of the wrapper. Take extra care and effort to ensure you roll tightly, and pat down any air bubbles that you notice before frying!
4 Don't be afraid to double-fry.
After you fry the Vietnamese spring rolls for the first time over medium heat, the wrapper will tend to soften quickly. Don't lose heart, because once you fry them again over medium-high heat, the rice paper will not only get a nice golden brown color; it will become crunchier! To avoid making the rolls too oily, make sure that the oil is already hot enough (dip a wooden chopstick, and bubbles should froth around it), before gently dropping the rolls back in.
Vietnamese Fried Lumpia Ingredients
How to make Vietnamese Fried Lumpia
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