Vietnamese Egg Rolls Recipe (Chả Giò)

Vietnamese Egg Rolls, Spring Rolls, Cha Gio

My mom is an great cook and a very generous person. Her keen sense of taste and relentless persistence allows her to fine-tune recipes until they’re excellent, and worthy of sharing with others. It was my mom and grandma’s cooking that made their home the gathering point for lunch and dinner multiple times a week.

Additionally, she readily (and happily) contributes large quantities of home-cooked food for family gatherings. One of the common requests are for chả giò (egg rolls)–the same recipe I’m going to share with you below.

Egg roll history in Vietnam

Whether you call them spring rolls, egg rolls, chả giò or nem rán (the Northern Vietnamese term), these are delicious. These deep-fried goodies are traditionally made with rice paper sheets (bánh tráng), but are very commonly made with wheat-based wrappers. It’s likely because the wheat varieties are easier to work with.

The rice paper version doesn’t brown as well, and takes an extra step of soaking before use. Even more importantly, they also do not stay crunchy as long as the wheat version. So, tossing tradition out the window, we’re going with wheat wrappers.

Which egg roll wrapper brand to use

Menlo brand wrappers to be exact. I tried Spring House wrappers and got so-so results. They were fairly crispy, but not really brown when fried. These Menlo wrappers, on the other hand, are MAGICAL. My mom suggested these after my first, soggier, attempt.

I had some flashbacks when spotting these in the store. These were the same ones my parents  restaurant used about 20 years ago! Let the package defrost a bit before separating the wrappers so you don’t tear them up.

menlo wrappers

Start by soaking your mung bean threads in warm tap water and your dried mushrooms in hot water. You can pop the tap water into the microwave to get it hotter. This will speed the absorption for the mushrooms. Soak for about 20-30 minutes or until soft and ready to cut.

egg-rolls1

Meanwhile, prep jícama and onion. We want both fairly small–you can use a shredder if you want. My mom was very proud to share a pro tip for crispy egg rolls that even her cook buddies didn’t know: we want to remove excess moisture from these water-heavy ingredients so the wrapper has a chance to get crunchy. Just squeeze the onion in your hands after its finely chopped. A LOT of water will come out. Add salt to the jícama and microwave it until it gets slightly soft (maybe 15-25 seconds), then squeeze to remove moisture too. You don’t need to rinse the salt out.

egg-rolls2

When our ingredients are done soaking, finely chop the mushrooms and cut bean threads into about 1-1.5″ pieces. Grab a large mixing bowl and add all the ingredients except the pork and jícama then mix well. This helps us get a more even distribution of the ingredients into the meat.

egg-rolls3

Then add the meat and mix until evenly distributed. Jícama is added last because it’s the most fragile and doesn’t need to be broken down any further.

egg-rolls4

Divide Filling For Uniform Rolls

This recipe makes 25 rolls of the size pictured above. Take your pork mixture and split it into 5 even sections (use a scale if you have to). Then split each of those into 5 more even sections. This will help make the egg rolls more uniform and ensure you don’t run out of wrappers or filling. Once you get the hang of the recipe you can just use a certain size spoon and eyeball the portion for each wrap.

How to wrap egg rolls (video tutorial)

How to wrap egg rolls (step by step photos)

1. Take a wrapper and place it so one corner points to you (so you’re looking at a diamond shape). Fold the bottom corner up 2/3 of the way towards the top 2. place the egg roll mixture across the bottom leaving a 1/4″ gap between the meat and the bottom edge of the wrapper. The filling should not go over the edges where we have folded up the triangle shape. This ensures a double wall of wrapper so the filling does not leak out into the fry oil and burn.

wrap1

3. Fold the left corner over about 2/3 of the way, repeat on the right.

wrap2

wrap3

4. Roll up and keep it tight as you roll your first layer, closing off the filling. This first revolution determines how tight the roll will be.

wrap4

5. As you reach the top, put a dab of your flour & water mixture at the top corner of the wrapper and finish rolling. This will seal the roll.

wrap5

wrap6

Frying

Use a neutral oil like vegetable or canola. Drop them into the hot oil at 325°F until golden brown and delicious. It will usually take around 12-16 minutes per batch.

Par-frying for freezer storage

To do this, fry at 325°F for about 7 minutes or until just slightly browned. Then, store in the freezer in airtight containers or bags. To finish them, defrost in the fridge overnight and fry at 325°F until golden brown. The color on the wrapper may not get as golden brown with this method.

cha gio,nem ran,spring rolls

Serve with a side of pickles (đồ chua) in fish sauce (nước chấm). These can be eaten by themselves, or wrapped in lettuce and some herbs too. Yum!

What are Vietnamese egg rolls called?

In Vietnamese, egg rolls are called chả giò.

How do you eat Vietnamese egg rolls?

Vietnamese egg rolls are served with a side of pickles (đồ chua) in fish sauce (nước chấm). You can eat the egg rolls by themselves, or wrapped in lettuce and some herbs too.

What’s the difference between an egg roll and a spring roll?

The difference between an egg roll and a spring roll is that egg rolls are often made with thicker wrappers and deep fried, whereas spring rolls are made with thin rice paper wrappers that are not fried.

What are the clear strings in egg rolls?

The clear strings in egg rolls are bean thread noodles, or cellophane noodles, typically made from mung beans, potato starch, tapioca starch, or rice flour.

How do you make egg rolls stay crispy?

I like to use Menlo brand wrappers to get the crispiest egg rolls while deep frying. To keep these as crispy as possible after frying, place them on a paper towel to cool over a drying rack and try not to stack them–this could make them sog up from excess oil.

Do egg rolls have shrimp in them?

While spring rolls typically include shrimp in them, you can also add shrimp to egg rolls if it suits your fancy!  I prefer them without shrimp.

Why is it called egg roll?

It’s called an egg roll because the wrappers used to make egg rolls contain egg as one of the main ingredients, however, these days you can find many variations of egg rolls that don’t have eggs in the wrappers.

Vietnamese Egg Rolls Pinterest Image

Vietnamese Egg Rolls Recipe (Chả Giò)

5 from 18 votes
Print Pin
Author: Hungry Huy
Prep: 40 mins
Cook: 30 mins
Total: 1 hr 10 mins
Servings: 25 rolls
Calories Per Serving: 73kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 package Menlo brand egg roll wrappers

Filling

  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 1 medium jícama (about 1/2 cup)
  • 2/3 cup onion chopped
  • 1/2 cup bean thread noodle cut into 1"-1.5" threads
  • 1/8 cup wood ear mushrooms chopped
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp sugar

Egg Roll Wrap Sealer

  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tbsp flour

Instructions

  • Soak bean threads in hot tap water and mushrooms in 40-second microwaved hot tap water until soft. About 30 minutes.
  • Shred or finely chop onion and squeeze excess moisture out by hand. Add 1/2 tsp salt to jícama, microwave until slightly soft and squeeze excess moisture out by hand.
  • When soft, roughly chop bean thread noodles and mushrooms.
  • Add bean thread, mushrooms, onion, salt, pepper, and sugar into a large mixing bowl and mix thoroughly. Add pork and mix well. Add jícama last and mix well.
  • Mix together water and flour for egg roll sealer, and microwave until just boiling. Wrap the egg rolls (see photos above for technique).
  • Fry at 325°F until golden brown and fully cooked inside. About 12-16 minutes per batch.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

Calories: 73kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 13mg | Sodium: 108mg | Potassium: 99mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 6IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 8mg | Iron: 1mg
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: Vietnamese
Keyword: egg rolls, Vietnamese egg rolls
I'd love to see what you cook up!Mention @HungryHuy or tag #hungryhuy

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49 thoughts on “Vietnamese Egg Rolls Recipe (Chả Giò)

  1. I was always intimidated by my mom’s egg roll-making endeavors. With your instructions it doesn’t seem so bad. Maybe I’ll attempt them this weekend!

  2. thank you so much for posting this. your egg rolls are the most gorgeous egg rolls i have ever seen. my mom always cut the wrapper in half diagonally (to get the most bang for her buck), and i wondered why we had egg rolls that split when they were fried. can’t wait to try it out with your double wall method! 🙂 thanks again!

  3. I am going to try the wheat-based wrapper. I tried rice paper and they got soggy, didn’t brown, and tore apart. Do you always use ground pork?

    1. Hi Judy, even with the wheat-based wrappers experiment with a few brands if you can–it can change everything. Or just go for the Menlo ones. Good luck! 🙂

    2. You can substitute ground turkey. You almost can’t tell the difference. My mom learned to make them from a Vietnamese woman when she lived on Wake Island in the late ‘ 70’s . Huy, do you make hot sauce to go with them?

  4. 5 stars
    Thank you so much for sharing all of these amazing recipes! If there is nothing more than I love about food, it is authentic traditional homestyle Vietnamese dishes. I cannot wait to start cooking up some of my own dishes, beautiful blog!

    1. Hey Jordyn thanks for the kind words! Traditional foods are their own kinda fun right? Yesss..cooking up your own dishes–highly encouraged 🙂

  5. Thank you for sharing your mother’s egg rolls recipes. I am a foodie myself and always appreciate grandma’s or mom’s cooking, who doesn’t right? I am on a mission to explore and test out different egg rolls recipes to come up with the best one, kinda like the Vietnamese test kitchen…My twist on my recipe is to use 1/2 lb. ground pork and 1/2 lb. ground chicken, this is to “soften” the meat texture and add more flavor to the meat when using this combo.This combo is also good for those cooks want to reduce the amount of pork but don’t want to loose the flavor. Try this out and let me know what you think and until then have a good eat everyone and I am off to my next finding…

    1. Hi Lee, chả giò means minced pork sausage but refers to the fried egg rolls you see in this recipe.

      Nem is pork sausage and nem rán is fried pork sausage, but is the Northern Vietnamese term for egg rolls. Hope that answers your question! 🙂

    1. Hey Dan! I just don’t like shrimp in my egg rolls. I haven’t done it, but I assume you can just pulse it in a blender if you want a paste. Although just chopping it roughly “shows off” the shrimp better.

  6. How do you use the rice sheets? They just break apart when you try to roll them. Is there a way to make them more flexible?? Also how much oil do I use if I want to pan fry them? Thanks!

    1. For the rice sheets, you have to soak them in warm water for a few seconds so they’re flexible. I actually haven’t pan fried these, but you would just need a few tablespoons of oil if you don’t want to deep fry.

  7. Hi Huy.
    The egg rolls are fried to perfection in my book. Can you share your tips for frying (ie low heat, medium heat etc). When i fried my egg rolls, they first batch came out decent .. batches after that has speckles on them and it get worse and worse after each batch … and i hate do drain hot oil after each batch of rolls. I fried in low heat (afraid medium or high heat) will burn the wrapper while the pork is uncooked. Thanks

    1. Hey Ngan, I fried mine at 325F using a thermometer to monitor the temperature (although you can do just fine without it). Black specks are usually from something contaminating the oil. If the rolls aren’t tight, or if they are leaking filling somewhere the oil will become contaminated with black specks.

  8. Stumbled upon your website and just loving it. Definitely going to be the spot to visit for all my cooking needs. Love the pictures! Keep it up!

  9. 5 stars
    Hey Huy! Thanks for this website! Fortunately I live not far from a great market called Little Saigon. I love Vietnamese food (and you folks are very friendly and are all too happy to propagate your culture). I’m adding your site to my bookmarks menu (you’re that important).

  10. 5 stars
    I always have hard times finding the RIGHT wrappers. Loved your Step 3 folding one corner and put meat on top. Small trick makes a big difference.

  11. 5 stars
    Hi Huy,
    What a delightful blog!!! I found your blog and recipe when googling how to make cha gio. The recipe is well-written, concise and precise. You include tips and beautiful illustrations. It is likely the best recipe page I have found in the past week. I am going to the store right away to buy the ingredients. My husband and I are celebrating our friend’s birthday this Saturday. I want cha gio to be one of our starters. I intend to practice making cha gio till I get it right. Would you please answer a few questions to help me: Can I use freshly shredded carrot instead of jimaca? What about freshly shredded cabbage or taro root? Did you try ground beef or ground turkey meat instead of ground pork? I will try to stick to your recipe as closely as possible. But jimaca may not be sold at my grocery store. Thank you for your recipe and for reading.

  12. 5 stars
    1/5/17

    Hello Huy!
    I followed this recipe precisely and the egg rolls were amazing! I used the Menlo wrappers as indicating…crispiest rolls ever! I actually used these egg rolls (cut the roll in to 4 smaller bite size pieces) to put in our noodle dish with herbs and fish sauce! So delicious. Thanks so much for your recipes!

  13. Is jícama common in your family’s recipes? My mom uses carrots rather than the jicama. She doesn’t know what jicama is.

  14. 5 stars
    Hi! This recipe looks delicious! Any idea if you can make these in an air fryer? Appreciate the help! 🙂

    1. Hey Sydney! Air fryers don’t really replace deep frying. If you deep fry first, then “air fry” to reheat you can drain some of the oil from the initial cooking.

  15. 5 stars
    Huy, this recipe was perfect. Perfect crunch, flavor… my family was in egg roll paradise!
    Thanks for sharing it.

    1. Samantha, Menlo wrappers are made of wheat thus it has gluten and it is NOT gluten free. If anything has wheat then it has gluten. Even some of the other brands that are rice based, if you read the ingredients and it has wheat, then it has NOT gluten free.

  16. 5 stars
    First holiday that my mom is out of town, so I thought we wouldn’t have her delicious chả giò for the family dinner until I found this recipe! So easy and delicious! My mom would be proud 🙂 Thank you for sharing!

    1. Hey Dan, I have only seen them in Asian markets if you can search for any near you. I haven’t had luck with this brand in any American markets.

  17. 5 stars
    These are SO GOOD. I grew up in Hong Kong and first went to Vietnam in 1996 on a high school trip. I’ve been back three times since and always love it. My oldest daughter is now in high school. Recently she and a friend were lamenting the fact that the things they were learning in their high school culinary class were pretty lame. So I asked them what they wanted to learn how to make and told them I’d teach them whatever they wanted. They chose spring rolls. Cha Gio was my first thought and I’m so glad I came across your website! We made these last week and they couldn’t have turned out better. You know they’re good when your 14 year old says, “I thought they would be good but I didn’t think they’d be THAT good!” We served them with nuoc mam. She’s asking to make them again. I don’t fry foods very often but these will become a special treat in our house from time to time. Thanks for a great recipe!

    1. Ah, appeasing the young eaters is always such a win. I’m glad you liked them Sarah, thank you! I know what ya mean about that love/hate relationship with fried foods–these somehow slip into the guilty-but-ok-lets-eat-em-anyway category.

    1. 5 stars
      Thank you for sharing your recipe. This is the best egg rolls recipe. I like the tip that you gave about squeezing out water from the jicama. My egg rolls are very crunchy. Also i like that you add sugar to the recipe also. I saw some other people’s recipe does not have sugar only salt and fish sauce. That just seems too salty. It’s good to add some sugar to balance out the taste. You are an excellent cook. Thanks again for your great recipes 👍

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