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Cha Gio

(Spring Rolls)


April 28, 2000
Web posted at: 5:52 p.m. EDT (2152 GMT)

Serves 6 to 8 (15 rolls)

  • 4 dried Chinese black mushrooms or 6 fresh white mushrooms
  • 3 scallions
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 cup onion
  • 1/2 cup fresh backfin or lump crabmeat
  • 1 cup ground pork or chicken
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 2 eggs
  • 15 6-inch rice papers (Banh Trang) or 15 8"x 8" egg roll skins
  • 2 cups oil
  • Sweet and Sour Fish Sauce (see below)

To prepare: If dried mushrooms are used, soak them in hot water for one hour, trim hard stems and pat dry.

Using a food processor, coarsely chop mushrooms, scallions, garlic and onion. Transfer to a large mixing bowl and, using a fork, lightly stir in the crabmeat, ground pork, salt, pepper, sugar and cornstarch. Beat one egg and stir into the mixture, or knead gently by hand. Let mixture rest for 15 minutes in the refrigerator.

On your work surface, assemble the filling, the rice papers, and dampened dish towel or several dampened paper towels, a pastry brush and a small bowl of warm water. Working with three rice wrappers at a time, dampen entire surface of each rice paper with a pastry brush dipped in warm water. Place rice papers on a cookie sheet, let soften for one minute, then cover with the damp towel.

Place 1 1/2 tablespoons filing on each rice paper, about one inch from the edge nearest you, then form into rolls three inches long. Fold in rice paper on each side, then fold over the remaining edge to completely enclose filling. Roll up and press the far edge firmly in place. Continue with remaining ingredients.

Is using egg roll skins, coat edge of egg roll skin with beaten egg. Then continue as above for rice papers.

Heat oil over medium heat until hot. Gently add rolls and fry, turning them frequently, until they are an even golden brown. Remove to paper towels to drain. Transfer to a heated platter and serve warm, accompanied by Sweet and Sour Fish Sauce (see below).

Sweet and Sour Fish Sauce

(Nuoc Mam)

Yield: 1 cup

  • 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons lime or lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 6 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground read chile pepper (optional)

To prepare: In a small bowl, mix garlic, sugar, citrus juice, water and fish sauce until the sugar is completely dissolved. Stir in ground red chile pepper, if you like a little "hot."

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April 28, 2000
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