Authentic Vietnamese egg rolls can be made right at home, no need to make a special trip to your favorite Vietnamese restaurant! I'm sharing with you the tips and tricks on making your egg rolls authentic as well as what to buy at your local asian market so you don't have to guess what to get in order to make these delicious appetizers.
Vietnamese egg rolls are not your typical egg roll that you find at a Chinese restaurant. In general, egg rolls have been popularized to the extent that you can find them in so many different regions of the world. While they share the similar concept of rolling ingredients around in a wrap and frying it, the filling and wrapper are typically vastly different.
Authentic Vietnamese egg rolls have ingredients wrapped in a light, airy crispy shell made of pork, bean thread cellophane, jicama, shredded carrot, and woodear mushrooms (and a few other ingredients I'll share with you below).
I've made these egg rolls with this recipe for the better part of the last five decades. This recipe was passed down from my mom, and I've been making it ever since. There is no tweaking needed.
I love making my recipe of egg rolls because they are absolutley delicious and are typically a great snack or appetizer for any event. Biting into these narrow, crispy brown rolls is an absolutely divine experience.
Also, making egg rolls is typically a family affair. In our home, we make them in large batches because they freeze so well. When you're making Vietnamese egg rolls, similar to my spring roll recipe, you'll have a small 2-3 person team where someone is preparing the egg roll wrapper for wrapping, someone is putting the filler ingredient on there, and someone (maybe that same secondary person) is rolling the egg roll to perfection.
Related Recipe: Authentic Vietnamese Spring Rolls
What are Vietnamese Spring Rolls?
Vietnamese spring rolls are a delicious appetizer made of marinated ground pork, mushrooms, cellophane noodles and jimica encase in a smooth, crispy and light wrapper that is deep fried.
They are different than Chinese egg rolls, which typically have ingredients encased in thicker wrappers and have a bubbly texture when it's fried, whereas Vietnamese spring rolls have a smooth wrapper and are narrower in size. Instead of using cabbage, the filling includes cellphane noodles, woodear mushrooms, and a few other flavor differences.
Difference Between Vietnamese and Chinese Egg Rolls
Vietnamese egg rolls are different than the Chinese style. The wrappers used are thinner, and the filling contains vermicelli noodles (bean thread) instead of cabbage (among a few other flavor differences).
History of Egg Rolls in Vietnam
Whether you call them spring rolls, egg rolls, chả giò or nem rán (the Northern Vietnamese term), they are an absolute delicious and popular recipe in Vietnamese culture. These deep-fried appetizers are traditionally made with rice paper sheets known as bánh tráng in Vietnamese.
What is Chai Gio (also known as Cha Gio)?
Chai Gio translated means “minced pork rolls” in Vietnamese.
Making your own authentic Vietnamese Spring rolls at home
Spring rolls are easy to make right at home. You just need to ensure you have the RIGHT ingredients to get started.
And the great news about making them at home is that you can make a large batch, and they will freeze amazingly well. When you freeze them uncooked, the next time you have a craving of Vietnamese egg rolls, you can fry them straight from the freezer.
Setting Up Your Stations to Make Vietnamese Egg Rolls
Once you get the filler ingredients all mixed up, you are going to want to have stations.
Station 1 - Wrapper separation station. Typically, I would entrust my kids in separating the wrappers since the spring roll wrappers typically come in blocks with the sheets/wrappers stuck together. Have the person at the station carefully separate the wrappers in tandem with the other stations, ensure that the separated wrappers are covered with a damp/moist paper towel so they don't dry out.
Station 2 - Filling station. This station will be where you will use a small spoon to add the filling in each wrapper towards one corner of the wrapper.
Station 3 - Wrapping station. This station can actually be combined with Station 2 if you don't have enough people. This station has the important task of uniformally wrapping the spring rolls in narrow rolls and securing the ends with a flour and water mixture to keep the egg roll from unwrapping.
What should I buy at an asian grocery store to make authentic Vietnamese spring rolls?
Shredded Dried Wood Ear Mushroom
This is important for making Vietnamese spring roll! You will want to soak them per the instructions on the package! Wood ear mushrooms are sometimes labeled as a fungus on the package, but have no fear, they are being literally because mushrooms ARE a fungus, even the white button mushrooms you eat! Make sure you get the shredded ones to save you some time having to shred and cut them. This ingredient gives Vietnamese egg rolls the chewy texture that makes them one notch above from any other egg roll.
Cellophane Bean Thread Noodles
Cellophane bean thread noodles are thin, round noodles that are clear in color. You may be able to find them at your national local grocery chain. Since you are visiting the asian market to get some of these other unique ingredients, you should wait to buy it at the asian grocer because it will be half the price of what your traditional grocer will probably charge you. If you can’t find them, you can buy my favorite brand here.
Frozen Spring Roll Wrappers
Vietnamese egg rolls are made with "spring roll wrappers". To get the crispy, light shell Vietnamese egg rolls are known for, you'll need to buy the right kind of wrappers. You'll find them in the freezer section of an asian grocery store.
The package will be labeled spring roll wrappers. If you have purchase egg roll or spring roll wrappers in the past at a local grocer, you will be surprised at the vast selection of wrappers than an asian grocery store has to offer.
Just make sure you grab the "spring roll wrapper" or "spring roll pastry" on the package. The one that we use typically have the pink border that is prominent on the packaging. This brand is super thin and are freezer friendly. Please sure you purchase the correct wrappers. Don’t buy the ones that say “dumpling” or “gyoza” wrappers. They are too thick.
It's also known as the “Mexican potato,” “yam bean,” and “potato bean". It provides a bit of a crunch inside of Vietnamese egg rolls. It's mild flavor and satisfying crunch provides that bit of punch that Vietnamese spring rolls need.
Recipe for Authentic Vietnamese Egg Rolls
Ingredients for Vietnamese Spring Rolls
2 pounds ground pork
1 package of shredded crab meat
½ cup of yellow onion, finely minced
½ cup of carrots, finely minced
½ cup of jicama, finely minced
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon ground pepper
½ cup shredded wood ear mushroom, dried
3.5 ounces package dried bean thread noodles
1 50-count package of spring roll wrappers approx 6x6" (from frozen section)
For egg wash:
1 egg yolk, slightly beaten
Note: You can use 1 teaspoon of flour and ¼ cup of water mixed together
canola oil for frying
Steps to Make Vietnamese Spring Rolls
The amazing thing about making Vietnamese egg rolls is that once you get the ingredients ready to go and chopped up, you throw them into a big bowl, and make sure you mix well! Then, you set up your stations and start separating, spooning, and rolling. Here are step by step instructions on making some of the very best authentic Vietnamese spring rolls you'll ever taste.
Preparation the Night Before
Ensure that you defrost the spring roll wrappers in the refrigerator the night before in order to use it!
Step 1. Soaking Ingredients
Soak the cellophane bean thread noodles and wood ear mushroom in warm water until soft. Let them soak for 10 minutes, and drain the cellophane bean thread noodles and wood ear in a colander.
Use kitchen shears to cut the noodles into 1 inch pieces. The wood ear mushrooms should already be shredded. Set both aside.
Step 2. Mince jicama and carrots
Shred the jicama and carrots and prepare them for adding to a bowl.
Step 3. Preparing the Filling for Vietnamese egg rolls
Add the pork, shredded crab meat, salt, ground pepper, carrot, garlic, shallot and fish sauce and mix well.
Step 4. Start wrapping the egg roll.
Tear off the first sheet of spring roll wrapper. Gently remove one wrapper and set it in front of you – it should sit in front of you in the shape of a diamond. Add 2 tablespoons of the mixture on one of the corners.
Wrap the corner over the mixture, and take the two side corners and overlap them. Next, roll the spring roll, tightening as you get to the last corner.
Step 5. Seal with egg wash.
Continue rolling egg roll until it is completely wrapped. Dab some egg wash on and under the envelope-looking fold to seal the egg roll. Before finishing and completing the roll, take your finger and dabb it in the egg yolk to seal it. Continue until all wrappers are rolled. Place on a lined baking sheet.
Step 6. Repeat until filler is gone.
Continue this process until the entire mixture is gone. This recipe should yield 25-30 egg rolls.
Step 7. Deep fry the egg roll.
Heat the canola oil to 350 degrees, ensuring that the oil is hot enough. Fry the egg rolls until golden brown (approximately 10 minutes per batch). Avoid overcrowding the egg rolls in the frying pot. Keep an eye on the eggrolls and flip them every so often.
The first batch may not brown the way you might expect but the batches will get a darker brown as you go because the oil gets hotter.
Note: You can test if the oil is ready to use by placing wooden chopstick into oil. If bubbles rise to top, then it's hot enough. Fry egg rolls in small batches until golden brown, turning as needed. Place on cooling rack.
Step 8. Remove egg rolls when golden brown.
Remove egg rolls when done and set it on a paper towel to absorb excess oil. Let it cool for a few minutes. While waiting for the egg rolls to cool, combine all ingredients for Nouc Mam recipe sauce together to make the sauce (it's really easy)
Step 9. Serve with Vietnamese dipping sauce.
Serve immediately with Vietnamese sweet and sour sauce dipping sauce (Nuoc Mam Cham). You can eat the egg rolls by themselves or wrapped with lettuce and assorted Vietnamese herb.
- 2 pounds of ground pork
- 20 ounces of crab meat
- ½ cup of onions, finely minced
- ½ cup of carrots, finely minced
- ½ cup of jicama, finely minced
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon ground pepper
- ½ cup shredded wood ear mushroom, dried
- 3.5 ounces package dried bean thread noodles
- 50-count package of spring roll wrappers, defrosted overnight
Egg Wash and Sealing
- 1 egg yolk, slightly beatened
- Canola Oil (enough to fill pot)
- Soak the cellophane bean thread noodles and wood ear mushroom in warm water until soft. Let them soak for 10 minutes, and drain the cellophane bean thread noodles and wood ear in a colander. Use kitchen shears to cut the noodles into 1 inch pieces. The wood ear mushrooms should already be shredded. Set both aside.
- Shred the jicama and carrots and prepare them for adding to a bowl.
- Add the pork, shredded crab meat, salt, ground pepper, carrot, garlic, shallot and fish sauce and mix well.
- Tear off the first sheet of spring roll wrapper. Gently remove one wrapper and set it in front of you – it should sit in front of you in the shape of a diamond. Add 2 tablespoons of the mixture on one of the corners. Wrap the corner over the mixture, and take the two side corners and overlap them. Next, roll the spring roll, tightening as you get to the last corner.
- Continue rolling egg roll until it is completely wrapped. Dab some egg wash on and under the envelope-looking fold to seal the egg roll. Before finishing and completing the roll, take your finger and dabb it in the egg yolk to seal it. Continue until all wrappers are rolled. Place on a lined baking sheet.
- Continue this process until the entire mixture is gone. This recipe should yield 25-30 egg rolls.
- Heat the canola oil to 350 degrees, ensuring that the oil is hot enough. Fry the egg rolls until golden brown (approximately 10 minutes per batch). Avoid overcrowding the egg rolls in the frying pot. Keep an eye on the eggrolls and flip them every so often.
- Remove egg rolls when done and set it on a paper towel to absorb excess oil. Let it cool for a few minutes. While waiting for the egg rolls to cool, combine all ingredients for Nouc Mam recipe sauce together to make the sauce (it's really easy)
- Serve immediately with Vietnamese sweet and sour sauce dipping sauce (Nuoc Mam Cham). You can eat the egg rolls by themselves or wrapped with lettuce and assorted Vietnamese herb
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 35 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 257Total Fat: 3.2gSaturated Fat: .6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 65mgSodium: 225mgCarbohydrates: 25.2gFiber: 1.2gProtein: 13g
Nutrition information isn't always accurate because of variations of brands and changes.
Frequently Asked Questions
What to Serve with Vietnamese Spring Rolls
They’re great on their own or with nước chấm dipping sauce. You can even serve them on top bun (rice noodles)!
While it can be eaten as a main dish, but it is typically served as an appetizer with a sweet dipping sauce called Nuoc Mam. It is often used as a ingredient that is added to the top of a Vietnamese main dish called Bun Thit Nuong.
For presentation, you can serve the Vietnamese egg rolls on a plate with Vietnamese dipping sauce!
Can Vietnamese egg rolls be made ahead?
Yes, Vietnamese egg rolls can be made in advance in batch by NOT frying them. When freezing, they can be wrapped in a Ziploc back, removing the air and sealed to maintain freshness.
Do Vietnamese egg rolls contain gluten?
Yes, if you use traditional Vietnamese spring roll wrappers for Vietnamese egg rolls, they do contain gluten.
Can I use vermicelli noodles for Vietnamese egg rolls?
No. Vietnamese egg rolls actually use cellophane noodles that are transparent and see through like glass. They are made from starch and water.
What are the clear strings in egg rolls?
Those are cellophane bean string noodles. Here's a link to them: bean string noodle (cellophane).
How many calories are in a Vietnamese egg roll?
This recipe has 175 calories per serving (per egg roll).
Why do my egg rolls appear so greasy?
Greasy egg rolls typically happen if you do not allow the canola oil to get to temperature before frying the egg roll. Ensure that your canola oil is at temperature before trying to deep fry.
When are Vietnamese spring roll served?
In our family, Vietnamese spring rolls are typically created during large family gatherings with extended family like weddings and New Year celebrations.
Can you reheat leftover Vietnamese egg rolls?
If you are frying up egg rolls, most often you may have egg rolls left over. I would not recommend microwaving already fried egg rolls because they will not be crispy. You can try using an air fryer or a toaster oven, which will allow you to bring back the crispiness of an egg roll.
For the best experience, I would just make a new batch of egg rolls that you have in your freezer and make them "fresh from frozen".
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