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Delicious Crispy Fried Vietnamese Spring Rolls Recipe

Nem Rán/Chả Giò - Vietnamese Fried Spring Rolls​

Indulge in the quintessence of Vietnamese gastronomic culture with our Fried Vietnamese Spring Rolls (Nem Rán/Chả Giò). Join us today at Amasia as we embark on a journey to master the art of crafting these delicious rolls from scratch, ensuring a delightful culinary experience that evokes the bustling streets of Vietnam.

Nem Rán/Chả Giò, commonly known as Fried Vietnamese Spring Rolls or Spring Rolls, are among the most popular and tasty of many local dishes that both residents and foreigners love enjoying. Whether you call them Nem Rán (in the North) or Chả Giò (in the South), it is hard to deny the irresistible delight of this dish with its crispy exterior and flavourful filling. Interestingly, a tray loaded with these delicious fried rolls is often seen anywhere from small gatherings to large parties in Vietnam.

Indulge in this must-try dish across Vietnam, from the bustling streets of Hanoi to the vibrant energy of Ho Chi Minh City, or even amidst the serene landscapes of Sapa in the far North to the lush Mekong Delta in the South. Wherever your travels take you, the opportunity to savour this delightful dish and its diverse regional variations is never far away.

Origins and Traditions of Fried Vietnamese Spring Rolls (Nem Rán/Chả Giò)

Fried Vietnamese Spring Rolls (Nem Rán/Chả Giò)

Fried Vietnamese Spring Rolls (Nem Rán/Chả Giò)

Nem Rán/Chả Giò has a rich culinary heritage dating back centuries in Vietnam. Taking a glance at Nem Rán/Chả Giò, you can easily realize that these rolls demonstrate close similarities to the ones in China. It’s believed to have originated during the Chinese Han dynasty and was later introduced to Vietnam.

In the past, the dish was reserved for royalty due to its intricate preparation process. That’s why it is also called “imperial rolls.” The combination of meat, shrimp, vegetables, and rice wrappers into one sumptuous roll not only stimulated the taste buds of the upper classes but also maintained a good harmony of the yin and yang.

Over time, it became a popular street food enjoyed by people from all walks of life. CNN has also listed fried spring rolls as one of the top must-try street foods when coming to Vietnam. This is a dish that people want to eat over and over again.

Regional Variations

Chả Giò - Southern-style fried spring rolls

Chả Giò – Southern-style fried spring rolls

Not only differences in names, but there are also many variations between regions, localities, and even families when it comes to this dish. We’ll start discovering these Vietnamese fried spring rolls with 3 versions in 3 regions: North, Centre, and South.

Northern-style fried spring rolls (Nem Rán)

In Northern Vietnam, the filling tends to be simpler, typically consisting of minced meat, vermicelli, kohlrabi, carrots, onions, eggs, wood ear mushrooms, various spices, etc. and wrapped in rice paper, making them usually larger. The emphasis is on the freshness of the ingredients and the balance of flavours. When eating, they can be cut into smaller pieces, rolled with fresh herbs, and dipped in fish sauce, creating a delicious and addictive flavour. Another variation found in Hai Phong is Nem Cua Be, mainly made with crab and minced pork.

Southern-style fried spring rolls (Chả Giò)

Commonly known as Chả Giò in the South, these fried spring rolls are typically made from minced pork, fresh shrimp, shiitake mushrooms, wood ear mushrooms, jicama, carrots, and eggs. The unique flavour of Chả Giò comes from the cooking method and spices. The Southern version tends to be more colourful and vibrant, reflecting the abundance of ingredients available in that region.

Central-style fried spring rolls (Chả Ram)

Chả Ram has similar ingredients to Chả Giò but differs in the rolling method and shape. Central-style fried spring rolls are usually longer, rounder, and thinner, resulting in a lighter, crispier exterior compared to Chả Giò. Especially, Chả Ram still maintains their shape and texture when fried.

Recipes of Fried Vietnamese Spring Rolls (Nem Rán/Chả Giò)

Ingredients for fried Vietnamese spring rolls

Ingredients for fried Vietnamese spring rolls

Whether you are Northerners or Southerners, you can make Nem Rán/Chả Giò without taking much effort. Both versions have the same process of mixing fillings, wrapping spring rolls, and cooking methods. The unique difference is the main ingredients, based on your favourite. Eventually, you can take out some of the other ingredients and then make your own recipe for vegan/seafood/etc. spring rolls.

Ingredients

A traditional recipe from Amasia guides you through making about 30 authentic Northern Vietnamese Spring Rolls (Nem Rán/Chả Giò). Ingredients for these traditional spring rolls typically include:

  • 300g Minced Pork
  • 50g Vermicelli noodles (Glass Noodles)
  • 200g Kohlrabi
  • 100g Carrot
  • 100g Onion
  • 100g Spring Onion
  • 1 Chicken Egg
  • 10 Dried Wood-Ear
  • Mushrooms
  • 3 Mushrooms
  • 30 Spring Roll Wrappers (Rice Paper)
  • Spices: Fish sauce, pepper, salt, and other spices to taste
  • Cooking oil for frying

Process Ingredients

First, cover the dried wood ear mushrooms with warm water and allow them to soak until they become soft. Then, wash and chop them.

Second, quickly soak vermicelli noodles in boiling water to soften the fibres. Next, cut them into small pieces with scissors.

Third, julienne the carrots and kohlrabi after washing them.

Fourth, wash the onions and spring onions, then mince them into small pieces. After that, wash the pork and mince it.

After all ingredients are ready, put them all in a large bowl or pot, then add egg yolks, 1 teaspoon of salt, 1 teaspoon of fish sauce, 1 tablespoon of cooking oil, 1/2 teaspoon of ground pepper, and mix them well. Of course, you can also adjust the seasoning accordingly. Leave the mixture for 15 minutes so that the filling can absorb the seasoning.

How to wrap Vietnamese spring rolls

Wrap Vietnamese spring rolls

How to wrap Vietnamese spring rolls

Wrapping Fried Vietnamese Spring Rolls requires a delicate touch to ensure they hold together during frying. Follow these steps for the perfect rolls:

Lay a rice paper wrapper on a clean surface. Soften the rice paper wrapper by quickly dipping it in water, ensuring an even spread.

Spoon a moderate amount of the filling near the edge of the softened rice paper, leaving some space on either side.

Fold the sides of the rice paper over the filling, ensuring a snug but gentle wrap. Avoid folding them too tightly, which can result in breaking when fried.

Seal the roll with a bit of water along the edge of the wrapper and press to seal. Repeat the above process with other rolls.

How to Fry Vietnamese Spring Rolls?

Place the deep pan on the stove. Then, turn on the high heat. After the pan is hot, pour in enough cooking oil to cover the spring rolls. Heat the oil until it becomes hot.

Next, gently drop each spring roll into the oil and lower the heat. Don’t forget to keep an eye on the rolls. Once they are firm and golden, it is time to flip them over and continue frying for 3 more minutes.

When the spring rolls are golden and crispy on all sides, remove them and allow them to cool on absorbent paper. At that point, you can portion out the spring rolls and refrigerate them for future use.

How to fry Vietnamese Spring Rolls

How to Fry Vietnamese Spring Rolls

Dipping Sauce for Fried Vietnamese Spring Rolls

No discussion of Nem Rán is complete without mentioning the essential dipping sauce. Not only do they differ in the filling of the rolls, but also the dipping sauces vary across regions.

The standard dipping sauce for Nem Rán in the Northern region is made from ingredients such as fish sauce, sugar, vinegar, lime juice, and cooled boiled water. For sure, minced chilli and garlic are indispensable. The Northern dipping sauce tends to have a balanced flavour of salty and sweet.

For Chả Giò in the Southern region, the dipping sauce leans more towards a sweet and sour taste. It is made from minced garlic, chilli, fish sauce, sugar, and lime. There are countless variations to enhance the flavour of this famous sauce. However, the dipping sauce for fried spring rolls in the South and in the North does not differ much from each other. While there are many variations, a classic dipping sauce often includes the following ingredients:

  • Fish Sauce
  • Sugar
  • Lime juice or vinegar
  • Cloves garlic, minced
  • Chillies, minced (adjust to taste)
  • Water


Optional: shredded carrots or daikon radish for garnish

Dipping Sauce for
Fried Vietnamese Spring Rolls

Dipping Sauce for Fried Vietnamese Spring Rolls

Nem Rán, or Fried Vietnamese Spring Rolls, are not just a dish; they are a culinary delight that captures the essence of Vietnamese cuisine. Whether you’re savouring them on the streets of Hanoi or enjoying homemade rolls with friends and family, Nem Rán/Chả Giò reflect the rich culinary traditions and cultural heritage of the country. So, what are you waiting for? Gather your ingredients, master the art of rolling, and don’t forget to dip them into the flavourful sauce for the ultimate Vietnamese culinary experience.

Contents: Amasia Travel
Photos: Amasia Travel

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