NEM RAN / CHA GIO : VIETNAMESE DEEP FRIED SPRING ROLLS
A follower of my Instagram asked me “why the paper keeps ripping as I’m frying”, when she tried to fry nem ran/cha gio. I intended to answer it privately but I thought it would be a great chance to share tips I learned from my grandma to everyone 🙂 She was the one who raised me into a picky eater, because of her amazing food 😀 She made her own “grandma nuoc mam” (fish sauce), which was very famous among neighborhood, and they came to our house to ask for it, too many times (I hated that moment when I was a kid, lol) =.= It’s pity that she passed away when I was small, so I could not learn her secret “nuoc mam” recipe! 😦
Nem ran is one of my most favorite homemade dishes, and I hope these tips will be helpful for everyone 🙂 Some common reasons why rice papers of your nem ran/cha gio rip when you fry them.
1. Wrapping: don’t wrap them too tight. The filling will expand (increase its size) when you fry.
2. Only using egg yolks, say no to egg whites.
3. The inside ingredients are not cut small enough, especially vermicelli. You need to cut vegetables and vermicelli into tiny pieces (as tiny as possible I think), use peeler for carrots, onions…then cut them into pieces, too.
4. Water, water, water! Try to avoid as much as possible:
• Before mixing ingredients, decant all meat’s water out (GET RID OF WATER!)
• MIX/FOLD ONLY, don’t press or crush ingredients, because theirs water will come out. (If it happens, decant water out again).
• When wrapping, prop the ingredients bowl, so water will run to bowl’s hollow. It not only prevents ripping but also cooking oil splash.
• Pouring enough oil in to completely cover the spring rolls is best, otherwise, covering half of spring rolls is acceptable (In this case, you need to turn them over more when frying). Remain low heat when frying.
• When placing each spring roll into the oil, roll it on the pan a bit so the rice papers can stick with ingredients nicely.
• Carefully turn spring rolls over by theirs length (not theirs wide, like you normally use chopstick to eat them).
– You can add small amount of oil when mixing filling’s ingredients.
– Filling is cooked in about 5-6 mins/each side normally. Reduce the heat if the oil is too hot.
– Mixing vinegar, sugar and water and spread this liquid on rice paper before wrapping. It will soften the rice paper, and wraps easier. Also, the outside will be crispy and nice golden brown after frying.
– Drain on paper towels after frying. Serve immediately with dipping sauce when they are hot 🙂 Keep the leftovers in the freezer – do not refrigerate – the rolls will soften. Reheat them in hot oven in 5-10 mins, they will crisp again.