Fried Vegetarian Spring Rolls (Cha Gio Chay)
Serving Size: ~40 rolls
8 ox Thin rice vermicelli (bun)
2 bn Japanese alimentary paste noodles (somen).
Peanut sauce or Nuoc Cham
1 oz Cellophane (bean thread) noodles
1 tb Dried tree ear mushrooms
6 Dried Chinese mushrooms
1 lg Carrot, finely shredded
1 lg Leek, white part only, chopped
6 Water chestnuts, or
1/2 sm Jicama, peeled and chopped
1 lb Firm bean curd (tofu), crumbled
1 c Fresh bean sprouts, coarsely chopped
6 Garlic cloves, minced
3 tb Nuoc mam (Vietnamese fish sauce)
1/2 ts Freshly ground black pepper
-----ASSEMBLY AND FRYING-----
1/2 c Sugar
40 sm Rounds of rice papers (banh trang), 6 1/2 inches diameter
Peanut oil for frying
From "The Foods of Vietnam" by Nicole Rauthier.
Stewart, Tabori & Chang. 1989.
Posted by Stephen Ceideberg; April 14 1991.
The book notes that true Buddhist vegetarians would
not use garlic or fish sauce and would limit the dips
to plain soy or plum sauce. Unless you are in this
category, Peanut Sauce (Nuoc Leo) and Nuoc Cham are
great dips as well.
Prepare the Vegetable Platter, noodles and dipping
sauce. Set aside.
Soak the noodles in warm water and the mushrooms in
hot water for 30 minutes; drain. Cut the noodles into
1/2-inch lengths. Remove and discard the stems from
the mushrooms; squeeze to extract most of the soaking
liquid. Mince all of the mushrooms.
Assemble the rolls: Fill a large bowl with 4 cups of
warm water and dissolve the sugar in it.
Rice paper is quite fragile. Work with only 4 sheets
at a time, keeping the remaining sheets covered with a
barely damp cloth to prevent curling.
Immerse the rice paper, one sheet at a time, into the
sweetened warm water. Quickly withdraw it and lay it
flat on a dry towel. Do this with 4 sheets without
letting them touch each other. The rice paper will
become pliable within seconds.
Fold over the bottom third of each round. Put 1
generous teaspoon of filling in the center of the
folded-over portion. Press it into a compact
rectangle. Fold one side of the paper over the
mixture, then the other side. Roll from the bottom to
the top to completely enclose the filling. Continue
until all of the mixture is used. (The rolls can be
prepared 1 day in advance. Wrap and refrigerate.)
Fry the rolls: If possible use 2 skillets. Pour 1 to
1 1/2 inches of oil into each skillet and heat to
325F. Working in batches, add some of the rolls
without letting them touch, or they will stick
together. Fry for 10 to 12 minutes, turning often,
until golden and crisp. Remove the rolls from the oil
with tongs and drain on paper towels. Keep warm in a
low oven until all of th rolls are cooked.
To serve, each diner wraps a roll in a lettuce leaf
along with some noodles and selected items from the
Vegetable Platter and dips the package in the dipping
NOTE: The fried rolls can be frozen, then thawed and
reheated in a 350F oven just to crisp and heat through.
Yield: 40 rolls.
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