Chả giòCrunchy Spring Rolls

Crunchy mouth pleasing appetizer that is either a great starter or addition to your main meal


A shot showing the carrots that are part of the mixture for the filling

Spring rolls date back to ancient China. Wontons (thin unleavened dough with fillings or as noodles) are a traditional part of the Chinese diet. It is quite likely that egg-roll type foods were made and consumed in the USA by the first Chinese settlers in the mid 1800's. It is also just as likely that most Americans never heard of them until about 50 years ago. Vietnamese spring rolls employ different tastes. Why are they called egg rolls? The dough is traditionally made with egg. Spring rolls are lighter, omitting the egg. Egg roll-type foods are part of traditional dim sum.

"Eggrolls are thin coverings of unraised dough, wrapped around various meat, seafood and vegetable mixtures, and then usually deep fried. Originally, these were special snacks served with tea when relatives and friends came to visit after Chinese New Year. Since the time was early spring, they came to be known as spring rolls...the eggroll, said to have originated in Canton and more familiar to Westerners, is larger...thicker. Eggrolls are served either as hors d'oevres or with dinner at any time of the year."
---The Thousand Recipe Chinese Cookbook, Gloria Bley Miller [Grosset & Dunlap:New York] (p. 698)

"Spring roll...An Asian-American appetizer made of crispdough wrapped around a filling of various ingredients such as vegetables, meat, shrimp, and seasonings. Sometimes synonymous with "egg roll," it is considered somewhat more "authentic" and delicious than the latter. The name, which dates in English print to 1943, comes from the Chinese tradition of serving them on the first day of the Chinese New Year, which is also the first day of the lunar year's spring."
---Encyclopedia of American Food and Drink, John F. Mariani [Lebhar-Friedman:New York] 1999 (p. 308)

The version that most people have tasted is just the most know version of spring rolls from Vietnam; there are others. In our travels we have tasted several versions of spring rolls that used different fillings but the most popular version is the one presented here. The one variation that we have with our rolls is that we use the Chinese spring roll wrap as it has the kind of crunch that customers expect. The traditional wrap does not work as well for use in restaurant as it does not retain its crunch well.

Our spring roll is a delight to eat as an appetizer or as an addition to your main meal. The first thing you experience is the crunch of the crispy deep fried (Canola oil) wrapper then the taste of the shrimp and pork filling. The filling also has carrots that lend a slight sweetness to the mixture. The rolls come with dipping sauce that adds a sweet heat to the taste. I also use the sauce to cool down the roll as I cannot wait for the rolls to cool before I eat them, as I love the taste so much. I like to eat a couple of the rolls with my soup, as it is a nice contrast.