Cha gio is the Vietnamese word for order for Vietnamese spring rolls. Those crunchy rolls are usually filled with ground pork, crabmeat, and vegetables.
But you can make this pretty dish so easily at home, and before you know it, you'll find everyone in your family requesting this delicious appetizer.
Last year I went to Southeast Asia for three weeks, beginning by spending one day in Singapore.
During my time there, I also explored Vietnam (check out our favorite Vietnamese recipes), Malaysia, Cambodia, Thailand, and Hong Kong.
This wasn't my first trip to Asia. I visited back in 2016 when I fell in love with Indonesian desserts!
I've always loved Asian food, so I was excited to try everything. Visiting local markets is one of my favorite ways to explore, and the street food in Southeast Asia was amazing.
I also took two cooking classes in Vietnam, one of which taught us how to make cha gio, also known as Vietnamese spring rolls. Spring rolls originated in China, but the Vietnamese have their own version, and they are incredible.
Make Cha Gio
For these particular Vietnamese spring rolls, I decided to go with the traditional recipe I brought home from Vietnam. We started with Blue Dragon® Spring Roll Wrappers, which is always my choice for Asian spring rolls.
I love that Blue Dragon Spring Roll Wrappers are just as delicious for fresh spring rolls like the Vietnamese shrimp summer rolls I made a few weeks ago as they are for rolls that are pan-fried, air-fried, or baked. I find them very easy to roll, but if you have trouble or simply want to see how it’s done, Blue Dragon has a how-to on their website with tips on how to roll them!
Once you make this recipe, you'll realize how much you already have in your fridge that you could use for filling these spring rolls. The possibilities are endless!
Think about the leftovers you could use, too. We had miso-glazed cod a couple of nights ago and I'm thinking the next time we make it, we'll make a little extra to have for spring rolls the next day.
You could make an entire charcuterie type board with different varieties of spring and summer rolls. Wouldn't that be a fun meal to serve to your family?
What You Need for Cha Gio
For these traditional Vietnamese pan-fried spring rolls, we're using ground pork and crab meat for the main ingredients. If you can’t find crab meat, feel free to use all ground pork or try ground chicken! We added carrots, mushrooms, shallots, and chopped green onion, along with a little sugar, black pepper, and chicken stock powder to the bowl with the pork and crab meat.
Mash all the ingredients into a paste. Once it is cooked inside the wrapper, the combination of flavors is amazing!
How to Assemble Vietnamese Spring Rolls
Scroll all the way down to see the exact measurements for ingredients as well as detailed instructions!
Putting the pan-fried cha gio spring rolls together is so easy. After you have the paste prepared, take out your Blue Dragon Spring Roll Wrappers.
Think about how many rolls you are making and visually divide the filling so you have about the same amount in each roll. For this recipe, you can make six spring rolls.
Add warm water to a low, wide bowl or a rimmed plate.
Take one wrapper from the package and immerse it in the water until it feels pliable, slightly softened.
Lay the softened wrapper on a cutting board, lifting the edges until any wrinkles are flat. The wrappers are very forgiving, as you'll see.
Add a portion of the paste into the center of the wrapper. Lift the bottom up and just cover the paste. Fold one side over the same way, followed by the other side, and then the top.
Now roll the wrapper upwards to form the spring roll shape.
Pan-fry the cha gio in hot oil over medium heat, turning so each side is golden brown. You could also try frying these in an air-fryer! I bet it would be delicious.
While rolls are frying, prepare the Hoisin dipping sauce.
Combine 1 tablespoon whipped peanut butter, 2 tablespoons soy sauce, ½ tablespoon honey, 1 teaspoon rice vinegar, 1 teaspoon tahini, ¼ teaspoon minced garlic, and a dash of black pepper. This makes a quarter cup of dipping sauce.
Remove pan-fried spring rolls from pan to a paper towel and let cool. Serve with dipping sauce.
These rolls would be fabulous alongside this pad thai noodle recipe.
What Other Ingredients Could I Put in Cha Gio
It's fun to come up with new combinations for Vietnamese Spring Rolls! Just about any vegetable would be good. Shrimp or fish would be delicious. Ground beef would also be fantastic.
The spices you use will change the flavors, too. Fresh ginger would be a nice pairing with any of the ingredients, as would cilantro.
Read the directions on the package or go to the Blue Dragon website for tips and other recipes for using the wrappers! By the way, Blue Dragon Spring Roll Wrappers are gluten-free, vegan, Non-GMO, and have no added colors, preservatives, or flavors, so you can feel good about eating them and serving them to your family and friends. You can pick them up at your closest Walmart!
How Long Do Vietnamese Spring Rolls Keep?
These rolls are meant to be eaten right away, but you can certainly store them in the refrigerator overnight. They really are best as soon as they've cooled enough to eat!
If you're making a platter of cha gio for a party, just have all your ingredients prepared so you can make them just before you leave. You can make the pork and crabmeat paste the day before and refrigerate overnight.
What will you make? Get creative and let me know! You can also earn cash back on Blue Dragon products! Click here for more info.
Cha Gio (Vietnamese Spring Rolls)
- Spring Rolls
- ½ C ground pork
- 1 ½ Tablespoons lump or backfin crab meat
- 2 ¾ Tablespoons carrot shredded
- 2 Tablespoons mushroom chopped
- 2 teaspoons shallot minced
- 2 teaspoons green onion minced
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 2 teaspoons chicken bouillon powder
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 6 Blue Dragon Spring Roll Wrappers
- 1 tablespoon whipped peanut butter
- 2 Tablespoons soy sauce
- ½ tablespoon honey
- 1 teaspoon rice vinegar
- 1 teaspoon tahini
- ¼ teaspoon minced garlic
- dash of black pepper
- Mash the first 9 ingredients into a paste. Divide into 6 servings.
- Add warm water to a low, wide bowl or a rimmed plate. Take one wrapper from the package and immerse it in the water until it feels pliable, slightly softened.
- Lay softened wrapper on a cutting board or plate.
- Place filling in the wrapper.
- Lift the bottom up and just cover the paste. Fold one side over the same way, followed by the other side, and then the top.
- Now roll wrapper upwards to form the roll shape.
- Fry rolls until golden brown on each side.
While the spring rolls are frying, prepare the dipping sauce:
- Combine 1 tablespoon whipped peanut butter, 2 tablespoons soy sauce, ½ tablespoon honey, 1 teaspoon rice vinegar, 1 teaspoon tahini, ¼ teaspoon minced garlic, and a dash of black pepper. This makes a quarter cup of dipping sauce.
- Serve rolls with dipping sauce on the side.