Chả Giò

Chả giò is a Vietnamese dish featuring deep-fried rolls filled with ground pork and vegetables, wrapped in rice paper.

Lastest Updated January 6, 2024
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Fact: The dish “chả giò” was voted by CNN as one of the 50 most delicious foods in the world in 2011.

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Basic Information

Chả Giò: Basic Information

Pronunciation

[ca᷉ː jɔ̂]

Alternative Name(s)

Nem rán, chả ram or ram

Dish Type

Rolls, snacks

Course

Appetizer

Mealtime

Anytime
Origin and Region

Chả Giò: Origin and Region

Origin

Vietnam

Continent’s Region

Southeast Asia

Country’s Region

Southern Vietnam

Associated Region

Unspecified
Vietnam Map
A Deep Dive

Popular Chả Giò Variations

Ingredients and Preparation

Chả Giò: Ingredients and Preparation

Main Ingredients

Ground pork, vegetables (carrots, mushroom, jicama), rice paper, sometimes cellophane noodles.

Main Cooking Method

Deep-frying

Preparation Process

Meat and vegetables are seasoned, wrapped in moist rice paper, and then deep-fried until crispy and golden brown.
A Deep Dive

Chả Giò: A Deep Dive

Cultural Significance

A popular dish during Vietnamese festivities and family gatherings

Taste

Savory

Texture

Crispy exterior with a tender and moist interior

Aroma

Fragrant from the combination of meat and vegetables with a hint of frying oil.

Color

Golden brown

Serving Style

Often served on a plate or in a basket, with dipping sauce on the side.

Serving Temperature

Hot

Accompaniment

Lettuce, fresh herbs, rice vermicelli, nước mắm tỏi ớt

Occasions

New Year, festivals

Seasons

Year-round

Special Diets

Year-round

Calories

160 calories, according to data of MyFitnessPal for 1 roll of chả giò.

Popularity

Vietnam, United States

Popular Similar Dishes

  1. Nem rán
  2. Lumpia
  3. Egg rolls

Popular Dining Area

Street vendors, restaurants, households

Chả giò, or Vietnamese fried spring roll, is a popular Vietnamese dish known by different names in other regions of Vietnam, such as nem rán in the North and chả ram (or ram) in the Central region. At Tết feasts (or Vietnamese Lunar New Year), chả giò is one of the four staple dishes.

Cha Gio Overview

This specialty consists of ground pork, mushrooms, and thinly sliced vegetables like carrots and jicama, all wrapped in a rice paper sheet and deep-fried until golden and crispy.

While pork is the most commonly used meat, variations can include other proteins like crab, shrimp, chicken, or even tofu for a vegetarian version.

The exact composition of chả giò can vary, with some versions incorporating ingredients like taro root or mung beans to alter the texture or maintain the crispiness of the rolls over time.

The dish is versatile and can be enjoyed on its own, dipped in a tangy fish sauce blend, or served alongside fresh vegetables and rice vermicelli noodles.

Allow me to guide you through the unique features and ingredients of the dish, elucidate the distinctions between nem rán, chả giò, and chả ram, explore the various variations of chả giò, and introduce its customary sides.

Additionally, I’ll discuss the advantages and drawbacks, contrast chả giò with gỏi cuốn, compare chả giò to lumpia, and differentiate between Vietnamese and Chinese fried spring rolls, followed by addressing frequently asked questions and related dishes.

Key Points

  • Chả giò is a Vietnamese fried spring roll, also known as nem rán in the North and chả ram in the Central region of Vietnam.
  • It is a staple dish during the Tết festival, the Vietnamese Lunar New Year.
  • While pork is common, other proteins like crab, shrimp, chicken, or tofu may be used for different variations.
  • Chả giò can be eaten alone, dipped in a fish sauce mixture, or served with fresh vegetables and rice vermicelli noodles.

Chả Giò Images

What Are Chả Giò Made of?

Here’s a basic table outlining the main ingredients typically found in Chả Giò:

Wrapper

Wrapper

Usually soft popiah skin or rice paper. There are also different versions made of other wrapper types.

Ground Pork

Fillings

Meat: Ground pork (commonly used), crab, shrimp, chicken, tofu (for vegetarian versions)
Vegetables: Mushrooms, carrots, kohlrabi, jicama, taro root (optional)
Noodles: Cellophane noodles (also known as glass noodles)

Seasonings

Seasonings

Garlic, shallots, fish sauce, pepper, salt, sugar

Eggs

Additional

Eggs (optional), various spices to taste

These ingredients are combined, wrapped in different types of rice paper, and deep-fried to create the traditional Chả giò.

What Are Common Wrappers for Chả Giò?

Here are the types of wrappers used for making various Vietnamese rolls and their characteristics:

Banh Trang Bo Bia Dau Xanh

Crispy and spongy texture that turns a beautiful natural yellow when fried.

English Names:

Soft spring roll skin

Country Region’s:

Southern Vietnam

Banh Trang Me

Richer in flavor due to sesame seeds, offering a unique taste, often used to make a type of roll called “ram”.

English Names:

Sesame rice paper

Country Region’s:

Central Vietnam

Banh Trang Re

Crispy and melts in your mouth, possibly with a net-like appearance.

English Names:

Net rice paper

Country Region’s:

Mekong Delta

Banh Trang Gao

Crispy with an opaque white color, these are typically used for making fried spring rolls known as “nem rán”.

English Names:

Rice paper

Country Region’s:

Northern Vietnam

Whether the classic “nem rán” of the North, the Central’s beloved “chả ram,” or the ubiquitous “chả giò,” each roll’s distinctive character is influenced by the specific type of wrapper used.

Chả Giò vs. Nem Rán vs. Chả Ram

Below is a comparison table summarizing the characteristics of nem rán, chả giò, and chả ram:

What Are Different Variations of Chả Giò?

Below is a table summarizing other variations of chả giò:

Cha Gio Re

This version features a net-like rice paper wrapper that becomes crispy when fried.

Cha Gio Tom Thit

A traditional spring roll with a combination of pork and shrimp filling.

Cha Gio Hai San

Filled with assorted seafood, it’s a flavorful twist on the classic.

Cha Gio Cua

This roll focuses on crab meat, offering a rich and sweet flavor.

Cha Gio Ca

Incorporates fish and distinct spices, unusual but flavorful.

Cha Gio Ga

A poultry alternative to the traditional pork, lighter in taste.

Cha Gio Chay

A vegetarian option with tofu replacing meat, often with a variety of vegetables.

Cha Gio Trai Cay

A sweet variant of the spring roll, filled with fresh fruit and often served with a sweet sauce.

Cha Gio Sua

A version filled with sweetened milk, deep-fried for a creamy, crispy treat.

Considering the diverse array of chả giò variations available, pairing them with appropriate accompaniments can elevate the dining experience and complement their distinct flavors.

What to Serve with Chả Giò?

Chả giò, a Vietnamese fried spring roll, is traditionally served as an appetizer and can be enjoyed in a variety of ways. Below are some popular accompaniments for it:

Fresh Herbs And Lettuce

Fresh Herbs And Lettuce:

Often served alongside chả giò, providing a crisp texture and refreshing contrast when used to wrap the rolls.

Dipping Sauce

Nước Mắm Tỏi Ớt (Vietnamese Dipping Sauce):

Also called nước chấm or nước mắm pha, a flavorful combination of fish sauce, lime juice or vinegar, water, sugar, garlic, and chili pepper.

Rice Vermicelli

Rice Vermicelli (Bún Chả Giò):

Sometimes paired with chả giò for a more filling dish, offering a soft texture against the crispy rolls.

While chả giò is a beloved Vietnamese dish known for its crispy texture and flavorful filling, it is important to consider the pros and cons of chả giò.

Pros and Cons of Eating Chả Giò

Here are some pros and cons of eating chả giò:

Pros

  • Flavorful: Chả giò are savory and can be highly flavorful, with a mix of ingredients that provide a complex taste experience.
  • Textural Variety: The crispy outer shell combined with the soft and textured filling provides a pleasing contrast that many people enjoy.
  • Versatile: They can be customized with various fillings to suit different tastes and dietary preferences.
  • Portable: Their small, wrapped nature makes them easy to eat with your hands, ideal for gatherings, or as a snack on the go.

Cons

  • High in Fat: They’re fried, which means they’re higher in calories and fat, but they’re fine to enjoy occasionally.
  • Allergens: May contain allergens like wheat and shellfish, but alternatives are often available.
  • Oil Content: The frying oil can be heavy for some, but air frying is an alternative.

Understanding these points, it becomes valuable to contrast chả giò with its culinary cousin, gỏi cuốn, to appreciate the differences and possibly find another complement or substitute.

Chả Giò Vs. Gỏi Cuốn

Below are the 7 differences between chả giò and gỏi cuốn:

With these distinctive characteristics in mind, a comparison between chả giò and lumpia would further enrich our understanding of Southeast Asian culinary traditions.

Chả Giò vs. Lumpia

Chả giò and lumpia are both types of spring rolls that are popular in Southeast Asian cuisine, but they have distinct characteristics that set them apart:

Understanding the nuances between chả giò and lumpia allows for an intriguing comparison to Chinese spring rolls, revealing how regional ingredients and culinary practices influence these beloved Asian specialties.

Chả Giò vs. Chinese Spring Rolls

Chả giò (Vietnamese fried spring rolls) and Chinese fried spring rolls are both popular types of fried appetizers, but they have distinct differences in ingredients, preparation, and presentation.

For further details and common inquiries about chả giò, a comprehensive FAQ section would be a valuable resource for enthusiasts of Vietnamese cuisine.

Chả Giò FAQs

Leftover Chả giò can be stored in the refrigerator for a few days. Reheat them in an oven or air fryer to maintain crispness. Freezing is also an option for longer storage, but the texture might change slightly after thawing and reheating.

Chả giò can be gluten-free if rice paper is used and if the fillings and seasonings do not contain any gluten. However, if wheat-based wrappers are used or if there is cross-contamination with gluten-containing products, then it is not gluten-free.

Yes, you can prepare rice paper rolls in advance. However, it’s best to fry them just before serving to maintain their crispiness. If you need to prepare in advance, keep the wrapped rolls under a damp cloth and refrigerate to prevent them from drying out.

While Chả Giò can be enjoyed on a daily basis, it is also considered a treat and is especially popular during special occasions, due to the effort involved in preparation.

Similar Dishes of Chả Giò

Nem Ran

Nem rán is a Northern Vietnam fried spring roll with ground meat, eggs, and glass noodles, all wrapped in rice paper.

Truc Tran (Kris)

Truc Tran (Kris)

Senior Food Editor

Expertise

Home Cooking, Meal Planning, Recipe Development, Baking and Pastry, Food Editor, Cooking-video Maker, Vietnamese Food Evaluation Expert

Education

  • Hospitality (Commercial Cookery) at TasTAFE
  • Culinary Arts at Kendall College (Australia Branch in Sydney)
  • Vietnamese Cuisine Head Chef at HNAAu School (Vietnam, International Joint Training Program)

Truc Tran (Kris), an experienced food writer and editor, is great at exploring and describing global cuisines, from simple street food to fancy dining. In her writing, she skillfully mixes different flavors, cooking methods, and culinary traditions, showing the unique character of various cultures through their food and drinks. On azcuisines.com, Kris highlights her knowledge, especially in Asian cuisine and worldwide traditional dishes.

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