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Easy Vietnamese Fried Spring Rolls – Cha Gio

15/12/2015 (Last Updated: 30/04/2021)

Packed with pork, prawn/shrimp and veggies, these Easy Vietnamese Fried Spring Rolls are lightly fried for a crispy, crunchy, flavourful appetiser. Made with rice paper for a satisfying crunch, enjoy them with our bonus spicy Vietnamese homemade dipping sauce!

A pyramid of Vietnamese fried spring rolls on a plate.

Why We Love This

Vietnamese fried spring rolls are surprisingly easy to make and filled with fresh, healthy ingredients such as pork and prawn (or chicken if you prefer!).  Once you learn the technique of folding the spring rolls, you’ll be able to whip up a batch in no time. Crispy and utterly delicious, they’re perfect as a tasty snack or appetizer for parties. 

Our homemade dipping sauce recipe is super moreish and totally easy to make too!

Trust us – you won’t want to stop at one. 

Where We Learned This Recipe

After a few weeks of travel through Cambodia, we were so excited to arrive in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. We’d heard all about its incredible eating (and cooking) opportunities, and it did not disappoint.

Our new hosts Trang and Linh lived in a gorgeous apartment in District 2. A quiet area away from the bustling city centre, yet packed with its own amazing local hotspots to explore.

Together we set out to pick up fresh ingredients from some nearby markets to make these Easy Vietnamese Fried Spring Rolls.

Mingling with locals during their early morning shopping spree, we watched as vendors chopped fresh meat with massive cleavers,. Others haggled over wriggling fish, or sorted piles of fresh fruit and vegetables.

Jumping on the bikes to head back, there was one last important task to tick off on the way. Time for some fresh Vietnamese Iced Coffee to get the morning started.

Sarah and Trang had already dashed off by the time Linh and I remembered, so we made a quick pit stop then scooted home, only to spot Sarah walked out of a different coffee shop with her own batch of coffee. Double shots for everyone! Great minds think alike 😉

Dipping a Vietnamese fried spring roll into spicy homemade dipping sauce.

What You’ll Need

Crispy Vietnamese spring rolls on a plate.

Ingredients for Bonus Vietnamese Fried Spring Rolls Dipping Sauce

  • Kaffir lime juice or substitute with lime or lemon juice
  • Fish sauce
  • Sugar
  • Water
  • Garlic clove
  • Birds eye chilli finely chopped (optional)
Vietnamese spring rolls cooking in a large frypan.

How to Make Vietnamese Fried Spring Rolls

  • Pop the broken vermicelli noodles in a small bowl and cover with boiling water. Allow to rest until cooked through, then drain.
  • Add the pork, shrimp, chopped shallots, mushroom, carrot, vermicelli noodles, egg and salt into a bowl and mix until well combined. For best results, use your fingers to mix evenly.
  • Quickly rinse the rice paper sheet in water to soften and place on a flat plate or surface.
  • Place a small handful of filling near one edge of the rice paper. Fold the paper over the filling. tuck in the sides and continue to roll to the end of the sheet.
  • Repeat for remaining spring rolls.
  • Heat the oil over a medium-high heat. Fry the spring rolls for around 5 minutes until golden brown and crispy. Remove from the oil and drain on paper towel.
  • Combine all ingredients for the dipping sauce in a bowl and stir until the sugar dissolves.
  • Serve immediately.
A pyramid of Vietnamese fried spring rolls on a plate.

How to Fold Vietnamese Fried Spring Rolls

Have you ever tried to fold a spring roll or a cold roll in the past and ended up with a soggy mess? We admit, we’ve failed miserably in the past, usually from dunking the entire sheet in a bowl of water and completely soaking it. By the time you assemble your ingredients the rice paper has stuck to the plate and you end up with an unattractive lumpy roll.

Tell me that’s not just me? Eeep.

Thankfully Trang showed us her easy method to easily and quickly wrap up spring rolls so you end up with cute, perfectly rolled tubes:

  • Hold a sheet of Vietnamese rice paper sheets in one hand and dab with cold water across one side of the sheet. We found that when we were in Vietnam using fresher rice paper sheets, we didn’t need a lot of water – just a little dab with our fingers was enough. Back home in Australia, the rice paper sheets were slightly thicker and so needed more water to soften. Experiment with a sheet before you get started to see how much water works best for you. 
  • Next, place your filling mixture in a line close to one end of the roll.
  • Fold the small edge over the filling, then tuck in the sides.
  • Continue to roll until you reach the other end of the rice paper, tucking the edges and pressing/squeezing the filling as you go.
  • Now you’ve got a neat little roll anyone can be proud off. Huzzah!
Step by step picture collage showing how to fold spring rolls.

FAQs

Are Vietnamese fried spring rolls gluten-free?

Yes, traditional Vietnamese fried spring rolls are gluten-free when made with rice paper sheets. To be extra safe, you should also check your other ingredients such as fish sauce to make completely sure there is no gluten-free present in your batch. 

Are Vietnamese fried spring rolls vegetarian?

You can easily make Vietnamese fried spring rolls vegetarian by omitting the pork and prawn. Just up the other filling ingredients such as mushroom, carrot and vermicelli to compensate. 

Variations & Substitutes

  • If you aren’t able to source wood ear mushrooms, you can substitute with regular mushrooms.
  • Kaffir lime juice in the dipping sauce can be substituted with lemon or lime juice, or a blend of both. 
  • You can use any oil for frying, but we recommend avoiding strong flavoured oils such as olive oil which will change the flavour. 
  • Feel free to substitute the pork and prawns for chicken if you prefer!

Try these amazing entrees next:

★ Did you make this recipe? Please leave a comment and a star rating below!

A pyramid of Vietnamese fried spring rolls on a plate.

Easy Vietnamese Fried Spring Rolls

Packed with pork, prawn/shrimp and veggies, these Easy Vietnamese Fried Spring Rolls are lightly fried for a crispy, crunchy, flavourful appetiser. Made with rice paper for a satisfying crunch, enjoy them with our bonus spicy Vietnamese homemade dipping sauce!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Course: Snack
Cuisine: Vietnamese
Servings: 12 spring rolls
Calories: 132kcal
Author: Wandercooks
Cost: $10

Ingredients

For the Dipping Sauce

Instructions

  • Pop the broken vermicelli noodles in a small bowl and cover with boiling water. Allow to rest until cooked through, then drain.
    1/2 cup vermicelli rice noodles
  • Add the pork, shrimp, shallots, mushroom, carrot, vermicelli noodles, egg and salt into a bowl and mix until well combined. For best results, use your fingers to mix evenly.
    100 g pork, 100 g shrimp, 2 shallots, 1/2 cup mushrooms, 1/2 cup carrot, 1/2 cup vermicelli rice noodles, 1 egg, 1 pinch salt
  • Quickly rinse the rice paper sheet in water to soften and place on a flat plate or surface.
    10-15 rice paper sheets
  • Place a small handful of filling near one edge of the rice paper. Fold the paper over the filling. tuck in the sides and continue to roll to the end of the sheet.
  • Repeat for remaining spring rolls.
  • Heat the vegetable oil over a medium-high heat. Fry the spring rolls for around 5 minutes until golden brown and crispy. Remove from the oil and drain on paper towel.
    Vegetable oil
  • Combine all ingredients for the dipping sauce (kaffir lime juice, fish sauce, sugar, water, garlic and chilli) in a bowl and stir until the sugar dissolves.
    3 tbsp Thai makrut / kaffir lime juice, 2 1/2 tbsp fish sauce, 2 tbsp sugar, 1/4 cup water, 1 clove garlic, 1 birds eye chilli
  • Serve immediately.

Video

Recipe Notes

  • Are Vietnamese fried spring rolls gluten-free? Yes, traditional Vietnamese fried spring rolls are gluten-free when made with rice paper sheets. To be extra safe, you should also check your other ingredients such as fish sauce to make completely sure there is no gluten-free present in your batch. 
  • Are Vietnamese fried spring rolls vegetarian? You can easily make Vietnamese fried spring rolls vegetarian by omitting the pork and prawn. Just up the other filling ingredients such as mushroom, carrot and vermicelli to compensate. 
  • If you aren’t able to source wood ear mushrooms, you can substitute with regular mushrooms.
  • Kaffir lime juice in the dipping sauce can be substituted with lemon or lime juice, or a blend of both. 
  • You can use any oil for frying, but we recommend avoiding strong flavoured oils such as olive oil which will change the flavour. 
  • You can fry straight from frozen, just don’t defrost them first as that will make the rice paper soggy. Cook for an extra 30 secs to 1 min to make sure they’re fully cooked through. 
Adapted from Pham Thi Trang.

Nutrition

Nutrition Facts
Easy Vietnamese Fried Spring Rolls
Amount per Serving
Calories
132
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
3
g
5
%
Saturated Fat
 
1
g
6
%
Cholesterol
 
42
mg
14
%
Sodium
 
485
mg
21
%
Potassium
 
108
mg
3
%
Carbohydrates
 
21
g
7
%
Fiber
 
1
g
4
%
Sugar
 
3
g
3
%
Protein
 
6
g
12
%
Vitamin A
 
911
IU
18
%
Vitamin C
 
3
mg
4
%
Calcium
 
29
mg
3
%
Iron
 
1
mg
6
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Hey hey – Did you make this recipe?We’d love it if you could give a star rating below ★★★★★ and show us your creations on Instagram! Snap a pic and tag @wandercooks / #Wandercooks
Easy Vietnamese Fried Spring Rolls - Cha Gio

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54 Comments

  • Reply
    Brenda
    13/02/2022 at 12:59 am

    Can these be frozen? If they can, should it be before, or after cooking?

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      14/02/2022 at 2:21 pm

      Hi Brenda, Freeze before cooking. This is covered in the notes section for you too: You can fry straight from frozen, just don’t defrost them first as that will make the rice paper soggy. Cook for an extra 30 secs to 1 min to make sure they’re fully cooked through.

  • Reply
    Adam
    01/02/2022 at 5:56 am

    These sound delicious! Do I soak/rehydrate the wood ear mushrooms first please? I’ve got a packet of whole dried ones.

    Thanks!

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      01/02/2022 at 10:07 am

      Hey Adam! Yep, soak them in some warm water and they should rehydrate in 10-20 minutes. Then chop them up and pop into the mix ready to cook. 🙂

      • Reply
        Adam
        02/02/2022 at 2:58 am

        Thanks for such a quick response! I’m going to give these a go this evening. I’ll let you know what I think! Thanks again! 🙂

        • Reply
          Wandercooks
          02/02/2022 at 4:24 pm

          Happy to help. Looking forward to hearing how you go! 😀

          • Adam
            25/03/2022 at 9:00 pm

            5 stars
            These were absolutely delicious! At least as good as a restaurant in London serves!

            Brilliant recipe. Thank you so much. Because they can be a bit of a faff to make on the fly, I’m going to make some more and freeze them so I can have these awesome spring rolls whenever I fancy them!

            Thanks again! A1!

          • Wandercooks
            28/03/2022 at 2:34 pm

            Awesome Adam! Great idea to batch them and keep a stack in the freezer, that works so well when you’re really hungry!

  • Reply
    Pat Melanson
    30/11/2021 at 6:47 am

    4 stars
    Great flavour, lovely food, but actual time from start to finish was over two hours. Delicious, but not fast!

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      30/11/2021 at 9:13 am

      Hey Pat, nice work making these. Don’t worry though, you’ll definitely get faster! 🙂

  • Reply
    Hayley
    03/09/2021 at 6:02 am

    Do you fry before freezing or freeze raw?

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      03/09/2021 at 12:58 pm

      Hey Hayley, freeze raw, then you can cook them from frozen. It will just take an extra minute or two to cook each one, as you want to make sure the middle is cooked through. 🙂

  • Reply
    Leslie
    11/04/2021 at 7:01 am

    2 stars
    My rice papers also disintegrated as per the other commenters,
    which just completely ruined the meal at the last minute. I should have scrolled down to see the comments before starting. If this recipe really does only work with some kinds of rice paper as your replies suggest then I think it could be good to put a note of warning in the method so others don’t have the same disappointment.

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      12/04/2021 at 3:49 pm

      Hey Leslie, so sorry to hear about your cha gio and thanks for the feedback. That must be so frustrating! We’ve only had a couple of people comment about this, and it was only a guess if it was the brand of rice paper. We haven’t been able to replicate the issue ourselves, but we have done some research to try and help. 1. If too much water is used on the rice paper (like for cold rolls), this can cause them to break and react with the oil. You should only be lightly wetting the wrapper as shown in the photos and video. 2. Oil is too high. Rice paper is quite fragile, so if the temperature is causing them to break and disintegrate, try cooking on a lower heat. 3. Bake them! If options 1 & 2 still haven’t solved your issue, you can still salvage them (phew!) by baking in the oven at 180C / 360F until crispy browned/cooked through. 4. Try a new brand. As a last resort I would try a different brand of rice paper. I really do hope this helps, I know these can be a little tricky on the first go, but I believe you’ll ace it next round!

  • Reply
    Dayyna
    13/02/2021 at 10:38 am

    I made these and have frozen some, any idea who long to cook them from frozen? Should I defrost first? Haha I guess I didn’t really think it through.

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      15/02/2021 at 2:18 pm

      Oh I’m not sure. I would maybe defrost first, and leave them on the bench for an hour? Keep an eye on them, and once they look like they’ve defrosted, then cook them as normal. Let me know how that goes!

    • Reply
      Yasmeen
      22/04/2021 at 11:16 pm

      You can fry from frozen. Do not defrost as it’ll make the rice paper soggy. Just keep an eye while frying might take an extra 30 seconds to minute.

      • Reply
        Wandercooks
        23/04/2021 at 10:15 am

        Excellent! Thanks so much for letting us and Dayyna know Yasmeen. We can update this in the recipe notes too. 🙂

  • Reply
    Damjan Mandelc
    07/01/2021 at 12:10 am

    5 stars
    Excellent recipe – great success while preparing and great joy while eating. 🙂

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      07/01/2021 at 2:27 pm

      Amazing, thanks for the awesome feedback. Great to hear you enjoyed them too! 🙂

  • Reply
    Rachel
    05/06/2020 at 1:27 am

    Hi! I’d like to try these in the air fryer – do you have any clue how long it would take, or what temperature to use? It’s a long shot but I thought I’d ask 🙂

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      05/06/2020 at 10:06 am

      Hey Rachel! I did a quick look online. Try setting the air fryer at 200C/400F and cooking them one layer of rolls at a time in the basket for around 5 minutes both sides, until crispy and light brown. Do a test batch, if you cut it open and it’s not cooked, finish the rest off in a frying pan with a little oil. Let me know how you go, if it works, I can add a tip to the recipe for others. 🙂

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