Vietnamese Pork & Shrimp Rolls (Cha Gio) with Nuoc Cham

Wrap pork-shrimp filling into rolls with rice paper, which turn into glassy, golden rolls when deep-fried. Fresh greens and tangy nuoc cham keep things fresh.
20 rolls
Prep Time
10 Mins
Active Time
40 Mins

These Vietnamese spring rolls, known as cha gio / chả giò, hold a jumble of meat and vegetables in crispy handheld parcels. While some home cooks make them with lumpia wrappers, rice paper rounds are considered the authentic default. These wrappers form delicate rolls that can be eaten fresh, as you would with Vietnamese summer rolls (goi cuon / gỏi cuốn). When deep-fried for cha gio, the rice paper bubbles and forms glassy, shattering enclosures for the filling.

Serve cha gio with leafy vegetables for wrapping, and tangy-spicy nước chấm for dipping.

Soak your rice paper until soft and pliable

Unlike lumpia wrappers, rice paper need a quick soak in water to soften. When you’re ready to make your rolls, here’s how to set up your work station:

  • Prepare a clean kitchen towel, chopping board, or inverted baking sheet. This is your work surface for making rolls. The kitchen towel works best, because it helps absorb excess water from the rice paper soak.
  • Get a large shallow bowl, skillet, or pie plate that’s wider than your rice paper. Fill it up with very warm water and sugar. This is for soaking the rice paper.
  • Keep your bowl of filling nearby.
Why add sugar to the rice paper water?

Sugar helps the rolls caramelize and turn golden brown when fried. If you’re making fresh summer rolls, you wouldn’t need to add sugar.

How to form rolls:

  1. Slide one piece of rice paper into the warm water. Once wet on both sides, transfer the paper to your work surface. This should take about 5 seconds. Avoid soaking it for longer; soggy rice paper can get mushy and difficult to work with.
  2. Let sit for 1 minute: the rice paper will become pliable, elastic, and a bit sticky. Add your filling in the lower third of the rice paper, leaving space at the bottom edge.
  3. Bring the bottom edge of the rice paper up to cover the filling. Start rolling like lumpia! Because the rice paper is self-sealing, there’s no need to seal your roll with water. Simply fold and close your roll to finish.


  • 1 cup (about 50g) dry vermicelli noodles
  • ⅓ cup dry tenga ng daga (wood ear mushrooms)
  • 250g ground pork
  • 200g shrimp, peeled, deveined, and finely chopped
  • ½ cup grated carrot
  • ¼ cup finely diced shallots or white onion
  • 1 ½ tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tsp white sugar
  • 1 tsp ground white pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 whole egg


  • 4 cups water
  • 4 tbsp white sugar
  • 20 rice paper rounds, about 22 cm in diameter
  • neutral oil, for frying

For Serving

  • lettuce leaves
  • fresh mint leaves
  • fresh cilantro leaves

Nuoc Cham

  • 3 tbsp fish sauce
  • 3 tbsp lime juice
  • 2 tbsp white vinegar
  • 1 ½ tbsp sugar
  • 1 long red chili, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

Prepare filling


Cook & dry noodles: Bring a kettle of water to a boil. Transfer dry vermicelli noodles to a bowl. Pour hot water over the noodles and let steep until softened, 1–2 minutes. Drain and transfer noodles to a bowl of cold water to stop them from further softening. With your hands, carefully squeeze as much liquid out of the noodles as possible. Transfer noodles to a clean kitchen towel and wring out excess water one more time. This reduces the moisture in your filling, which will prevent the rolls from getting too soggy.


Cut noodles: Use kitchen scissors to cut vermicelli noodles into 2-inch long strands. Transfer to a large bowl and set aside.


Rehydrate mushrooms: In a separate bowl, soak wood ear mushrooms in hot water until soft. With your hands, squeeze all the water out and slice mushrooms into thin, 2-inch long strips. Add to the bowl with the cut vermicelli noodles.


Finish filling: Add pork, shrimp, carrot, shallots, fish sauce, sugar, white pepper, and salt to the bowl with the noodles and mushrooms. Crack the egg into the bowl and mix until you get a bouncy, homogenous mixture.

Assemble & fry rolls


Prepare work station: In a wide, shallow bowl or skillet, combine water and sugar, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Place the bowl near your rice paper wrappers, filling, and work surface: either a clean kitchen towel or chopping board.


Form rolls: Slide a piece of rice paper into the sugar water. Let sit until both sides are moist, about 5 seconds—it’s okay for the wrapper to feel semi-firm—then transfer to the kitchen towel. Let sit for 1 minute to soften. Center 3–4 tbsp of filling over the lower third of the wrapper. Lift the bottom edge (the one facing you) to cover the filling. Tuck it tight and make sure it’s free of air pockets. Crease and fold in the left and right sides, sealing the edges. Roll forward, keeping it tight and free of air. Once you get to the end, transfer the roll seam side down to a platter or sheet tray lined with parchment paper. Repeat with remaining rice paper and filling. Make sure not to stack the finished rolls, which might stick together.

Transfer rolls to the fridge and let sit, uncovered, for 30 minutes. This helps the rolls dry out and get rid of any unwanted moisture. Damp rolls don’t get crispy!


Fry rolls: Line a sheet tray or heat-proof platter with paper towels.

Heat oil in a Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pot to 325°F or 160°C over medium-high heat. Working in batches, add rolls to the hot oil, seam side down, spaced apart to prevent them from sticking together. Fry rolls until golden and crispy, about 4–6 minutes. The wrappers will form bubbles all over; their depth in color will depend on the rice paper. Using tongs, transfer fried rolls to the paper towel-lined tray. Repeat with remaining rolls. If you see any rolls that have softened while cooling, you can refry them to a crisp.


Serve: Serve cha gio immediately in a platter with lettuce, mint, and cilantro.

To make nuoc cham, combine fish sauce, lime juice, white vinegar, and sugar in a wide dipping bowl. Stir to dissolve sugar. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. Add chilies and garlic. Wrap cha gio in lettuce and herbs, dip in nuoc cham, and enjoy.

Post Contributors