In updating the photos for this old post, I thought about what adjustments I could make to the recipe itself. Not much to do when there's just shrimp and scallions. Except, I was always annoyed by the small bits of green onions that would get pulled out of the filling after biting into Cha Ram (Vietnamese Shrimp Egg Rolls).
So obviously, the solution was to chop up the filling into smaller pieces. Same great flavor, easier to eat. Done!
Original text below photo.
I don't know how to make the banana leaf-wrapped banh nam (Vietnamese steamed flat dumplings with pork and shrimp), banh it la gai, or banh tet that my ba noi (Vietnamese paternal grandmother) used to make. My one attempt to make her clear and chewy tapioca rice noodles for banh canh ended in mush. But I can make her other favorite -- cha ram (Vietnamese shrimp egg rolls).
Most people are more familiar with Cha Gio (Vietnamese Egg Rolls) which are stuffed with pork, shrimp, bean thread vermicelli noodles, carrots, and mushrooms or tree ear fungus. But on the south-central coast of Vietnam, we make cha ram with just shrimp and green onions. That's it. Just two ingredients to make a light snack.
I used to call all egg rolls cha ram too, but outside of my hometown in Vietnam, no one knew what I was talking about. I recently discovered a couple of Vietnamese restaurants that specialized in the cuisine of my region, so imagine my surprise when I actually saw cha ram on the menu. Except their version includes just one shrimp inside an egg roll wrapper. Close, but not quite the same.
In Vietnam, my relatives would buy the smallest shrimp possible and leave the shells on to make cha ram. But if you prefer your shrimp peeled and deveined, my ba noi's quick deveining tip was to slide the tip of a toothpick perpendicular underneath the vein and just pull it out.
Cha Ram (Vietnamese Shrimp Egg Rolls)
As much shrimp as you'd like, peeled and deveined. Plan about two shrimp per egg roll.
As much green onions as you'd like, sliced diagonally or cut into 2-inch lengths. Plan about half a green onion per egg roll.
Chinese egg roll wrappers or banh trang (Vietnamese rice paper) wrappers
A pinch of salt
In case you missed it, read my recipe for cha gio for tips on how to make, roll, and fry them. After your shrimp are shelled and deveined, sprinkle a pinch of salt over them and mix thoroughly.
Slice the green onions into 2-inch pieces or on the diagonal.
Roughly chop the shrimp and then mix the two together.
Wrap the egg rolls.
Tuck in the sides so the egg roll is even.
Moisten the bottom tip to tightly seal.
Set aside until ready to fry.
Or if you can't figure out how to wrap egg rolls from those pictures, I made a YouTube video.
And remember to check out my cha gio recipe for frying tips. I usually fry on medium heat until golden.
Serve as appetizers or a light snack.
And a look at the old photos that necessitated the update. Eek! The new photos are much better than my sloppy-looking original photo of the inside.
The Chinese egg roll wrapper on left and Vietnamese rice paper wrapper on the right.
My other egg roll recipes:
Cha Gio (Vietnamese Egg Rolls)
Gluten-Free Cha Gio (Vietnamese Spring/Egg Rolls)
Cha Gio Bap/Ram Bap (Vietnamese Corn Egg Rolls)
Egg Rolls Stuffed with Bananas and Mangoes with Nutella Dipping Sauce
Egg Rolls with Salmon and Avocado
Lumpiang Prito (Filipino Fried Egg Rolls)