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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Cha Gio Cua Be (Vietnamese Crab Egg Rolls)

Cha Gio Cua Be (Vietnamese Crab Egg Rolls) 2

Cha Gio Cua Be (Vietnamese Crab Egg Rolls). So decadent!

I remember the summer I spent a month in Hanoi, I repeatedly visited Bun Cha Dac Kim at #1 Hang Manh for Bun Cha Hanoi (Vietnamese Hanoi-Style Rice Vermicelli Noodles with Grilled Pork Patties. As the reputedly best in town, sure the bun cha was good, but it was really the crab egg rolls that had me coming back again and again. An order of bun cha nem ran cua be only set me back about $1.50 back then too. *Sigh.*

If only crab egg rolls weren't such a luxury. Normally, any amount of crab I have on hand gets saved for my mom's banh canh cua (Vietnamese thick noodle soup with crab), but I had to make this just once, just for the blog.

Crab is too delicate and flaky to use alone in the filling, so adding some ground pork and shrimp can stretch it further so it's not quite so expensive. I omitted Tree Ear Fungus that I normally add to egg rolls because I felt the mushrooms would overpower the taste of the crab. Other than that, it's a pretty basic egg roll recipe.

Cha Gio Cua Be (Vietnamese Crab Egg Rolls) 1

Cha Gio Cua Be (Vietnamese Crab Egg Rolls)

For about two dozen egg rolls, you'll need:

1 lb ground pork
1/2 lb shrimp, roughly minced
1/2 to 1 lb lump crab meat
1 egg
1 small section bean thread vermicelli. They're sold individually or in packages, but the packages will tie a small bundle together. You just need one.
1 medium onion, minced or grated
1 large carrot, peeled and grated
1 tsp salt, adjust to taste
1 tsp sugar, adjust to taste
1 tsp black pepper, adjust to taste
2 tsp Nuoc Mam (Vietnamese Fish Sauce), adjust to taste
1 package spring roll or rice paper wrappers
Oil for deep-frying

In a large bowl, add 1 lb ground pork, 1/2 lb minced shrimp, 1/2 lb or more if you can afford it of lump crab meat, and an egg.

Cha Gio Cua Be (Vietnamese Crab Egg Rolls) 3

Soak one section of vermicelli noodles in hot water to soften.

While the noodles are soaking, grate one large carrot and one medium onion. Season with 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp sugar, 1 tsp ground black pepper, and 2 tsps fish sauce. Drain and add the bean thread noodles to the bowl. Mix thoroughly, being careful not to mash the delicate crab meat.

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Separate the egg roll wrappers and you're ready to wrap and roll. I did a little video to show you how. If it doesn't show up here, you can watch it on YouTube.

Prepare your wrapping station with a bowl of water and a plate to hold the finished egg rolls. Dip one corner of the egg roll wrapper in water, then add a few tablespoons of the filling to the opposite corner of the egg roll wrapper.

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Fold down the corner and make sure it's tight around the filling.

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Tuck in the sides. Make sure they're straight or at least a little inward on the bottom so the rolls will look uniform.

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Start rolling, making sure the wrapper stays tight around the filling.

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Keep rolling.

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Pressing tightly on the moistened end to seal the egg roll. And done! Set aside and continue wrapper until you have at least half a dozen.

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Put several cups of oil into a wok or pan on medium to medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, fry the egg rolls. You can continue wrapping the rest of the egg rolls while watching to make sure the frying egg rolls don't burn.

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Drain on a clean paper bag or paper towels. The paper bag has less moisture than the paper towels, so the egg rolls will stay crispy longer, but either will do.

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Decadently delicious crab egg rolls.

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And these? It's my little experiment to see if I could bake egg rolls that taste almost as good as fried. Can you tell which is which?

Cha Gio Cua Be (Vietnamese Crab Egg Rolls) 15


Other egg roll recipes:
Cha Gio/Nem Ran (Vietnamese Spring/Egg Rolls)
Gluten-Free Cha Gio (Vietnamese Spring/Egg Rolls)
Cha Gio Bap/Ram Bap (Vietnamese Corn Egg Rolls)
Cha Gio Chay (Vietnamese Vegetarian Egg/Spring Rolls)
Cha Ram (Vietnamese Shrimp Egg Rolls)
Egg Rolls with Salmon and Avocado
Egg Rolls with Bananas and Mangoes with Nutella Dipping Sauce
Lumpia Semarang (Indonesian Egg Rolls with Bamboo Shoots, Dried Shrimp, and Scrambled Eggs)
Lumpiang Prito (Filipino Fried Egg Rolls)

1 year ago today, Chinese Tomato Egg Shrimp Stir-Fry.
2 years ago today, Double Delight rose.
3 year ago today, my dad's 60th birthday party.
4 years ago today, I began my "fun food" category with spotted dick pudding and kalonji seeds.

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