Monday, July 08, 2013

Viet-Namese Fried Spring Rolls - Gia Gio

 I spent most of the month of June, relaxing and enjoying the free Saturday.  Trying to recuperate from the end of school, and testing in my kitchen.  Visited quite a few restaurants.  Gia Gio (jia-yo') is one of my favorite food.  While living in S. Viet-Nam, my family patronize this shop in Cholon at least once a month.  Crab Gia Gio is their specialties.  It's nothing like this skinny looking fried 'egg rolls' that are presented here in the Asian restaurants.  It's pretty sad that improvisation of ingredients has changed its original form.  Some says, "as long as it's edible, and taste good, what does it matter?"   Well, it matters a lot because it's just not the same.  But after a few testing, my conclusion is that the effort in making it is a lot of fun.  The experience brought many flavor memories.  One of this day, I would like to visit Viet-Nam again.   Who knows, may be the restaurant is still there in Cholon.
The rice paper sheet to make the Gia Gio are make from tapioca and rice.  You will find several brands in the Asian market; however, I don't think they are quite the same as the one we had back in Viet-Name.  They are too thin.  I finally found one that says for Gia Gio instead of fresh spring rolls rice sheet. The turn out is much better, of course, but it didn't turn out the way I remembered.  But it was close and far better than the ones I tried over a year ago that when fried, the rice sheet seems like fried 'plastic'.
This is a testing, so, please don't follow, but the Ingredients are cooked crab shredded with  fingers.  Carrots thinly julienned, some black mushrooms thinly julienned, rice vermicelli << I think that's the problem.  It's a wrong type.  Salt and pepper.
Dip the rice sheet into water 3 seconds and place it on a flat surface.  Place the filling and start rolling into the cigar shape.  Set aside.
 Heat vegetable oil - medium low.  Fry gently till the rice sheet wrap is golden. 

Serve with Nouc Cham and fresh leaf lettuce
To make dipping sauce:  I don't like to put lime juice in mine, so, it's Japanese Rice Vinegar - 1/4 C; 1 tsp nouc mum - fish sauce, thinly julienned carrots, shakes of chili flakes; add teaspoon of sugar to taste.  Add more sugar until the right sweetness is obtained.  Add some salt to taste.

To eat:  wrap the Gia Gio with leaf lettuce and dip in nouc cham.   Enjoy!

Tip: The challenge to wrap the fillings snugly, and add the correct rice vermicelli type. 

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