Apr 2008

Readers' Poll I


This Readers’ Poll was inspired by a thoughtful post by Andrea Nguyen of Viet World Kitchen.

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16 thoughts on “Readers' Poll I

  1. While we’re on the topic of spring rolls, what are your thoughts on using Chinese wrappers vs. banh trang? I usually use Chinese wrappers when making them. I find it makes cha gio more crisp but I also like the saltiness of banh trang. It’s just sticky on the teeth!

  2. I like cha gio with banh trang if you eat them fresh off the frying pan. Cha gio taste better and crispy that way. Unfortunately, I have found banh trang bought at the local VN markets in Virginia are just not the same as what they used to make. The pictures of cha gio in Vietnam do look very delicious so I will have to do some comparative tasting when I go to vietnam this summer ( for research purpose, of course!).

  3. I’m with Su-Lin– I call them Vietnamese spring rolls also. I know that’s not the translation of the term.

  4. I call it cha gio or summer roll. Summer roll means fried rice paper roll and spring roll means non-fried rice paper roll.

    Please people dont be ignorance and calling cha gio egg roll. Authentic Vietnamese cha gios never have eggs in them. They only have crab meat, pork, shrimp, noodles, mushroom, onion, carrot, fish sauce.

  5. People use Chinese wrappers to make cha gios because they are easy to use and harder to burn when frying than rice papers. Since I am Viet, I like cha gios with rice papers. Chinese wrappers are saltier than rice papers.

  6. There are two types of spring rolls. One is bi cuon with pig skin and two is goi cuon with shrimp and pork. Bi cuon is used with nuoc mam pha (a combintion of boiled water, fish sauce, sugar, vinegar, carrot and onion). Goi cuon is used with a sauce of mixture water, hoisin sauce and roasted peanuts. Vietnamese are very picky about what sauce goes with what food.

  7. I can’t speak for all Australians, but according to me, cha gio = spring rolls and goi cuon = rice paper rolls. That is how they are generally translated in Australian Vietnamese restaurants.

  8. Um, none of the above / other? There seems to be a big difference b/w Vietnamese -> Australian English & Vietnamese -> American English.

    Cha gio = Vietnamese deep fried rice paper rolls
    Goi cuon = Vietnamese fresh rice paper salad rolls
    Spring rolls – Chinese deep fried rolls using egg & wheat wonton wrappers

    All the Viet recipes I’ve found [Mai Pham; Andrea Nguyen] use rice paper for Cha Gio so that’s how I make them & love the results, very light & crispy delicious [esp if you put a little brown sugar in the hot water you soak the rice paper/banh trang in; they deep fry up crisp & golden].

    Most Viet restaurants I’ve been to however [Perth, Western Australia] use wonton wrappers rather than rice paper for Cha Gio – they’re heavier, more oily & also I can’t eat them b/c I can’t am allergic to wheat. Grrr.

    Also – how is Cha Gio pronounced? Phonetically ie chah ghee-oh or chah-zaw?

    Love your blog, btw … a daily look-in & recipe resource for me.

  9. I call them all of the above! I don’t argue about this topic, just call it what ya want! There are so many variations on word use here, it all depends on so many factors. I teach a cooking class on this topic and all I say is…Just enjoy eating it and making it!

  10. I grew up calling cha gio “egg rolls” because that’s what my mama called them.

    Everyone – Thank you for your two cents :-)!

    Neneh – back in the U.S. my family uses the Chinese wrappers because fresh banh trang is not available. My mom says that using regular banh trang yields a sour product. I kind of like how banh trang sticks on my molars!

    WC – Very good insights! I especially like the idea of lumpia and cha gio falling under a “pan-Asian egg roll category.” That makes a lot of sense and is universally accessible. I wonder if cha gio will ever be as widespread as egg rolls…

    Otterkat – Northern Vietnamese call it “chah zaw,” while southerners call it “chah yaw.”

  11. In Montreal (Canada) they get called “spring roll” in English and “rouleau imperial” (imperial roll) in French – this is the standard menu translation that I see in Viet restaurants – though sometimes you do get the reverse (rouleau printanier in French, or imperial roll in English).

    In Vancouver at least, goi cuon are called salad rolls, hence less confusion.

  12. Let’s call them what we Viet call them-cha gio, bi cuon, goi cuon. Non-Viet are pretty open minded now. We dont need to name these food so make them easy for non-Viet people to pronounce. My non-Viet friends order these food by their Vietnamese names.

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