Vietnamese spring roll nem ran – cha gio

The fried version with minced pork is called Cha gio (southern Vietnam), nem, or Nem ran (northern Vietnam).

Central Vietnam has its own version of a “fried roll” called “Ram.” “Ram” is always made from whole shell-on shrimp or chopped deshelled shrimps and some green onion, wrapped in rice paper and deep fried. “Ram”, like most specialty food items from central Vietnam, are not widely available in Vietnamese restaurant overseas.

A Vietnamese spring roll is different from a Chinese spring roll in that it is typically smaller and contains ground or chopped meats/seafood such as pork, crab, shrimp, chicken, taro or cassava, glass noodle, wood-ear fungi or oyster mushrooms and shredded carrots.

Rice papers are always used as the wrappers in Vietnam. A few Vietnamese restaurants in western countries may use the Chinese spring roll wrappers due to the unavailability of rice papers initially.

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