Guide To Enjoy Vietnam Spring Roll – The Spirit of Vietnamese Cuisine

Vietnam spring roll holds a revered position among the must-try delicacies in Vietnam, esteemed for its widespread popularity across the country. Regardless of your destination within Vietnam, the opportunity to savor this delectable dish awaits, showcasing its universal appeal.

In this article, we embark on a journey to explore the essence of the Vietnam spring roll, delving into its rich history and providing a detailed recipe for recreating this culinary masterpiece in the comfort of your own home. From its cultural significance to the intricate flavors that define it, we unravel the art of indulging in the quintessential Vietnamese spring roll, offering insight into its enduring legacy and inviting readers to experience the authentic taste of Vietnamese cuisine firsthand. Whether you’re a seasoned enthusiast or a curious newcomer, join us on this gastronomic exploration as we uncover the secrets behind one of Vietnam’s most beloved culinary treasures.

History of Vietnam spring roll 

Vietnamese food, spring roll or cha gio / Source: Xuan Huong Ho - YayImages
Vietnamese food, spring roll or cha gio / Source: Xuan Huong Ho – YayImages

Spring rolls, a beloved delicacy in Asia, including Vietnam, have their roots traced back to China. Legend has it that during the advent of spring, the Chinese fashioned wonton wrappers to encase a medley of meats and vegetables, consuming these symbolic rolls as a gesture for vitality and well-being, hence the name “spring rolls.”

Gradually, spring rolls transcended their ceremonial origins to become a staple across various cuisines worldwide. Known by different names in different regions—Dim sum in China, chungwon in Korea, harumaki in Japan, and Lumpia in Indonesia—Vietnamese spring rolls stand out among these renditions with their unique recipes and flavors, each proudly crafted in Vietnam.

Vietnamese fried spring rolls, referred to as “nem ran” in the north and “cha gio” in the south, have earned a spot among the top 100 most popular appetizers globally, as recognized by Taste Atlas. This iconic dish, originating from Southern Vietnam, has become an integral part of Vietnamese cuisine, gracing tables during special occasions like Tet and family gatherings. Today, it’s a ubiquitous appetizer found in Vietnamese eateries worldwide, appreciated for its crispy exterior and delectable fillings, making it an irresistible treat for food enthusiasts everywhere.

Vietnam Spring roll – Taste the authentic Vietnamese cuisine

To the Vietnamese, Vietnam spring roll represent tradition, culinary finesse, and the essence of Vietnamese cuisine. Vietnam spring roll is a dish characterized by their crispy exterior and flavorful filling. The perfect spring roll balances a variety of ingredients that come together to create a harmonious blend of textures and tastes.

Main Ingredients:

  1. Protein: Traditionally, a mix of ground pork and shrimp forms the base of the filling. This combination offers a succulent and savory flavor profile. Some variations may include crab meat or chicken for a different twist.
  2. Vegetables: Finely shredded carrots and jicama or taro add a touch of sweetness and a satisfying crunch. Bean sprouts or vermicelli noodles, softened and cut into short lengths, contribute to the texture and absorb the flavors of the other ingredients.
  3. Mushrooms: Wood ear mushrooms, also known as black fungus, are a crucial ingredient. They are soaked and finely chopped, providing a subtle earthy flavor and a distinctive chewy texture.
  4. Aromatics and Seasonings: Minced garlic, shallots, and green onions enhance the aromatic profile of the filling. A dash of fish sauce, salt, sugar, and black pepper seasons the mixture perfectly, creating a savory and slightly sweet balance.
  5. Binder: An egg is often added to the filling to help bind the ingredients together, ensuring that each bite is cohesive and flavorful.

Wrapping and Frying:

The filling is encased in rice paper wrappers, which are softened in water before being filled and rolled. The rice paper provides a light and crisp exterior once fried. The key to achieving the perfect crunch is to fry the rolls twice—first on low heat to cook through and then on high heat for a golden, crispy finish.

Dipping Sauce:

No Vietnamese spring roll is complete without the traditional dipping sauce, “nuoc cham.” Made from fish sauce, lime juice, sugar, water, minced garlic, and finely chopped chili, this sauce complements the richness of the spring rolls with its tangy, sweet, and slightly spicy notes.

These carefully selected ingredients and meticulous preparation methods ensure that Vietnamese fried spring rolls are a delightful and satisfying dish, beloved by many for their complex flavors and inviting textures.

Where to find the best Vietnam spring roll

You can find this mouth-watering dish in most restaurants throughout Vietnam, and sometimes even at small street vendors. Remember, just because spring rolls are served in a big restaurant doesn’t necessarily mean they are the best. Many street vendors offer incredibly tasty spring rolls. For the most authentic experience, having a local guide you to the best spots is ideal for discovering the finest Vietnamese cuisine.

A New Day Restaurant

  • Address: 72 Ma May Street, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi
    Opening Hours: 10 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Monday – Sunday 
  • Cost: 65,000 VND (2.50 USD)

A New Day restaurant is a culinary gem nestled in the heart of Hanoi’s Old Quarter. Just a five-minute walk from the iconic Hoan Kiem Lake, this restaurant offers a delightful escape into the rich tapestry of Hanoi’s traditional cuisine. The menu is a celebration of authentic flavors, featuring a variety of dishes that capture the essence of Vietnamese culinary heritage.

From the fragrant bowls of pho to the delectable Vietnam spring roll, every dish is crafted with fresh, local ingredients and a passion for preserving tradition. The welcoming atmosphere and attentive service make A New Day a perfect spot for both locals and tourists looking to savor the true tastes of Hanoi. Whether you’re starting your day with a hearty breakfast or winding down with a delicious dinner, A New Day promises a memorable dining experience in the bustling heart of Hanoi.

Noodle And Roll

  • Address:  39C Ly Quoc Su Street, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi
  • Opening Hours: 10 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Monday – Sunday 
  • Cost: 65,000 VND (2.50 USD)

Located in Hanoi’s charming old quarter, Noodle and Roll restaurant offers a delightful culinary experience that lives up to its name. This cozy eatery specializes in a wide variety of Vietnamese noodles and rolls, allowing you to savor the country’s diverse and flavorful dishes all in one place. Among the highlights is the iconic Vietnam spring roll, a must-try for anyone wanting to taste authentic Vietnamese cuisine. 

The menu features an array of options, from traditional pho and bun cha to delicate fresh rolls and crispy fried spring rolls. With its welcoming atmosphere and delicious offerings, Noodle and Roll is a perfect spot for both locals and tourists to enjoy a taste of Vietnam’s rich culinary heritage.

Wrap & Roll

  • Address: 62 Hai Ba Trung Street, Ben Nghe, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City
  • Opening Hours: 10 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Monday – Sunday 
  • Cost: 69,000 VND (3 USD)

Wrap & Roll in Ho Chi Minh City offers a delightful array of traditional Vietnamese rolls, including the iconic Vietnam spring roll. What sets this restaurant apart is its dedication to crafting its own sauces based on traditional recipes. These sauces result from a meticulous process of discovering, collecting, and refining the finest elements of Vietnamese cuisine. This commitment ensures that the homemade sauces at Wrap & Roll are the perfect complement to their freshly prepared dishes. 

Each bite at Wrap & Roll encapsulates the authentic flavors and culinary heritage of Vietnam, providing a unique and memorable dining experience for both locals and visitors. Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a seasoned food lover, Wrap & Roll promises an authentic taste of Vietnam with every roll.

Propaganda Bistro

  • Address: 21 Han Thuyen, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City
  • Opening Hours: 10 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Monday – Sunday 
  • Cost: 110,000 VND (5 USD)

Propaganda Saigon Bistro, located in District 1, is a Vietnamese restaurant offering familiar home-cooked dishes in a bright and airy setting. Upon entering, you’ll be captivated by the vibrant interior, inspired by 1980s Vietnamese propaganda slogans and motifs. The spacious and well-lit atmosphere ensures a comfortable dining experience.

The diverse and authentic Vietnamese menu, crafted from 100% fresh ingredients, will never disappoint. Signature dishes include rice noodle salad, pho, pulled pork banh mi, and the iconic Vietnamese spring roll. Additionally, vegetarian options are always available, catering to a variety of dietary preferences. Propaganda Saigon Bistro promises a memorable meal in a uniquely charming environment.

Final thoughts

Food is more than just sustenance; it’s a vessel that carries the essence of culture, traditions, and cherished memories. In Vietnam, the spring roll is not merely a dish; it’s a symbol of familial warmth and communal gatherings. Tasting a Vietnam spring roll isn’t just about savoring flavors; it’s about immersing yourself in the rich tapestry of Vietnamese life.

Every bite of a Vietnam spring roll encapsulates the memories of cozy family gatherings, where generations come together to share laughter, stories, and, of course, delicious food. It’s a dish that evokes a sense of nostalgia and belonging, reminding locals and visitors alike of the cherished moments spent around the dining table.

At Viland Travel, we understand the significance of food in experiencing a culture authentically. That’s why our customized tours are designed to take you on a culinary journey through Vietnam, where you can taste the most authentic flavors of Vietnamese cuisine. From bustling street food markets to hidden local eateries, we ensure that every bite you take is infused with the heart and soul of Vietnam, leaving you with unforgettable memories of your gastronomic adventures.