I made something really similar a year ago when my mom taught me how to make cha gio. Instead of cha gio, this dish has grilled pork in a sweet marinade. If I could get my hands on lemongrass paste in Japan, I would definitely add that to the marinade, but alas, I am without. I tried to get a proper recipe from my mom but she went to bed before she got my email and catering to my every request just isn't on the top of her list of things to do anymore. So I googled a bunch of different recipes, took what I thought made sense, sprinkled that with some of my own knowledge and gave it a try. It may not be the most authentic, but it is delicious!
I felt like I'd really miss the crunch of cha gio, but was also too lazy to whip up a batch. Instead, I paid homage to the nem nuong I had in Nha Trang in 2004. Once upon a time, there was a pretty kickin' night market on the beach and I had these amazing spring rolls with pork meatballs. What I loved most about these rolls was the crunchy fried scallion wrapped inside. It was just a scallion rolled up in rice paper and fried but it added the perfect texture and made these irresistible. I was really sad to find out that this night market is no longer popular, thus, the delicious nem with crispy scallions are gone.
Fear not! They live on in my memory...and now in my kitchen. I fried up some of the leftover chinese chives wrapped in egg roll wrappers and added them to my bowl thus officially making this MY recipe.
Fried Scallion Rolls
- Egg Roll wrappers
- Scallions, chives or any other herb you can fry
1. Cut 5 inch pieces of chives. Roll in egg roll wrappers, sealing with egg wash.
2. Fry for 2 minutes on each side. Set aside.
- thinly sliced pork
- 1 TB fish sauce
- 1 TB sugar
- 1 TB mirin or sake
- 1 tsp soy sauce
- 1 tsp oyster sauce
- lots of black pepper
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
2. Grill or pan fry. The sugar is going to caramelize and burn a little. Let it. That's part of the charm of this dish I think.
Nuoc Mam Sauce
Mix all contents together in a bowl.
- Cooked rice noodles, room temperature
- Sliced cucumbers
- Bean sprouts (I totally forgot to put bean sprouts in my bowl -- doh!)
- Pickled daikon and carrots
- Thit Nuong
- Crunchy rolls, cut in half
1. Fill the bottom of a large bowl with rice noodles. Add all the veggies in varying quantities depending on your taste.
2. Add pork and sprinkled crushed peanuts on the pork.
3. Add some crunchy rolls.
4. Top the noodles, veggies and meat with nuoc mam.