Of Delectable Meatball Sandwiches, Refreshing Cococane, Steaming Beef Noodle Soups, Crunchy & Silky Rice Cakes and Vietnamese Ice Coffee - A Weekend in Little Saigon [Thoughts + Pics]


More like 1980s.


Shrimp paste stuffed crab claws (and batter deep fried) is known as 百花釀蟹鉗 in Cantonese cuisine. Ironic how something so prevalent back in the day is now a custom pre-order. Didn’t really care for it back then, but it is quite nostalgic in a way just thinking about it.

As far as the Cantonese lobster salad goes, it was quite fun back in the day. Diced lobster meat mixed in with diced apples, mayonaise and a bunch of other chit I don’t quite remember and reconstructed on the plate. I believe with roast suckling pig they used to do the 9V battery power bulbs behind the canned cherries for the eyes as well, haha.

I have not tried any cha gio in Westminster…barely scratched the surface during one or two visits!

I vaguely recall an establishment in Westminster somewhere, the pho was not interesting but one of their appetizer plates was quite enjoyable…it was almost like a head cheese gelatin that reminds me of some Shanghainese or Beijing style cold app dish. I’ll have to dig around for pictures/notes for that one.

Mam is awesome stuff. Anh Hong SF would have this upon request, but is a touch diluted since I have no issues with fermented shrimp paste in general, though at least it doesn’t overpower. Definitely a must with bo la lot/rice paper/veggies/herb DIY roll! Definitely an awesome alternate “handroll party” (except there’s no sashimi involved). Slam bam thank you mam!


You got it, @Chowseeker1999! You pull it as soon as it gets golden brown. I actually don’t know what the timing is. @hppzz did an IG post (@ravenouscouple) with some great photos and video of their rice paper wrapped-cha gio…and your memory is exceptional…I was surprised to find that rice paper-wrapped was a thing. I’d grown up on the wheat-based wrappers…but trying rice wrapped has blown my mind…the crispness of the cha gio wrapped in rice paper is phenomenal. Leagues better than what I grew up with…now if I could only convince my Mom to change her recipe to the rice paper wrap.


I blame the French colonialism… but then again we got banh mi out of it. :joy:

@Chowseeker1999 @attran99 golden brown is the cue to remove from the fryer—with the caveat that the filling is cooked. If you fry at too high a temp it will brown too fast and the inside will be raw. We fry at Low temp say 300 and it’s ok to crowd the fryer/pan little bit to make sure both the filling is cooked and the outside comes to nice color at the same time.

Golden deli makes an excellent, if not the best, rice paper roll wrapper egg roll. It’s truly 100% rice flour paper.

Many other places use rice paper that contains both rice and tapioca flour for the egg rolls (probably because they don’t want to source two types of rice paper). Tapioca flour is added to get that stretchy elasticity and is great for rolling spring rolls. However, this type of rice paper is a PITA to fry. It bubbles up, sticks, and doesn’t brown evenly. There are home remedies to reduce these issues @catholiver can attest (beer, sugar water, coke, coconut milk). When fried right, texture is still crunchy but there is a chewiness to it.

This is Homemade :100: rice flour without any microbubbles. For the longest time we thought golden deli must have some secret, but it turns out you just have to find the right paper and read the ingredients. Rice only, best for frying egg rolls. Rice and tapioca best for fresh spring rolls.

Also See this thread ISO chả giò rế


Here’s the filling.

I was advised by Andrea Nguyen that when the oil bubbles around the tip of a chopstick then it’s ready.


Thanks @attran99 @hppzz.

Ah! Yah we’ve had Golden Deli’s cha gio multiple times. They’re quite tasty and probably our favorite thing there (their Pho, not so much). :slight_smile:


We enjoy the cha gio at Kim Hong egg rolls. To go only, and they don’t sell nuoc cham (sweet & sour only), but that’s easy enough to do at home. They also sell them frozen.


Can vouch


BTW, @Ns1 @attran99 where do you recommend getting the bounty of Vietnamese Herbs that they usually serve with Cha Gio in restaurants? Would places like 99 Ranch have it or? Thanks!


Yes, 99 is your easiest choice


If you want to show us all up, do the frozen egg rolls after a trip to the farmers market.