Cha ram recipe

From Wandering Chopsticks

I don’t know how to make the banana leaf-wrapped banh nam (Vietnamese steamed flat dumplings with pork and shrimp), banh it la gai, or banh tet that my ba noi (Vietnamese paternal grandmother) used to make. My one attempt to make her clear and chewy tapioca rice noodles for banh canh ended in mush. But I can make her other favorite — cha ram (Vietnamese shrimp egg rolls).

Cha Ram

Cha ram (Vietnamese shrimp egg rolls). Photo from Wandering Chopsticks.

Most people are more familiar with cha gio (Vietnamese egg rolls) which are stuffed with pork, shrimp, bean thread vermicelli noodles, carrots, and mushrooms or tree ear fungus. But on the south-central coast of Vietnam, we make cha ram with just shrimp and green onions. That’s it.

Just two ingredients to make a light snack. I used to call all egg rolls cha ram too, but outside of my hometown in Vietnam, no one knew what I was talking about.

I recently discovered a couple of Vietnamese restaurants that specialized in the cuisine of my region, so imagine my surprise when I actually saw cha ram on the menu. Except their version includes just one shrimp inside an egg roll wrapper. Close, but not quite the same.

In Vietnam, my relatives would buy the smallest shrimp possible and leave the shells on to make cha ram. But if you prefer your shrimp peeled and deveined, my ba noi’s quick deveining tip was to slide the tip of a toothpick perpendicular underneath the vein and just pull it out.


Báo Người Việt hoan nghênh quý vị độc giả đóng góp và trao đổi ý kiến. Chúng tôi xin quý vị theo một số quy tắc sau đây:

Tôn trọng sự thật.
Tôn trọng các quan điểm bất đồng.
Dùng ngôn ngữ lễ độ, tương kính.
Không cổ võ độc tài phản dân chủ.
Không cổ động bạo lực và óc kỳ thị.
Không vi phạm đời tư, không mạ lỵ cá nhân cũng như tập thể.

Tòa soạn sẽ từ chối đăng tải các ý kiến không theo những quy tắc trên.

Xin quý vị dùng chữ Việt có đánh dấu đầy đủ. Những thư viết không dấu có thể bị từ chối vì dễ gây hiểu lầm cho người đọc. Tòa soạn có thể hiệu đính lời văn nhưng không thay đổi ý kiến của độc giả, và sẽ không đăng các bức thư chỉ lập lại ý kiến đã nhiều người viết. Việc đăng tải các bức thư không có nghĩa báo Người Việt đồng ý với tác giả.

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