Chicken Curry Spring Rolls (“Cary Cha Gio”)

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Chicken Curry Vietnamese Spring Rolls

Vietnamese fried springs rolls are probably one of my top 10 favorite foods. These little crispy bundles of a delicious meat-seafood combination are flavored with Vietnamese fish sauce and traditionally rolled with rice paper. To make them extra crispy, the rice paper should be moistened in water that has been mixed with corn starch.

I’ve learned how to make them from my mom (hers are far superior to the restaurant versions, if I do say so myself) and over the years we have moved from wrapping them with rice paper to wrapping them with spring roll pastry that can be found in the freezer section of most supermarkets. Spring roll pastry is easier to use and I much prefer the taste over the rice paper version.

Making these spring rolls, or cha gio in Vietnamese, usually meant that my mom was throwing a huge bash and so for me, eating these rolls tend to illicit a feeling of festivity and socializing.

Curry Spring Rolls

I have shared my mom’s spring roll recipe with Scotch’s parents and we’ve even served it as hors d’oeuvres at his sister’s wedding reception which was held in a lovely little village in the south of France.

That year, Scotch’s aunt battled breast cancer and underwent a mastectomy. Up until the days before the wedding, we were not sure if his Aunt would feel up to making the trip from the UK.

But the day before the wedding, we received good news that she was feeling well enough to join us. Scotch’s aunt is such a strong, caring woman and an amazing entrepreneur. We are so happy that the cancer is in remission and that she has recovered remarkably well.

October is breast cancer awareness month (about 1 in 8 women in the United States (12%) will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of her lifetime) and my Dubai food blogger friends Rajani (@RajaniMani) and Lin (@boozychef) are donating 10% of their October food sales to a breast cancer awareness program in the Middle East.

I used Rajani’s homemade Madras curry powder to put a different spin to the traditional Vietnamese spring roll recipe:

Madras Curry Powder
Madras Curry Powder from Rajani @ Pickle-in-d-Middle

I taste-tested these curried spring rolls at a Food Bloggers’ potluck hosted by my friend Devina and I think they were a success!

I normally make 5 spring rolls per person – you can never have enough – they always disappear super quick!

Fooderati Potluck
Food Bloggers’ Potluck

Personally, the amount of Madras curry powder that I used in the spring rolls were a little strong for me but Devina’s mom said, “More curry!” so you can tweak the amount to your liking.

You can also make your Vietnamese curry powder for these springs rolls by following my recipe here and adjusting the spiciness to your liking.

For me, Vietnamese spring rolls must be served with lettuce (we use iceberg or curly lettuce) and Vietnamese dipping sauce (Nuoc Mam Cham).

Vietnamese Spring Rolls

I wrap a spring roll in lettuce, dip it in the sauce, and enjoy the doubly crispy-crunchy texture. The lettuce adds a nice fresh and earthy dimension to each bite.  Then I repeat for much more than my allotted 5 rolls/serving 🙂 .

*     *     *     *     *

Wee Scotch didn’t quite manage the lettuce wrapping part but he was certainly an avid dipper.

taste testing the spring rolls


"That curry's spicy, Mama!"
“That curry’s spicy, Mama!”

spring rolls

Chicken Curry Spring Rolls ("Cary Cha Gio")

Ginger and Scotch
An spicy spin on the traditional Vietnamese spring rolls. I use frozen spring roll pastry instead of rice paper wrappers.
5 from 2 votes
Servings 10


  • 50 sheets (I use the 5x5-in square ones) frozen spring roll pastry, thawed
  • 1 head of lettuce (rinsed)
  • vegetable oil - for deep-frying (I use sunflower or canola)

Spring Roll Filling:

  • 2 oz cellophane/bean thread/glass noodles - rehydrated, cut in 1” segments
  • 2 lb ground chicken
  • 3 large Chinese mushrooms - rehydrated and diced
  • 1 cup taro* - grated (or 1 large carrot, grated)
  • 1 bunch of scallions - chopped (or 1 med onion, diced)
  • 4 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 3 Tablespoons Vietnamese or Thai fish sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 Teaspoon Vietnamese curry powder (or substitute Madras curry powder)
  • 1/2 Teaspoon kosher or sea salt
  • 1/2 Teaspoon freshly ground pepper (or to taste)
  • 2 eggs

Nuoc Mam Cham (Vietnamese fish sauce for dipping)

  • 1 clove garlic (very finely minced)
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons lemon juice (about ½ lemon)
  • 4 Tablespoons Vietnamese or Thai fish sauce
  • 6 oz warm water


  • For the dipping sauce, mix all the ingredients in a bowl until the sugar has dissolved and refrigerate until needed.
  • Mix the filling ingredients together by hand or food processor and let it sit in the fridge for at least 2 hours or overnight. To taste-test the filling, microwave 1 tablespoon on high heat for 40 seconds or until cooked. Adjust seasonings as needed.
  • Place about 2 tablespoons of filling, diagonally, in the middle of each spring roll pastry and roll (video hopefully coming soon). Using water, wet the top edge of the spring roll so that it binds together.
  • Set a deep fryer to 325F (165C) and fry the spring rolls for 7-8 minutes.
  • Drain on a plate lined with paper towels to absorb excess oil
  • Serve with lettuce and dipping sauce.


*Taro is sometimes sold as "gulgas" in Dubai
1. For serving size, I estimate about 5 rolls per person using pastry that is 5x5 inch square. You can use a larger size, just add more filling.
2. Rolls can be frozen after frying. When needed, thaw in the fridge and then reheat in a pre-heated 350F (176C) oven until crispy on the outside and warm on the inside.
3. To make your own curry powder for this recipe, follow my recipe for Homemade Vietnamese Curry Powder


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Recipe Rating


  1. 3) Lumpiang gulay is filled with mung bean sprouts, carrots, pork / shrimp and sweet potatoes and other veggies. And I, like Wee Scotch, am an avid dipper.

  2. Your curry spring rolls were amazing, actually all of the various spring rolls you brought to the potluck were addictive, so good! I had to physically restrain myself not to go and eat them all. Thank you also for pointing me in the right curry-direction. I will make sure to go and get some of Rajani's curry powder myself!

  3. Mum's recipes are always the best 🙂 I do like your curry twist and I am going to try a vegetarian version w/o fish sauce :p and THANK YOU for the link back… I am so so happy that you liked the curry powder. Just made my day!!!!!

    1. hmm…I've never tried nor thought about it but I would imagine that you would have to first pre-cook the filling (kind of like making a samosa) before wrapping it.

      If you ever give it a go, let me know how it turns out!

  4. I enjoyed this twist using curry with the spring rolls. and abby is right about our version of spring rolls filled with minced pork called lumpiang shanghai (though I am not sure if it really originated from shanghai) 🙂 we used a tomato based sweet & sour dipping sauce for this.

    Oh would be good to note to use thai or vietnamese fish sauce. some may pick up Filipino fish sauce which I think is saltier than the others.

    BTW, Wee scotch is sooooo cute dipping them spring rolls! 🙂

      1. If I may butt in, there are many kinds of lumpia:

        1) Lumpiang shanghai is the one made with pork. Not sure if, Abby, your recipe includes shrimp. Sometimes you can replace pork with Tinapang Bangus (smoked milk fish) which tastes divine as well and is healthier.

        2) Lumpiang Ubod is filled with heart of cocounut palm, wrapped in and served with a peanut garlic sauce IF the wrapper is fresh. but served with vinegar garlic sauce IF lumpia is fried.

        3) Lumpiang gulay is filled with mung bean sprouts, carrots, pork / shrimp and sweet potatoes and other veggies. Usually fried and served with the vinegar garlic sauce

        4) Lumpiang sariwa (fresh lumpia) is also filled with heart of coconut palm and assorted veggies but with a crepe like wrapper and some leaves of lettuce. also served with a peanut garlic sauce.

        You just gave me an idea for a post after going through all those kinds of lumpia 🙂

      2. Yey for Lumpia!

        and yes Didi is right we use all sorts of filling – meat, fish, seafood, and vegies. Fried or Fresh Lumpia would always be present in every special occasion in a Filipino household.