Ethnic Eating 101: Vietnamese, Part 1
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The Vietnamese answer to egg rolls goes by two names; the southern dialect's name, chả giò (say "chah yaw"), is by far the most common, given the origin of most of the Vietnamese immigrants to the U.S., but you may see nem rán (pronounced like it looks), the northern variant.
These little jewels are so far superior to their sad Chinese takeout counterparts that there's hardly any comparison. Vietnamese spring rolls have a pebbly skin, a more tender filling, and are easier to cut into pieces. They'll come with soft leaf lettuce, herbs and a sweet-garlicky-savory orange dipping sauce made of fish sauce, sugar, lime juice, garlic and chiles. Wrap one of the spring rolls in a lettuce leaf, add herbs, roll it up and dip it in the sauce.
While Brodard (9892 Westminster and 9100 Trask, Garden Grove) is famous for its chả giò, my favorites come from Viễn Đông (14271 Brookhurst, Garden Grove). You shouldn't be paying more than $3-$5 for a plate of 4 or 5 rolls.