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Spring rolls are a large variety of filled, rolled appetizers. The name is a literal translation of the Chinese chūn juǎn (春卷 'spring roll') found in East Asian and Southeast Asian cuisine. The kind of wrapper, fillings, and cooking technique used, as well as the name, vary considerably within this large area.
The fried version with minced pork is called chả giò (southern Vietnam), nem, or Nem rán (northern Vietnam); it has been referred to as a spring roll on some restaurant menus. Central Vietnam has its own version of a "fried roll" called "Ram." "Ram" is always made from whole shell-on shrimp or chopped deshelled shrimps and some green onion, wrapped in rice paper and deep fried. "Ram", like most specialty food items from central Vietnam, are not widely available in Vietnamese restaurant overseas. The collective Vietnamese "egg rolls" are different from the Chinese egg roll in that it is typically smaller and contains ground or chopped meats/seafood such as pork, crab, shrimp (but rarely) chicken, taro or cassava, glass noodle, wood-ear fungi or oyster mushrooms, and shredded carrots. It would be more correctly referred to as a "Vietnamese fried Roll". It is sometimes called eggrolls even though no eggs are used in the making. Rice papers are always used as the wrappers in Vietnam. A few Vietnamese restaurants in western countries may use the Chinese eggroll wrappers due to the inavailability of rice papers initially. However, almost all restaurants use rice paper now that they are widely available.
Fresh spring rolls, sometimes called summer rolls, is a Vietnamese delicacy known as gỏi cuốn. Depending on region, salad rolls were made differently. Some vegetarian families make vegetarian spring rolls rather than meat spring rolls. However, the typical ingredients include slivers of cooked pork (most often cha pork sausages), shrimp, sometimes chicken or tofu, fresh herbs like basil and cilantro, lettuce, cucumbers, sometimes fresh garlic chives, rice vermicelli, all wrapped in moistened rice paper, served at room temperature with dipping fish sauce (nước chấm, fermented soybean sauce (tương xào), or a hoisin peanut sauce are all common sauces when eating spring rolls. A typical hoisin dipping sauce includes chili, hoisin sauce, peanut butter and sugar. A standard fish sauce nước mắm pha (nước chấm) is composed of fish sauce, lime, garlic, sugar, and chilies. Fresh Vietnamese Spring rolls can be made at home or found at Vietnamese restaurants and some Grocery Retail stores.
In Chinese cuisine, spring rolls are savoury rolls with cabbage and other vegetables inside from areas such as Zhejiang in eastern China, and northern China. They are usually eaten during the Spring Festival in China, hence the name.
In Taiwan, spring rolls also come in a number of varieties.
Non-fried spring rolls are typically bigger and more savory. In contrast, non-fried spring rolls typically fill the wrapping with pre-cooked ingredients. The most commonly eaten style of non-fried Taiwanese spring rolls is called rùn bǐng (潤餅) in Mandarin (or po̍h-piáⁿ (薄餅) in Taiwanese, see popiah). Traditionally, non-fried spring rolls are a festive food eaten during the Cold Food Day festival and the Tomb Sweeping Day festival in spring to remember and pay respect to ancestors. The Hakka population sometimes also eat spring rolls on the 3rd day of the 3rd month of the lunar calendar (三月三 sān yuè sān). The wrappings can be a flour based mix or batter.
In northern Taiwan, the ingredients are generally flavored with herbs, stir-fried and sometimes topped with a finely ground peanut powder before being wrapped. The northern-Taiwanese style spring roll is usually lightly topped with or accompanied by a soy sauce.
Spring roll is a fried dish usually available as a dim sum. It typically contains minced pork, shredded carrot, bean sprouts and other vegetables served with a sauce similar to Worcestershire sauce.
In Australia, a diverse range of authentic Asian cuisine is available due to immigration, multiculturalism, and the abundant fresh local produce. Both dim sims and Chiko Rolls were inspired by spring rolls.
Australians also have their own version of a spring roll that can be found in many fish and chip shops in Australia and also bought from a supermarket (Chiko Roll). Rather than using pastry with a rolling technique they have a more doughy texture.
In South Korea, a spring roll is known as chungwon (춘권). They are not as popular as other fried foods, but are occasionally found at bars, street stalls, or as a banchan (side dish) at restaurants.
In the Netherlands and Belgium, spring rolls are known as loempia, and are deep-fried or sometimes baked. They are thought to have been introduced by immigrants from Indonesia. Loempias are filled with bean sprouts, chopped omelette, and sliced ham.
In Sweden, they are known as vårrullar, while in Poland, they are known as Sajgonki, named after Saigon, the city from which many of the Vietnamese immigrants in Poland originated.
In Costa Rica, spring rolls are called in Spanish Rollito de primavera (Chinese Tacos), offered in almost all the Chinese restaurants as an entree or appetizer.
In Chile, spring rolls are called Arrollado Primavera, and supermarkets, street vendors and Chinese restaurants sell them.
In Mexico, spring rolls are called Rollos Primavera, and are sold in many Chinese restaurants and fast food establishment. In the northwest border with the US, specially in Mexicali, Baja California, the spring rolls are known as chunkun, this name could be related to the Korean chungwon (춘권), they are deep-fried and they are usually served with ketchup topped with a dot of hot mustard as dipping sauce.
In Uruguay and Argentina, spring rolls are called Arrollados Primavera, and supermarkets and Chinese restaurants sell them. They are common treat carried by catering services and usually served with a small bowl of hot soy sauce to dip them in.
In Brazil, spring rolls are called either rolinhos-primavera (IPA: [ʁoˈlĩɲus pɾimɐˈvɛɾɐ]), which is an approximate free translation from English, or as it is called in Japanese restaurants and among people which are used to the plate by the way it came to Brazil from Japanese immigrants, "spring roll" (春巻き harumaki ) (IPA: [haɽu͍maki]). They can be found mostly on Chinese restaurants, usually served with a molho agridoce (sweet and sour sauce) to dip, usually bright red and hot, made with ketchup, vinegar, sugar and sometimes spices as star anise, which accompanies some other kinds of dishes, and can include onion and sweet pepper. Some Japanese restaurants also serve spring rolls in Brazil, but generally plain or with soy sauce to dip (molho agridoce is uncommon but also available in some). They are also found on buffet-like fast food restaurants, and can be called either by the Japanese or Brazilian Portuguese name, but most often the latter.
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