As the aroma of the fresh herbs fills my kitchen, I am transported back to the bustling streets of Vietnam, where I first fell in love with the country’s exquisite cuisine. Today, I want to share with you one of my all-time favorite Vietnamese dishes – the Vietnamese Spring Rolls. These fresh, vibrant rolls are filled with crunchy vegetables and savory pork or shrimp, wrapped in soft and chewy rice paper wrappers.
But what sets these rolls apart from others is the delicate balance of flavors provided by the combination of herbs like mint, cilantro, and basil, along with butter lettuce leaves that provide a cool and refreshing crunch. These ingredients come together to create a harmonious melody of taste in every bite.
In this recipe article, I’ll be showing you how to make authentic Vietnamese Spring Rolls in your own kitchen – no need to travel halfway around the world! Whether you’re new to Vietnamese cuisine or a seasoned pro, this recipe is sure to delight your taste buds and leave you feeling satisfied yet light at the same time.
So let’s roll up our sleeves and get started on creating these deliciously fresh spring rolls that will transport you straight to the streets of Vietnam with just one bite!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
Imagine a delicate and flavorful Vietnamese Spring Roll, coated with a layer of soft and chewy rice paper, filled with herbs, lettuce, and fresh veggies. Sounds delicious, doesn’t it? This recipe offers you exactly that – a dish that bursts with vibrant colors and flavors.
What makes this dish so enticing is the combination of textures – the crunchiness of carrots and cellophane noodles with the freshness of mint leaves, cilantro, and basil. Wrapped in soft rice paper wrappers, this Vietnamese Spring Roll reveals its chewy and delightful character with every bite.
But that’s not all. This dish is perfect for any occasion, whether you’re hosting a party or just want to indulge in some Vietnamese cuisine. Its versatility allows for a range of ingredients to be added – shrimp, pork, fried chicken, or even a vegetarian version brimming with veggies.
And let’s not forget about the peanut dipping sauce. The sweet and nutty tones of the sauce perfectly complement the fresh rolls.
Not only is this Vietnamese Spring Roll easy to make, but it also offers numerous variations for those who enjoy experimenting with their dishes. It’s a great way to showcase your culinary skills while treating your taste buds to an explosion of flavors.
In summary, you’ll love this recipe because it’s not only delicious but also customizable to suit different preferences. Its textures are divinely satisfying, and the peanut dipping sauce complements it perfectly. So go ahead, try this recipe out – I guarantee you won’t regret it!
Before we start assembling the rolls, let me introduce you to the vibrant ingredients you’ll need for this Vietnamese spring rolls recipe. These Vietanamese fresh spring rolls consist of fresh veggies, herbs, rice noodles wrapped in soft and chewy rice paper wrappers. Here are the ingredients:
- Rice paper sheets (8-9 inch diameter)
- 4 oz cellophane noodles or rice vermicelli noodles
- Butter lettuce leaves or any other soft lettuce
- 12 cooked and peeled deveined shrimp, cut in half lengthwise
- 4 oz pork loin, cut into thin strips (you can also use chicken or any protein of your choice)
- 1 large carrot, cut into fine matchsticks or julienned
- 1/2 bunch Thai basil leaves
- 1/2 bunch mint leaves
- 1/2 bunch cilantro stems removed
Dipping Sauce Ingredients
- 1/4 cup hoisin sauce
- 1/4 cup peanut butter
- 2 tablespoons of water
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- Red pepper flakes (Optional)
The Recipe How-To
Now that we’ve talked about the ingredients, let’s dive into creating these Vietnamese fresh spring rolls, known as goi cuon. The process might seem intimidating at first, but with some practice and patience, you’ll be rolling like a pro.
Step 1: Preparing the Ingredients
Start by preparing all the ingredients. Cut the pork and shrimp into small pieces, peel and devein the shrimp, and cut the vegetables and herbs into thin strips or leaves. For the noodles, soak 2 ounces of thin rice vermicelli noodles in boiling hot water for about 15 minutes until they are soft, then drain them and set aside.
Step 2: Softening the Rice Paper Wrappers
Dampen a clean kitchen towel or paper towel with warm water and lay it on a flat surface. Next, fill a large shallow bowl with warm water. Dip one rice paper wrapper in the water and use your hands to spread it evenly until it is fully submerged. Be sure not to leave it in the water for too long or it will become too soft!
Step 3: Assembling the Spring Rolls
Lift the rice paper gently out of the water with both hands, allowing any excess water to drip off. Place it on top of the damp towel or paper towel.
Add a few strips of vegetables and herbs (carrots, mint, cilantro, basil, butter lettuce) in a straight line across the bottom third of the wrapper. Top it with a small amount of noodles and some of the cut pork and shrimp.
Fold over one side of the wrapper toward the middle of the filling, then repeat on the opposite side. Starting from the bottom edge (closest to you), roll up tightly like a burrito.
Repeat until all ingredients have been used up.
Step 4: Serving with Peanut Dipping Sauce
Once your spring rolls are ready, serve them with a peanut dipping sauce. The sauce is made from peanut butter, hoisin sauce, rice vinegar, garlic, and red pepper flakes, whisked together until smooth.
Enjoy your homemade Vietnamese spring rolls as a fresh and healthy appetizer or snack!
Substitutions and Variations
As a seasoned chef, I understand the importance of catering to different tastes and preferences. That’s why I love giving alternative ingredient suggestions and variations to a traditional recipe like Vietnamese spring rolls.
For a vegetarian option, replace the pork and shrimp with tofu or tempeh. Feel free to also add extra vegetables like bell peppers, cucumber, or bean sprouts for some added crunch and nutrition.
If you’re not a fan of cellophane noodles or rice vermicelli noodles, try using quinoa instead for added protein and fiber. Or switch it up with brown rice noodles, soba noodles, or even spaghetti noodles – just make sure to cook them according to the package instructions before assembling your spring rolls.
Looking for a gluten-free option? Use tamari instead of soy sauce in your dipping sauce, and choose gluten-free rice paper sheets. You can also switch up the herbs used in the spring rolls by using Thai basil or mint instead of cilantro.
If you’re feeling adventurous, try making chicken spring rolls by substituting the pork and/or shrimp with shredded or sliced cooked chicken. Or satisfy your fried food cravings with delicious Vietnamese fried spring rolls (cha gio), which are made with a crispy deep-fried rice paper wrapper and often contain ground pork, shrimp, carrots, and glass noodles.
Finally, enjoy your fresh spring rolls with different dipping sauces such as hoisin sauce, sweet chili sauce or peanut sauce. These sauces provide that explosion of flavor that make fresh Vietnamese spring rolls so popular around the world.
No matter what variation you choose, these fresh Vietnamese spring rolls are guaranteed to be a crowd-pleaser at your next gathering or as a fun family meal. Get creative!
Serving and Pairing
When it comes to serving and pairing Vietnamese spring rolls, the options are endless. These fresh and vibrant spring rolls, also known as “goi cuon”, consist of pork, shrimp or vegetables, rice noodles, carrots, and herbs wrapped in soft, chewy rice paper wrappers.
The beauty of these fresh spring rolls is that they pair well with so many different flavors and textures. The first thing that comes to mind is a dipping sauce such as peanut sauce or nuoc cham. The peanut sauce, with its creamy texture mixed with a bit of spice, complements the freshness of the spring roll perfectly. Nuoc cham, on the other hand, adds a tangy acidity that brightens the flavors while balancing out the sweet and savory notes.
In terms of main dishes, Vietnamese spring rolls can be served as an appetizer or combined with other dishes for a full meal. They work particularly well as part of a larger spread with other Vietnamese dishes like cha gio (Vietnamese fried egg rolls) or grilled meats like lemongrass chicken or beef.
For those who prefer to keep things vegetarian, these fresh Vietnamese spring rolls are the perfect choice. You can swap out the meat for tofu or just include more vegetables like cucumbers, bell peppers or shredded lettuce.
When presenting your Vietnamese spring rolls, it’s all about the presentation. Arrange them on a platter or bamboo steamer lined with lettuce leaves and topped with sprigs of fresh mint, cilantro and basil — for an added burst of flavor that also happens to look beautiful — before serving.
In summary, enjoy your fresh Vietnamese spring rolls with a delicious dipping sauce and pair them with complementary dishes to make for a colorful and flavorful feast that everyone will love!
Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating
Now that you’ve mastered the art of creating Vietnamese spring rolls and indulged in their deliciousness, you may wonder about the best way to store any leftovers.
If you do find yourself with leftover Vietnamese spring rolls, they can be stored for later consumption. The best way to store them is to wrap them individually in plastic wrap and then place them in an airtight container. This will help prevent them from drying out and becoming tough. You can also use a resealable plastic bag instead of an airtight container. It is important to eat them within 3-4 days of making them.
When you want to reheat your spring rolls after refrigerating, you should first let them come to room temperature before reheating them. You can then simply place the rolls onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and pop them in the preheated oven at 350°F for about 10-12 minutes, or until they are heated through.
If you prefer not to use the oven, another option is to pan-fry the spring rolls over medium heat with a small amount of oil until they are crispy on the outside and heated through on the inside.
Unfortunately, spring rolls do not maintain their crispiness very well after being refrigerated and reheated. However, they still retain their flavor even if they become slightly soft.
Overall, Vietnamese spring rolls are best served fresh but they can be easily made ahead of time and stored for later enjoyment with just a little bit of care in storing and reheating.
Tips for Perfect Results
As a chef specializing in Vietnamese cuisine, I have some tips and tricks to help you make the perfect Vietnamese spring rolls. Here are some of my recommendations for getting the best results possible:
1. Soak the rice paper sheets properly: Make sure to soak the rice paper in warm water until it’s pliable but not too soft. If it’s too stiff, it will tear, and if it’s too soft, it will be difficult to roll.
2. Use a damp towel: To prevent the rice paper from sticking to your work surface, lay down a damp towel before rolling. This also helps keep the rolls moist.
3. Keep the fillings dry: It’s important to keep the fillings dry, especially the vegetables. Pat them dry with a paper towel before adding them to the rolls. This will ensure that the rolls stay fresh and crispy.
4. Cut ingredients into thin strips: When preparing the ingredients, make sure to cut them into thin strips so they fit easily into the rolls. This also makes them easier to eat.
5. Don’t overfill the rolls: Overfilling can cause your Vietnamese spring rolls to burst open or become too difficult to roll properly. Aim for about 2-3 tablespoons of filling per roll.
6. Keep things colorful and fresh: Use colorful vegetables like carrots, bell peppers, and fresh herbs like mint and cilantro to give your spring rolls a beautiful presentation and vibrant flavor.
7. Serve with a dipping sauce: Use a dipping sauce like peanut sauce or sweet chili sauce to add an extra layer of flavor to your Vietnamese spring rolls.
Follow these tips carefully and you’ll be able to make mouth-watering Vietnamese spring rolls that will impress your guests and leave them craving more! Enjoy!
Now, let’s move on to the FAQ section. As a chef, I understand that readers may have some questions about the Vietnamese Spring Rolls recipe. Below, I have addressed some of the most common inquiries that may come up as you prepare this dish. So, keep reading if you want to learn more!
What is the difference between spring rolls and Vietnamese spring rolls?
The Vietnamese imperial roll differs from the Chinese spring roll in size and filling. It is often smaller and stuffed with chopped meats like pork, seafood like crab and shrimp, and vegetables such as shredded carrots, wood-ear fungi or oyster mushrooms and root crops like taro or cassava. These ingredients are wrapped in rice paper as the traditional choice of wrapper.
What do Vietnamese spring rolls contain?
Looking for a light and flavorful appetizer to wow your guests? Try making the classic Vietnamese dish, fresh spring rolls. Made with a combination of succulent pork, fresh shrimp, crisp lettuce, and aromatic herbs, all nestled inside delicate rice paper wrappers, these rolls are sure to impress anyone who tries them.
Is Vietnamese fresh spring roll healthy?
Spring rolls are an excellent dish for those looking for a nutritious and wholesome meal packed with raw vegetables and lean protein. Some concerns have been raised about the health benefits of spring rolls, specifically the wrapper. However, the rice paper wrapper is low in calories and fats, with each piece containing around 30-40 calories.
What type of spring roll is Vietnamese?
Vietnamese spring rolls, known as gỏi cuốn, are a popular dish that is often associated with healthy eating. These light and refreshing rolls usually consist of a piece of pork, a single shrimp, and bun noodles. However, for those who prefer vegetarian options, delicious versions with tofu and mushrooms are also readily available.
In conclusion, Vietnamese Spring Rolls are a versatile dish that can be enjoyed by just about anyone. Whether you are a meat lover or a vegetarian, these rolls can satisfy your cravings. They consist of fresh vegetables, herbs, and rice paper that make for a healthy and delicious meal. Plus, the variety of dipping sauces allows you to customize the taste to your liking.
So don’t wait any longer, grab the ingredients, follow the recipe instructions, and make yourself some Vietnamese Spring Rolls today! You won’t regret it. So go ahead and indulge in this amazing dish that not only tastes great but also contains plenty of nutrients to nourish your body. Trust me; once you try them, they will become a regular part of your diet!
Vietnamese Spring Rolls Recipe
- 0.5 (12 ounce) package rice paper sheets
- 1 (1 1/2 ounce) package cellophane noodles
- 1 head butter lettuce, roughly chopped
- 1 bunch basil, stems removed and torn into pieces
- 1 bunch cilantro, stems removed and roughly chopped
- 1 bunch mint, stems removed and torn
- 2 cups carrots, cut into matchsticks
- 1/2 lb cooked shrimp, shell-off and cut in half lengthwise
- Bring water in a medium saucepan to a rapid boil.
- Submerge cellophane noodles in water until just softened, about 30-45 seconds.
- Remove and reserving hot water, drain.
- Pour the reserved hot water into a wide, shallow pan (pie pan, casserole dish, etc.).
- Assemble all cold/salad ingredients including the shrimp and the cooked cellophane noodles in an assembly line format around an open, flat surface such as a cutting board.
- Place one dried rice paper wrapper into the warm water for a few seconds or until softened. Remove promptly or it will get soggy. Remove, let the water drip off and place on the cutting board.
- Fill with all ingredients, being careful not to overfill.
- Roll it up like a burrito (fold bottom over filling, then tuck each side in, then complete roll to form a neat, tight package), cut diagonally to create two halves and serve immediately.