Vietnamese Spring Roll
Vietnamese Spring Roll (Goi Cuon) is one of the most popular traditional Vietnamese foods because it is fresh, delicious and healthy. This food is considered as a favorite appetizer or snack with customers in Vietnam. It is listed at number 30 on World’s 50 most delicious foods by CNN in 2011. Although there are many versions of Vietnamese Spring Roll depends on preferences and local characteristics, main ingredients to make Goi Cuon is rice paper, vermicelli (rice noodles), Vietnamese herbs, vegetables (cucumber, carrot, salad), shrimp and pork. Goi Cuon is served cool with special sauce (fish sauce dip or Vietnamese bean dipping sauce). Highlight of this food is that it’s fresh, comfortable to eat in the summer and good for health.
Vietnamese Spring Roll and Vietnamese bean dipping sauce
Rice paper is a must to make Vietnamese Spring Roll. Better rice paper is, better Goi Cuon is. Made from high quality rice, rice paper (banh trang) originated in countryside of Vietnam. Good rice paper is semitransparent, chewy and has smell of rice. Rice paper should be soaked in water for a few seconds to make it tender and easy to wrap the fillings.
Shrimp should be boiled and peeled, pork should be boiled and cut to thin slices. Cucumber and pickled carrot are cut into strips. Herbs, salad and chives are washed and leaved to dry. What’s next? Just carefully and skilfully wrap all ingredients into a roll. Its size depends on preference of the cook. It’s really simple to make a traditional Vietnamese spring roll, isn’t it. Some prefer to use fish pie, grilled pork, pork patties instead of boiled pork and shrimp. That’s reason why there are many kinds of Goi Cuon in Vietnam.
Vietnamese Spring Roll and fish sauce dip
The dipping sauce is the soul of Vietnamese Spring Roll. There are 3 kinds of dipping sauces used to served with Goi Cuon: sweet and sour dipping fish sauce, Vietnamese bean dipping sauce. The Vietnamese bean dipping sauce is made from ground fermented soy beans, tamarind sauce or rice vinegar, garlic, chili paste and crushed peanuts. Some cook uses bone broth to make the bean dipping sauce more flavorful. Mekong Delta people put coconut cream to make the dip greasier. People in Central Vietnam love to eat Goi Cuon with sweet and sour Mam Nem dipping sauce made from Mam Nem – a sauce made from fermented fish and pineapple. Each kind of dip has its own flavor and worth a try.
Locals make the rolls themselves at dinning tables and eat after wrapping. Foreigners usually buy ready Vietnamese spring roll but please do it yourself if you have chance. Vietnamese Spring Roll is sold popularly at restaurants serving traditional foods in Vietnam. However, most of Vietnamese people do not come to restaurants to enjoy Goi Cuon because the price is too high. Street food culture is one of the most important part of Vietnam. Locals can seat on plastic chairs and eat Goi Cuon right on the street. Or they can make Goi Cuon at home for dinners in the summer.
Goi Cuon is one of the most natural, freshest and healthiest Vietnamese foods. It has been said that Goi Cuon is as simple as Vietnamese people. Besides Banh Mi and Pho, Goi Cuon is the food any tourist should try on his first trip to Vietnam.