Gỏi Cuốn: Simply Healthy, Seriously Addictive

It’s a known fact that I love my Vietnamese food: I can wax lyrical about a steaming hot bowl of phố, a delicious-tasting Bánh Mì or some steamed rice with a heartwarming bowl of   Bo’ Kho.  But the best appetizer I could ever have to precede a scrumptious Vietnamese meal would have to be the Gỏi Cuốn.  Some call it the summer roll, or fresh spring roll or salad roll, but it really is an addictive appetizing snack.  Toss it into the creamy peanut-flavored sauce and it’ll have you hooked for sure!

Enjoying the Gỏi Cuốn is an acquired taste; I did not enjoy it the first time I had it, but it has grown on me for years, and now I absolutely love it.

I decided to try my hand making it just the other day…I made it for my lunch and sent my hubby a picture of what I made. LOL!  Oh, don’t worry, I wasn’t all that mean…I made a second and third batch for him in the evening too!

Surprisingly it was pretty easy to make, and fun too!  Thankfully, my little baby decided to behave that morning so I had some time to prepare the ingredients, wrap the rolls and mix the dipping sauce too!  I would add in bean sprouts the next time round though, for that extra crunch.

I referred to separate recipes for the rolls and the peanut dipping sauce, because some of the dipping sauces were made from fish sauce and not the peanut ones that I like.

Gỏi Cuốn (Vietnamese Summer Rolls)
~Recipe adapted from Sunday Nite Dinner~

Ingredients:
(Amounts are approximated depending on how many rolls you wanna make)

  • 1 tsp salt
  • Medium-sized shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • Pork tenderloin
  • Thin rice vermicelli noodles
  • Lettuce, washed
  • Mint leaves
  • Basil leaves
  • Bean sprouts, washed
  • Rice paper (Banh Trang)
Directions:
  1. Fill a small saucepan half full of water, add salt and bring to a boil over high heat. Add the shrimp, reduce heat to simmer for 2-3 minutes or until cooked through. Do not discard water. Remove the shrimp with slotted spoon and set aside to cool.
  2. Trim fat from pork and return water to a boil. Reduce heat and poach pork in water at a low simmer, about 15-18 minutes or until cooked through. Remove pork and set aside to cool. Reserve light stock to make peanut Hoisin sauce.
  3. Follow package directions and cook rice vermicelli noodles.
  4. Lay shrimp flat and cut in half horizontally. Cut tenderloin in half lengthwise. Then cut across the grain to create thin slices of pork. Set shrimp and pork aside.
  5. Fill a medium bowl with warm water and quickly dip and spin a piece of rice paper into water; make sure to wet the entire piece. Lay it down on a cutting board. Place a lettuce leaf at the lower end of the rice paper. Add rice noodles, pork, mint, basil and bean sprouts evenly across the rice paper.
  6. Roll the rice paper over the filling and tuck it underneath. Add shrimp with the sliced side facing up. Fold the sides inwards and continue rolling while keeping tension on the rice paper for a tight roll. The roll will seal itself.
  7. Repeat steps 5 and 6 until shrimp and pork are finished off. Serve with peanut Hoisin dipping sauce.

Peanut Hoisin Dipping Sauce
~Recipe adapted from Little Corner of Mine~

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup water (you can use the stock from the summer rolls preparation above)
  • 4 tbsp chunky peanut butter (you can also use creamy peanut butter with some chopped peanuts for garnishing, but I used chunky peanut butter because I was too lazy :P )
  • 4 tbsp Hoisin sauce
  • 2 tbsp sugar

Directions:

  1. Mix all ingredients together, either with a spoon or using a blender.
  2. Store leftovers in the refrigerator.

We simply love this fresh-tasting appetizer and snack and like I said, I’d probably add fresh bean sprouts next time round.  You could also add coriander leaves, sliced cucumber or spring onions.  A few julienned pieces of carrots in the dipping sauce would also add a delightful color and taste to this dish.

Are you a fan of the Gỏi Cuốn like me?

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