This Goi Cuon recipe or Traditional Vietnamese Spring Roll recipe took a lot longer than I expected, but I learned a lot during making the rolls. These healthy rolls are full of fresh vegetables and lean meat, so eat up!
Made from just rice and water, the neutral banh trang (rice paper) could be easily used in a variety of ways. At one Vietnamese market, I found no less than five brands of banh trang (rice paper) with multi-lingual packaging: Vietnamese, Chinese, English, and French.
Banh trang gets around. Cambodians have a similar roll also using the same rice paper called nime chow–made without meat and dipped in a vinegar based sauce instead of hoisin. The Chinese have a version with duck and cucumber with a hoisin based dipping sauce. Japanese restaurants are also commonly using regular and dyed versions of rice paper for rolls too.
For the meat you can really use any cut of pork you wish, but leaner works better. The shrimp can also be any size but a medium one helps make rolling easier.
At the bottom of this post you’ll find a Vietnamese Nuoc Cham / Spring Roll Sauce recipe too.
This recipe makes about 10 Spring Rolls.
What you need:
-1/2 lb. shrimp (36/40 size) (453g)
-1/2 lb. pork leg (453g)
-1 head red or green leaf lettuce
-a few sprigs of mint
-banh trang (rice paper / Spring Roll wrapper)
-bun (rice vermicelli, the starchless variety)
-1 1/2 teaspoon salt
-1 teaspoon sugar
Nuoc cham recipe (Vietnamese dipping sauce recipe, Spring Roll sauce)
-1 tablespoon Hoisin Sauce
-2 tablespoons water
Prep time: 25-40 minutes
Cook time: 50 minutes
Assembly time: 10-20 minutes
Split and devein the shrimp. It helps to have a sharp knife
and a steady hand. I had to pull up a chair to get the hang of this. I also found it helpful to have a bowl of water to dip the nasties into.
Cook the pork: fill a small pot with water about 1.5 inches above the pork, add 1 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon sugar. Bring to a boil on high heat then lower to 60% for about 30 minutes. It is done when it floats or when it is no longer pink in the middle.
Cook the shrimp: fill a small pot with about 2 inches of water (just enough to cover the shrimp). Add 1/2 teaspoon salt and bring to a boil. Add the shrimp. Boil for about 1.5-2.5 minutes on 70% heat until the shrimp is no longer translucent in the middle. It will be quick so don’t go anywhere!
Remove the shells and tails and clean off any remaining shrimp intestine. Split the shrimp in half along the body. Try to picture how you want to layer the pork inside the roll so you know how to cut it. Slice as thinly as porkly possible so rolling will be easier.
Wash and dry your veggies! I used an OXO Salad Spinner.
Rolling technique is entirely up to you. Do whatever looks good or makes you happy. Put less than what you think you need so the rolls aren’t exploding. Generally it will look better to show lettuce instead of noodles on the bottom. A tighter roll will look nicer and showcasing the meat on top makes it more appealing. Here’s what I did:
Fold the sides in so its snug and add some more chives. Then fold the bottom up to cover the rice noodles. You want to keep the roll tight, so lightly squeeze it together as you roll. Once you reach the meat, ease up on the tightness so it doesn’t tear.
Nuoc cham recipe (Vietnamese dipping sauce recipe):
Add 1 tablespoon hoisin sauce and 2 tablespoons water to a small pan and bring to a boil. Pour into a bowl and cool. Add chopped nuts and some hot sauce. I used Koon Chun hoisin sauce, and Sambal Oelek chili paste (the one without garlic!).