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Easy and Healthy Vietnamese Fresh Spring Rolls Recipe (Goi Cuan)

Updated on February 27, 2012
Fresh spring rolls
Fresh spring rolls | Source

Goi Cuan

Goi cuan is  fresh, light and healthy appetizer from Vietnam which is basically Vietnamese salad (goi) wrapped in rice paper. Sometime it is listed on the menus as summer rolls, salad rolls or garden rolls.  This classic fresh spring rolls is easy to make and healthy since all of the ingredients are totally fresh, low in sodium and almost fat free. This rolls are perfect cool dish for hot summer day. 

Good things about goi cuan, you can improvise your rolls with endless filling variants. Just add your favorite veggies, meat or seafood and you are a "fresh spring rolls expert". Here is my favorite recipe. If you are vegans, simply just omit the meat or seafood. 

What You Neef For Fixing Goi Cuan

5 oz dry dry rice vermicelli

18 rice papers (about 8 inches diameter)

1/2 lbs lean boneless pork

25-30 medium size shrimps, peeled

1 head butter lettuce or romaine 

10-15 basil sprigs

10-15 mint sprigs 

10-15 cilantro sprigs

1 cup beansprouts

10-15 garlic chives

chili sauce

How to Make Goi Cuan

  • Wash basil, mint, chives, cilantro. Strip basil, cilantro and mint leaves from sprigs. Pat it dry. Cut garlic chives into 2 long strips. Wash lettuce and tear the leaves in half. Pat it dry with paper towel.
  • In a large saucepan, add 2 cup of water and bring it to boil. Add rice vermicelli, stir it gently and cook until it's soft and translucent. It will take about 5 minutes. When it's transparent, drain and rinse it under cold running water. Drain and set aside.
  • In a small saucepan, fill it half full with water. Bring it to boil over high heat, then add the shrimps. Immediately remove the saucepan from heat and let stand for 5 minutes or until the shrimps are turning pink and have shrinked/curled. Lift them out with small skimmer and set aside to cool. Do not throw the water. We are going to use it for poaching the pork.
  • Trim any excess fat from pork. Reheat the water in saucepan (shrimp broth from poaching) into boiling point then add your pork. When the water is bubbling, remove it from heat and cover for about 25 minutes. Remove and drain pork. Set aside to cool. You can save the stock for another cooking use.
  • While the fat are poaching, devein if it's necessary. Put your shrimp in cutting board, one at a time. Lay it flat and cut it in half horizontally. Set aside for further using.
  • Slice the pork across the grain thinly into 3 inches long, 1/2 inches wide and 1/8 inches thick or as you like. Set aside.
  • Prepare a pastry brush, a bowl of warm water, and a dampened dish towel. Use dampened pasty brush to dampen whole surface of rice paper and place it on your work surface. Dry excess liquid with dampened dish towel. It will need about 2 minutes to soften the rice paper. When it is pliable and soft, arrange lettuce leaf on the lower third of rice paper area. Then put rice noodle, mint, cilantro, basil, bean sprouts and pork strips. Distribute them out evenly to get nice and balance flavors.
  • Bring up the lower edge of rice paper to cover the vegetables and herbs. Next, roll rice paper a half turn, add 3-4 shrimps and lining them nicely. Fold the right and left sides of the rice paper inward. Insert 2 garlic chives into the roll. Continue to roll as tightly as you can to the top of edge.
  • Repeat this procedure with the remaining ingredients. Put your rolls in a platter and serve it with peanut hoisin sauce or spicy hoisin sauce.

Fresh Spring Rolls
Fresh Spring Rolls | Source

How to Make Peanut Hoisin Sauce


1 1/2 cup pork stock

1/2 cup milk

4 tbsp hoisin sauce

1 tbsp chili paste

2 tbsp peanut butter

1 tbsp sugar

1/2 cup water

1 tbsp cornstarch

3 tbsp crushed roasted peanut for garnish

In a saucepan, mix milk, sugar, hoisin sauce, stock, chili paste, peanut butter. Stir it and bring it to boil. When it's rolling to boil, lower the heat.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix cornstarch and water. Add this cornstarch mix into the saucepan, and stir frequently until the sauce is thick. Remove from the heat. Set aside to cool. Garnish it with crushed roasted peanut. 

Learn How to Assemble Fresh Spring Rolls


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