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Goi cuon (Vietnamese spring roll with pork and prawns) recipe

Goi cuon (Vietnamese spring roll with pork and prawns) recipe

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This classic snack is known by many names, Spring Roll, Salad Roll, Fresh Roll, Vietnamese Roll, ... Whatever you want to call it, it's delicious, healthy and one of my favourite things to eat.

2 people made this

IngredientsServes: 6

  • 250g pork fillet, cut in thin slices
  • 250g raw prawns, cleaned and deveined
  • 125g rice vermicelli noodles, boiled and drained
  • 1 small bunch coriander, leaves picked and washed well
  • 5-7 spring onions, cut in halves or thirds
  • 1 handful of fresh mint leaves
  • 1/4 cos or curly lettuce, cut into small pieces
  • 1 package rice spring roll wrappers, such as Blue Dragon

MethodPrep:45min ›Cook:10min ›Ready in:55min

  1. Boil or grill the pork until cooked through. Slice the pork pieces into strips.
  2. Poach the prawns in a medium pot 3-5 minutes, until pink throughout. Once cooled, slice the prawns in half lengthways.
  3. On a large work surface clear a spot large enough to roll the rolls and have all the ingredients in reach. Have a bowl of warm water handy.
  4. To assemble: Dip one of the rice paper sheets into the warm water for about 3-5 seconds. Put it on the work surface in front of you. Let the rice paper soften for another 30 seconds or so. Add a little bit of all the ingredients on the bottom third of the roll. Roll it up halfway, tuck in the sides and finish rolling the rest of the way. Repeat with the rest of the ingredients.
  5. Serve with nuoc cham (recipe on this site) or hoisin dipping sauce.

Cook's note

For tasty results, marinate the pork first in a combination of fish sauce, sugar, garlic and shallots for between 4 and 24 hours.

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Vietnamese Spring Rolls with Shrimp and Pork and Peanut Sauce + Fish Sauce (Goi Cuon Tom Thit)

First, boil your vermicelli noodles per bag instructions.

Then, boil the water and put the pork belly in for 5-7 minutes.

Next, boil the water again and put in the shrimp for about 2-3 minutes.

For the peanut sauce, mix in the peanut butter, water, hoisin sauce, lime juice, soy sauce, sugar, chili garlic paste, minced garlic, and sesame oil together on low heat in a pan for about 1 minute. Set aside.

For the fish sauce, mix the fish sauce, garlic clove, Thai chili peppers, water, lime juice, and sugar together. Set aside.

To wrap the spring rolls, first wet the rice paper in a bowl of warm water. Then you lay the rice paper on the plate. Fold two of the outer corners of the paper inwards about 1 inches. Then lay out three shrimps next to each other on the paper. Put the shrimp closer to you. Do the same with the pork belly next to the shrimp, even closer to you. Then grab about 1 tbsp of noodles and lay them on top of the shrimp. Next add the veggies on top of the noodles and pork belly and shrimp. Then start rolling the spring roll tightly.

Tip: Less is more ingredients. The more ingredients you put in, the harder it is to roll and stay tightly.

If peanut sauce gets too thick, you can add more water to lessen the thickness.

There are two main ways to serve rice paper rolls:

  • Pre-rolled – this is best if you want your guests to grab something to eat while still being able to move around and drink/talk – e.g. at a cocktail party, bbq etc. It’s also better for guests who may not be as comfortable with rolling their own rolls.
  • Ingredients laid out on the table, everyone rolls their own – this is great for casual dinner parties, where you have everyone seated at a table and ready for good food and a good laugh.

The vegetables and fresh herbs

Fresh Lettuce – the soft sort rather than other crispy vegetables – seems to be the one of an essential ingredient in this dish. The leaves are usually used whole as a second layer in themselves, although someone calls for them should be shredded before eating, which I think gives the rolls a better for enjoying. However, some people uses Chinese cabbage instead, which I’m not going to do that, it may be crunchier a little bit, but the slightly real flavour seems all wrong.

We stop with lettuce, but the most people stuff in a few more fresh vegetables: Some of my friends prefer bean sprouts, shredded carrot, cucumber and or even pineapple, and carrots. Of course, some aren’t just any carrots they’re also tossed with lime juice and sugar in the texture before use, which makes its taste a bit mushy. It also spoils the intended contrast between the slightly soft, crunchy roll and the punchy dipping sauce. Pineapple is too sweet to me – but otherwise, I usually pack in it as many different ingredients and flavours as possible, except bean sprouts, which, though quite crunchy, don’t taste fresh enough for my liking.

The vegetables and fresh herbs

Herbs play a crucial part in Vietnamese cooking – they’re used more as a salad leaf than a garnish, and in the fresh rolls, it’s no exception. We keep things simple with just coriander, but everyone else goes a little bit crazy. Our friends use garlic and Chinese chives. Some of them also go for Thai basil, while others suggest also adding fresh mint, perilla leaves and coriander, describing fresh mint as resembling “minty lemon balm” and perilla leaves as having “peppery, cinnamon and dill flavours”. Cycling around Hanoi on the hottest day of the year, but I’m pleased I’ve got it: the perilla leaves especially to add an unusual, sweetly spicy taste to the rolls. If you can’t get them but have local markets nearby then Thai basil is an excellent substitute and works well with the coriander and the freshness of mint. Don’t be tempted to substitute Italian basil if you can’t get either, though just leave it out.

Recipe: Goi cuon, summer rolls

I can only presume that the concept of wrapping morsels into little edible parcels has been around for as long as humans have had a disdain for doing the dishes.

This concept is thought to have been travelled south from China, dating back 1800 years to the Jin Dynasty a celebration of the new season's produce after months of winter – hence "spring" and "summer" rolls. Similar traditions exist in Cantonese cuisine with the deep-fried spring roll a similar snack in Indonesia and the Philippines, known as lumpia, which is made using a crepe-like batter and is similarly served either fresh or deep-fried. Popiah, another cousin, especially popular in Malaysia and Singapore, made very curiously by rubbing a ball of dough over a hot plate so that some of it adheres and cooks into a pancake.

If prawns aren't your thing, then don't fret. Thinly sliced cooked pork belly, deep fried tofu, thinly sliced cucumber, roast duck the possibilities are somewhat endless. This is all about the prep. Have it all laid out and then practise your rolling skills. Granted, it may take several goes before you perfect one, but it is well worth it.


Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Serves: makes about 15

About 30 raw prawns
Thumb worth of ginger, peeled and grated
Vegetable oil
1 large carrot
Zest and juice of 1 lime
About 20 round rice paper wrappers
50g vermicelli, cooked until tender and drained
Lots of herbs – Thai basil, Vietnamese mint, mint, coriander

Dipping sauce
2 tbsp fish sauce
Juice from the lime
Half a sliced chilli
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 tsp brown or palm sugar

Combine the prawns with the grated ginger and a little salt and mix together well.

Bring a frying pan up to a reasonably high heat, add a little oil, then quickly fry the prawns and ginger until just cooked. Remove from the pan and set aside to cool down.

Using a julienne peeler, peel the carrot into long, thin strands. Combine with the grated lime zest and a little of the squeezed juice.

Fill a shallow dish with warm water. Dip a rice paper wrapper into the water and move it about until it is pliable but not soft, as it will continue to absorb the water once you remove it. Place on the bench and place two prawns in a line in the middle, a little of the carrot, a little of the vermicelli and some of the herbs. Fold the bottom half up and over the filling, then fold the sides over, then roll the whole thing over on itself to form a tight roll. It will take a little practise, so don't beat yourself up if the first one is a disaster. The key is to make sure your wrappers aren't under water for too long so they won't get too soft, and wrapping the rolls nice and tight to keep everything in.

Repeat until you are out of ingredients.

To serve, combine all the dipping sauce ingredients together. Sometimes I like to add a little soy, inauthentic as it is, for more of an umami kick. Keep the rolls intact as they are, or cut in half to make them more manageable bites, arrange on a plate, and serve. These will refrigerate well for a few hours.

Other Recipes You Might Like

To make these crispy and delicious fried Vietnamese rolls, you need to first make the filling, which is made of the following simple ingredients:

  • Ground Pork
  • Shrimp
  • Crab Meat, optional
  • Carrots
  • Mung Bean Noodles. They are also called cellophane noodles or glass noodles.
  • Garlic
  • Fish Sauce
  • Egg

Mix all the ingredients above before wrapping the filling with Vietnamese rice paper.

Deep fry in oil until the inside filling is cooked through and serve with the dipping sauce.

Goi cuon (Vietnamese spring roll with pork and prawns) recipe - Recipes

In Vietnam there is a non-fried and refreshing spring roll known as "Gỏi cuốn" which include ingredients such as boiled or fried pork, shrimp, chicken, fresh herbs, lettuce, cucumber, rice vermicelli and etc. All the ingredients are all wrapped in moistened rice paper and eaten with a cold dipping sauce.

Here is my version of preparing this Vietnamese Spring Roll using cooked prawns, vegetables and fresh herbs.

6 Sheets of Large Vietnamese Rice Paper
12 Medium Cooked Prawns, shell removed
1/2 Medium Carrot, peeled and julienned
1 Small Japanese Cucumber, peeled and julienned
24 Mint Leaves
Handful of Thai Basil Leaves
Some Lettuce Leaves, tear into small portion

1. Fill a large dish or bowl with warm water, soak each sheet of rice paper for a second or two then transfer to a slightly damp cotton dish towel.

2. To assemble, arrange 2 cooked prawns, carrot, cucumber, lettuce, 2 mint leaves and some basil leaves at about 1/3 of the way from the edge nearest you.(refer to the photo above)

3. Roll from the edge nearest you and tuck in the sides as you go near to the other end. Carefully not to tear the wrapper with too much strength.

4. Serve whole or diagonally cut in half with dipping sauce.

There are a few ways to prepare this dipping sauce for the Vietnamese Spring Roll but here we love this version without minced garlic and instead I add in some chopped peanuts to enhance the flavour and texture.

2 Tablespoon Lime Juice
1 Tablespoon of Fish Sauce
60ml Hot Water
1 Teaspoon of Caster/Brown Sugar
1 Small Red Chili, seeds removed and slices
1 Small Green Chili, seeds removed and slices
1/2 Tablespoon of Chopped Peanut, optional

1. Whisk together all ingredients until sugar is dissolved. Set aside.

Although this might seems a bit troublesome to prepare as it used many ingredients as an appetizer or salad but trying it can be worth for getting away with our usual food routine. For this you can use all kind of vegetables according to your preference and if you do not like the taste of raw herbs, you can omit them in this recipe too. Moreover eating this Vietnamese Spring Rolls can be lots of fun too as you can mix and match the ingredients, wrap it and enjoy a light and refreshing meal while chatting with group of friends around the table.

Goi cuon | Fresh spring rolls

Goi cuon means ‘salad roll’ or ‘rolled salad’ but it is best known as ‘fresh spring roll’. They are rice paper rolls filled with fresh vegetables and herbs, meat, fish or vegetarian. For a complete meal, they are often supplemented with rice vermicelli and served with different dipping sauces. The fresh spring rolls become increasingly well-known in the Netherlands, it is to everyone’s taste. So in return, in the Netherlands we finally can get rid of the idea that the fried spring rolls are the authentic Vietnamese dish, falsely seen for decades as such because Vietnamese were finding a living by selling the fried spring rolls on markets and in shopping malls. I’ve been trying to put this right in my article This is not a spring roll.

Goi cuon is a ready-made spring roll, but mostly rice paper dishes are rolled at the diner table by yourself. Then all the ingredients will be placed in large and small bowls and plates to share. On the side of the table there is a large bowl of hot water in which the rice paper is soaked and you often have a choice for several dipping sauces. Fresh vegetables and herbs exist in the base of lettuce, coriander, mint, cucumber, and you can add to taste mixed lettuce and other fresh herbs. Which additional dips and exotic herbs come as extra depends on the particular rice paper dish.

If you want to serve spring rolls ready-to-eat, do this up to 2 hours in advance to avoid the fresh ingredients from drying. There are several dishes with rice paper with its own distinctive dip and side dishes. Fondues of meat or fish are also part of that.

The spring roll filling depends on personal preference and recipe. But even without a recipe, you can go wild with fresh spring rolls, because almost everything tastes good between the light salted rice paper. Here are some suggestions for different types of fillings.

The Recipe

12 (300 g) fresh medium prawns

12 dried rice paper wrappers ( 8 inches/20 cm in diameter)

1 small head butter lettuce, leaves washed, separated & dried

4 oz. (100 g) packet dried rice vermicelli

1 baby cucumber, quartered and thinly sliced

1 bunch scallions or chives

Peanut dipping sauce (Nuoc Leo)

½ cup crunchy peanut butter

2 teaspoon Sriracha sauce

combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix until well blended

1.) Bring the water to a boil and poach pork and spring onion for 7-10 minutes until done. Remove pork and set aside to cool, slicing it into thin strips

2.) Using same water, boil again and poach prawns for 1-2 minutes until just cooked. Remove and plunge in cold water. Peel, devein, and halve each prawn lengthwise. Set aside.

3.) Using same water, blanch rice vermicelli noodles for 1-2 minutes until soft and then rinse and drain in cold water. Set aside.

4.) To make a roll, briefly dip whole rice paper wrapper in a bowl of water until soft. Remove and place on dry surface, smoothing it out with your fingers. Place a lettuce leaf onto the wrapper, closest to the edge nearest you and top with pork strips, rice vermicelli, cucumber and carrots. Fold the closest edge of the wrapper over the filling, then fold in the sides and roll up halfway. Place 2 halves of a prawn, side by side, along the roll and top with cilantro leaves, then continue to roll up tightly to complete the folding. Repeat until all the ingredients are used up.

5.) Arrange Summer rolls on a serving platter and serve with serving bowls of sauce in the side.

Rice Paper

These are made from just rice and water and are called bánh tráng in Vietnamese. They should be easily found in Oriental stores and most certainly online, and come in 2 – 3 different sizes and brands. Get the large ones, measuring about 22 cm (9″), give or take.

Wetting the rice paper is probably the only tricky part of the recipe, if you’re a novice. In my classes, many of my students feel the need to fully soften the paper, despite advice to the contrary, ending up with a sticky, gooey paper that misbehaves.

We basically dip the paper in for a couple of seconds and start rolling while it still has a stiffness about it. The rice paper will continue absorbing water and softening as you are working with it.

Rice Noodles

The rice noodles we use are rice vermicelli, fresh or dried does depend on what you have access to. I have access to fresh but still opt for the dried version as the fresh ones are always coated with oil.

Always look at the cooking instructions on the packet, but as a general rule, one minute for fresh and 2 – 5 minutes for dried. We cook it to the al dente stage, where the noodles still retain a bite.

The Herbs

Pretty much any East or South East Asian herbs will go here: Japanese shiso (perilla), Vietnamese mint (daun kesum), chives, coriander leaves (cilantro). Regular mint is also great with the mix. Just go with what you have. At the very least, chives, spring onions (scallions) and coriander (cilantro) will do perfectly.

Let’s get started shall we? And if you need any visual guide on rolling the spring roll, watch the quick video above or/and see the image gallery.

Dry Rice Paper Rice Noodles (vermicelli) Salmon and Shiitake
Wet the rice paper Lettuce Noodles
salmon and shiitake carrots and cucumbers herbs
fold over 1 2 3
right fold both edges folded complete roll


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