Sunday, July 4, 2010

Gỏi Cuốn (Summer or Fresh Roll)

Summer or Fresh Roll
Vietnamese summer rolls served cold are refreshing appetizers on those hot summer days (here's hoping we get some soon!). The rolls hold fillings that typically consist of shrimp, chicken, pork, fruit, herbs and vermicelli rice noodles all tightly rolled in rice spring-roll wrappers. Paired with peanut dipping sauce, spicy Hoisin sauce or Thai sweet chili sauce (available in most grocery stores in the Asian section), these rolls are a tasty no-cook meal.
Did you know: Rice spring-roll wrappers just need to be quickly soaked in cool water to be tender and easy to work with. Over soaking makes them mushy and more likely to tear. For the best results, work with one wrapper at a time, rolling it up snugly so that the roll stays firm and tight.

Shrimp & Mint Summer Rolls

120 grams of vermicelli rice noodles
rice spring-roll wrapper
1/2 lb medium shrimp, peeled, de-veined, cooked and halved lengthwise

1 medium carrot, cut into matchsticks
1/2 cup fresh mint leaves
1 bunch of chives

Vegetarian Summer Rolls
120 grams of vermicelli rice noodles
rice spring-roll wrapper
1 avocado, thinly sliced
1 medium carrot, cut into matchsticks
1 small cucumber, cut into matchsticks

1 small ripe mango, peeled and thinly sliced
1/2 cup fresh basil
Delicious Tip: Make sure you have ample counter space and all your ingredients are ready and easily accessible when you start to roll. This way you can assemble your rolls quickly and enjoy them that much faster!

1. Pour boiling water over the vermicelli rice noodles and soak for 15 minutes. Drain and rinse. Divide into 8 equal portions. Fill a wide, shallow bowl with cool water. Working with one 8-inch rice spring-roll wrapper at a time, soak until pliable (20 seconds). Transfer to a smooth and flat surface.

2. Place a layer of desired fillings (suggested: Shrimp & Mint or Vegetarian Summer Rolls) on bottom third of wrapper. Top with a portion of noodles and another layer of fillings.

3. Fold bottom of wrapper tightly over fillings.

4. Roll over once, tuck in sides, and finish rolling. Transfer roll to a plate and cover with a slightly damp towel. Repeat to make 8 summer rolls. Serve immediately with dipping sauces (suggested: Peanut or Spicy Hoisin Sauces), or refrigerate up to 2 hours.

Peanut Dipping Sauce (Makes 1 1/4 cups)
In a medium cup, whisk together 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter and 1/2 cup warm water until smooth. Whisk in 1/4 cup fresh lime juice, 1 tablespoon soy sauce, and 4 teaspoons sugar. Sprinkle 1/4 cup chopped roasted peanuts over sauce before serving.

Spicy Hoisin Dipping Sauce (Makes 1 cup)
In a small bowl, whisk together 1/2 cup hoisin sauce, 3 tablespoons chili sauce (i.e. sambal ulek), 2 teaspoons white vinegar, and 1/4 cup water until smooth.
Try this: For a party, try making bite-size summer rolls with smaller wrappers so they can be easily snacked on by your guests.
Recipes adapted from Martha Stewart's Everyday Food


  1. Thanks, Susan. They're so tasty & refreshing for summer eating!