Spring rolls are a common dish seen throughout many Asian regions, and are typically served as a snack or appetizer. Gỏi cuốn or Vietnamese spring rolls are different from other rolls because they use a rice paper roll, which remains uncooked.
These spring rolls are typically filled with a wide variety of ingredients including vegetables, pork, shrimp and rice vermicelli which is a thin rice noodle.
The dish originated in China and was later introduced to Vietnam by Chinese immigrants. The recipe has since been altered to cater to local tastes.
They are served fresh alongside a dipping sauce and are commonly served in Vietnamese restaurants across the world, which is why they are the perfect dish for a nice summer day.
There are other variations of the dish that use sausage, beef, tofu or even eggs.
If you want to make the recipe for yourself, follow the steps below!
Prepare the Shrimp
- Fill a medium saucepan or small pot with water and bring it to boil on high heat (see note 6).
- Once the water boils, add the shrimp and cook for 2 minutes. Remove the shrimp from the water and let them cool for 5 minutes. Peel the shells from the shrimp.
- Lay a shrimp on its side on a chopping board. Gently press the shrimp down with one hand and use the other to slice the shrimp in half, horizontally (knife parallel to the chopping board). Repeat with the remaining shrimp.
Prepare the Noodles
- Fill a large saucepan or small pot with water and bring it to boil on high heat.
- Turn off the heat. Let the noodles sit in the hot water for about 5 to 8 minutes. Double check the package directions to see how long they should sit in hot water as the cooking time varies across different brands.
- Once the noodles have softened, drain and rinse the noodles under cold water. I like cutting the noodles with kitchen scissors several times so they are shorter and easier to grab.
Roll the Spring Rolls
- Quickly dip a sheet of rice paper in the lukewarm water to moisten the entire surface. This should take no longer than a few seconds.
- Lay the wet rice paper on your work surface. Place a piece of butter lettuce close to the bottom edge of the rice paper. Arrange a small pinch each of rice noodles, carrots, cucumber, red bell pepper, and mint leaves over the center of the lettuce leaf (see note 7).
- Arrange 3 pieces of shrimp about 1 1/2 to 2 inches below the top edge of the rice paper. Make sure that the orange/pink side is facing down.
- Grab the lower edge of the rice paper and lettuce and start rolling up the spring roll. Once you have reached the shrimp, fold in the left and right sides. Finish rolling up the spring roll all the way to the end.
- Repeat the rolling process with the rest of the ingredients. If the chopping board is looking dry, brush some water over the board.
- Serve with optional dipping sauce!
- 18 medium shell-on shrimp (21/25 count, about 3/4 pounds, defrosted if frozen)
- 3 ounces thin rice vermicelli (maifun)
- 1 large carrot, peeled and cut into thin matchsticks
- 1 to 1 1/2 Persian cucumber, cut into matchsticks (see note 1)
- a large red bell pepper, cut into matchsticks
- 1/2 cup loosely packed mint leaves
- 12 pieces of butter lettuce, bottom tough stems removed (see note 2)
- 12 large (22cm) circular rice paper sheets
- warm water (for rolling spring rolls)