Vietnamese spring rolls (Gỏi Cuốn) are also called summer rolls and confusingly enough, are not the same thing as the fried "spring rolls" that you often find in restaurants. Vietnamese spring rolls are fresh, almost like a salad in a roll and use a variety of protein and fresh ingredients. I use shrimp in this version, but try experimenting with pork, chicken or even tofu.
For dip, this recipe includes a fish sauce based nước chấm, though you can also serve with hoisin-peanut sauce.
8-10 medium-sized shrimp
2-3 carrots, slivered
5 lettuce leaves, chopped
handful of cilantro, Thai basil & mint leaves, chopped
8-10 rice wrappers
handful of rice vermicelli
To make the nước chấm (dipping sauce)
splash of water
juice from half a lime
1 tbsp sugar
1 clove garlic, minced
1 small hot green pepper, minced
Dissolve the sugar in the water, add a generous glug of fish sauce and the lime juice. Add the minced garlic and green pepper. Taste and adjust as needed. Set aside.
Devein and remove the tails off the shrimp and cook -- this isn't traditional, but I like to use some of the excess garlic and green pepper to cook up the shrimp with a bit of oil. Slice the shrimp in half down the back.
Prep all of the veggies and set aside. Cook the rice vermicelli by dunking in hot water for a few minutes and drain.
Prepare your roll wrapping work station by laying out your veggies and preparing a deep plate with warm water. Dunk each rice wrapper into the water, covering completely, then remove and let the rest of the water absorb into the wrapper. Set the wrapper onto a cutting board or another clean plate for assembly.
Assemble each roll as follows: towards one end of the wrapper, lay the halved shrimp, uncut side down; add some carrots, lettuce, herbs and rice vermicelli in a neat pile. Fold the ends in, encasing the stuffing and roll the rest into a tight log.