Fresh Spring Rolls / Rice Paper Rolls with Pork and Shrimp (Goi Cuon)

This spring roll recipe is the traditional Vietnamese version and they are not deep-fried as some people may think.  They are often called “summer rolls” to differentiate them from their fried cousin, the egg roll.  Vietnamese spring rolls are easy and fun to make and the filling possibilities are endless.  (I’ll share more flavorful combinations soon but wanted to start with the basics first.)  Have a spring roll making party.  Ask friends to bring their favorite ingredients, such as fish, tofu, or veggies.  Everyone can roll his or her own spring roll and share with the group.  Yummy!

Watch the video below for instructions.

Ingredients

1/2 pound pork shoulder (I use this cut because it’s leaner than traditional pork belly.)
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 pounds cooked medium shrimp, approximately 60 shrimp
4 cups cooked vermicelli rice noodles
cilantro, washed and trimmed
chives, washed and trimmed
15 sheets rice paper

Directions

Making the Pork

Trim the pork so it’s approximately 6 inches long  by 2-3 inches thick.  Bring a medium pot of water to a boil.  Season the water with salt.  Drop the pork into the boiling water.  As soon as the water starts to boil again, reduce the heat to low and cover the pot.  Cook for 15-20 minutes or until the internal temperature of the meat is 155 degrees.  Remove the pork and quickly immerse the meat in an ice bath for 10 seconds.  This prevents the meat from turning brown.  Allow to cool and then slice pork into thin slices about 1/8-inch thick.

Rolling the Spring Roll

Dip 1 piece of rice paper into warm water making sure to wet the entire sheet.  Gently shake off excess water and lay the rice paper on a cutting board.  Wait 10 seconds for rice paper to soften.

Put a small amount of rice noodles horizontally across the rice paper, approximately 1 inch from the edge.  Place cilantro on top of the noodles.  Lay the chives next to the noodles.  Lay 3 slices of pork next to the chives.  Lay 4 cooked shrimp next to the pork.  When arranging the chives, pork and shrimp on the rice paper, place each ingredient in neat rows working your way toward the center of the rice paper.

Carefully pull the lower edge of the rice paper up and over the filling and gently roll halfway.  Fold the ends over and then finish rolling making sure all filling is tightly wrapped in the rice paper.  When rolling use gentle pressure.  Rolling with a firm hand will cause the rice paper to split.

Set the spring roll on a plate. Cover with a damp paper towel.  Continue making the remaining rolls.

These rolls are best if eaten immediately.  Serve these delicious spring rolls with the savory dipping sauce and crunchy pickles.

Yields: 15 rolls

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