Saturday, January 12, 2008

Wandering Chopsticks' Goi Cuon (Vietnamese salad rolls)

Another fresh and flavorful recipe from Wandering Chopsticks, with only minimal adjustments on my part. Check out her most excellent blog at

1/2 to 1 lb pork, preferably with skin attached
1/2 - 1 lb jumbo shrimp, plan on two shrimp per roll
a mix of lettuce and herbs, preferably mint, cilantro, mung bean sprouts, etc.
package of rice paper
package of rice vermicelli noodles, not bean thread vermicelli noodles
crushed peanuts or cashews (optional)

Boil noodles and allow to drain in colander.
Fill 5-quart stock pot halfway with water and a dash of salt. When water boils, add pork and turn heat down to medium. Allow to simmer until meat is fully cooked. Take meat out and allow to rest for about 15 minutes, or until pork is cool enough to touch. Slice thinly.

While pork is resting, toss shrimp into pot. It should take only a few minutes for the shrimp to turn pink and be fully cooked. Scoop shrimp out and onto a plate.

At the table, assemble a plate of the sliced pork, shrimp, noodles, herbs, and rice paper, along with a bowl of warm water for soaking the rice paper.

Gently slide the rice paper into the water until it is all covered. You want the rice paper to be just wet enough that it will turn pliable in a few minutes, but it should still be stiff when you take it out. When you're assembling your goi cuon, the stiffness will turn pliable. If you literally soak your rice paper, in a few minutes it'll turn to mush and fall apart.

Place two shrimp on upper portion of rice paper. Then add noodles, lettuce and herbs, and a slice or two of pork. Fold in the two sides. You want it to just touch the edges of the filling so that it will be tight enough to hold everything in.Then fold top edge down, gently pushing in filling as you go along.

Serve these with nuoc cham (Vietnamese dipping sauce), plum sauce or sweet chili sauce,

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