Goi Cuon

I love rice paper rolls, also called goi cuon rolls.  They are Vietnamese “summer” rolls.  They are light, and beautiful sometimes I believe I could live on this food alone. 

I went to the Asian market and picked up lovely, lovely ingredients, starting with this gorgeous Asian basil.

Then, I pan fried some thin-sliced pork loin.  Yummy. Meat.
I cooked up some shrimp (I would never, never buy cooked shrimp.  If I could find shrimp with the head still on, I would buy that, cook it, and then remove all the “Extra” parts.  The flavor is so much better when you can cook it whole) and washed some bean sprouts.
I soaked some thin rice noodles and matchsticked some carrots.  You can use cucumber instead of carrots.  I prefer carrots.
Then I crushed some peanuts in a mortar and pestle (I prefer to do things by hand.  It’s a sickness).
Goi cuon sauce is a mix of hoisin sauce and applesauce.  Pure hoisin is a bit too salty for me.
Sriracha is a necessity.  One generally mixes a bit of sriracha with the goi cuon sauce.  Ummmmm.
You must use rice paper rolls for this to work correctly.  They look just like spring rolls.  Read the ingredients.  Spring rolls are made with wheat.  Rice paper rolls are made with rice.

You don’t need to cook these, you soak them until they are soft enough to roll without breaking but firm enough to not disintegrate.  It’s an artform.

Once the paper is the proper consistency, move it to a clean kitchen towel.
Add a small amount of rice noodles,
then add some bean sprouts,
and matchsticked carrots (or cucumber),
a few gorgeous leaves of Asian basil,
some small pieces of pork,
and a few pieces of shrimp.
Then start rolling.
Fold in the sides.
And roll it up tightly.  This is a crap example of a properly rolled goi cuon.  I get better at rolling as I go.  The first couple stink.
Now, the only thing left to do is mix the hoisin and applesauce and add the crushed peanuts.

Oh, and eat.  That is actually the only thing left to do.  Yummy, yummy, yummy.

 

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