After talking to my friend Carla for over an hour, we decided it was time to get together and have dinner. As the mini should go to bed on time, we decided to have dinner at our home. After thinking what to make we decided to go for one of our favorites, introduced to me by my sweet friend Charlene. Fresh Vietnamese spring rolls: Goi Cuon. As an entree we had another famous salad in Vietnam, a Duck salad with a nice spicy dressing called Goi Vit. I will post on this one separately as this will be a pretty long post already. I must say that whenever I cook asian food, it surprises me how much everything is balanced and how you want to dig in to the food as the color palette is absolutely amazing! nice!

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In this picture, from the top: pork, peanuts, thai sweet basil, cilantro, mackerel, rice vermicelli, shrimps, carrot and in the middle rice paper rolls.

Please believe me when I say, this will be a keeper once you’ve made it. Its that dish where you need to prepare in advance and then just put it all on the table and while having a nice conversation with some wine, you make your own food to your liking. In Dutch I would say: “een gezellige maaltijd”.

Don’t let this long recipe discourage you to make it! If you have any questions, please let me know. Don’t hesitate to leave a comment.

Its a dish where you can vary as much as you want, but this time we chose to go for bbq pork, mackerel and shrimp.

Recipe for Goi Cuon, fresh Vietnamese spring rolls

300gr Shrimp
1 clove of garlic
1TBsp of liquid Butter
300 gr Pork, lard cutlets
1 1/2 TBsp Char Siu sauce
1 whole Smoked mackerel

1 package of Rice paper rolls, called Banh trang
1 Butter head Lettuce
1/2 package of Rice vermicelli noodles, prepared according to the directions.
1 bunch of Horapa Leaf; Thai sweet basil
1 bunch of Cilantro (coriander)
1 bunch of Mint leaves
1/2 Cucumber thinly sliced
2 Carrots thinly sliced
Peanuts crushed

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Sauce 1 Nuoc Mam
Equal parts of sugar, vinegar/lime juice, fish sauce, water
Garlic to taste, start with 1 clove.
1/2 Fresh chilli or chilli powder to taste

Depending on your liking, you can add a bit more of an ingredients to make it the way you like it.

Sauce 2
Sweet Hoisin Sauce
Crushed peanuts

Sauce 3
Sriracha sauce

First start by cooking your shrimp. I like to clean them, cut them in to smaller pieces and marinate them with some butter and a clove of crushed garlic and a pinch of salt. Toss them in a wok until nice and pink. Set aside in a bowl.
I cut the purk into smaller pieces as well and marinate with the Char Siu sauce for about 30 minutes. I then toss them in a wok and cook them until nice and caramelized. Set aside in another bowl.
The mackerel is just a matter of filleting your fish and making sure you get all fish bones out. Set aside in a bowl.
Prepare the rice noodles according to the directions on the package and also put these in a bowl.
Put the thinly sliced cucumber in a bowl too.
Same goes for the carrots.
Wash your lettuce and break in to manageable pieces.
Crush your peanuts and put them in a little bowl.
Wash the herbs and make sure to rinse them well.

Your now done and you can put it all on the table.
Make sure to put a large bowl of lukewarm water in the middle. You will need this to dip your rice paper roll and make it soft and flexible. It doesn’t have to be very soggy, you can just dip it and put it on your plate. It will become more and more translucent. Don’t worry.

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Now to make the filling, you can make any desired combination of course. However, you start by putting some lettuce on the rice paper roll. You then add some noodles, some cucumber, some carrot, some herbs to your liking and your desired meats/fish or both. If you like peanuts, now is the time to bring them in. Don’t over fill, otherwise folding will be a mess. Folding is next. Fold over left and right sides of rice paper. Fold up bottom third, and roll tightly into roll. The more you roll the better you’ll get at it. Believe me, it gets better.

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Dip away!

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