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How to Make Easy Vietnamese Spring Rolls (Goi Cuon)

Spring rolls on a bed of lettuce with peanut sauce
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TThis amazing easy Vietnamese Spring Rolls will have you saying, “Wait, that’s good!” It is fresh, delicious, and simple to make. Dip this into some fish sauce or peanut sauce and enjoy one of the most iconic Vietnamese dishes. In this post I will be showing you how to make a very amazing Vietnamese Spring Roll.

What is Goi Cuon or Spring Roll?

Spring rolls on a bed of lettuce with peanut sauce

Gỏi loosely translate to salad and cuốn means coil or roll. Essentially, this is a salad roll. It got its name “Spring Roll” because it typically uses fresh spring herbs.

Typically, a spring roll will contain a mixture of fresh herbs (mint, basil, and cilantro), shrimp, pork belly, and rice paper. In northern Vietnam, this will be served with a fish sauce called nước mắm. In central Vietnam, peanut sauce is primarily used with Spring Rolls. While in the south, they will typically have a mixture of sauces to choose from.

In this Spring Roll recipe, I will include the peanut sauce recipe. However, the fish sauce will be saved for a later recipe. Consider subscribing to get the latest updates on my recipes!

Equipment

  • Large Pot: This is used for the pork belly. It doesn’t have to be large, just as long as it fits the pork belly!
  • Medium Pot: You will be cooking the shrimp in these. You could use a smaller one if you have medium or small shrimp.
  • Large Mixing Bowl: You will use this for holding a large amount of water to dip your rice papers in.
  • Rice Paper Bowl (optional): You can get a rice paper bowl that will wet the rice paper perfectly!

Ingredients 

Pork Belly

  • Pork Belly: You should be able to find this in your local supermarket. Typically, an Asian store will have a more fatty cut.
  • Distilled White Vinegar: Use this to soak the pork belly to get rid of the smell and add salt to give it a thorough wash. This will not make the final product taste like vinegar.
  • Salt: Mix this in with white vinegar to thoroughly clean your pork belly. Otherwise, it may be smelly after it is cooked.
  • Shallot: Add some large pieces of shallots into the water when cooking the pork belly to give it a light onion taste to it. This will also add flavor to your peanut sauce.
  • Garlic: A perfect combination with the shallot to add that depth of flavor to the pork belly and the peanut sauce.
  • Fish Sauce: A little bit of salty goodness never hurts. This will take not only the pork belly, but also the peanut sauce to the next level.

Shrimp

  • Jumbo Shrimp: I prefer using jumbo shrimp, but you are welcome to use a smaller size to better fit within the confines of the rice paper.
  • Salt: A little bit of salt will make the water boil a tiny bit fast, but also add some seasoning to the shrimp.

Herbs and other

  • Cilantro: A fresh spring herb used very often in Vietnamese cuisine. I will not blame you for removing this herb if it tastes like soap to you.
  • Mint: I typically will use perilla mint or beefsteak plant. They are large and are purple on one side. Usually, it has a lighter, more sweet taste to it compared to traditional mint. Of course, you are welcome to use any mint you are able to find!
  • Thai Basil: I highly recommend using Thai basil for these because it adds a much sharper flavor profile that really makes this spring roll great.
  • Vermicelli Noodles: This is a great way to fill up the spring roll since without it can seem a bit loose. This also adds an amazing texture to the roll that will leave you wanting more.
  • Rice Paper: I recommend using the three lady brand for the rice paper and the vermicelli noodles. It’s my family’s favorite as well as mine! It has a nice bite to it and is traditional.

Peanut Sauce

  • Garlic: You can either mince or use a garlic crusher for this. The smaller the garlic the better it will incorporate into the sauce.
  • Hoison Sauce: This is key to the peanut sauce, aside from the peanut and peanut butter, because it adds a sweet asian flavor that is iconic to this sauce.
  • Creamy Peanut Butter: I highly recommend that you use creamy peanut butter instead of crunchy. You will be adding your own peanuts later. Use any peanut butter you find at the store.
  • Pork Water: Use the water from the pork belly to mix into your sauce to make it more thin and add all that pork flavoring.
  • Roasted Peanuts: You’ll want to toast these on a pan and then crush them in a ziploc bag. I used fresh peanuts that still have the skin on them.

Directions

Cooking the Pork Belly

  1. Cut pork belly into 3 inch strips. Fill a large bowl with distilled white vinegar enough to cover the pork belly and add 1/4 cup of salt. Leave soaking for 20-30 minutes. Once finished, thoroughly rinse the Pork Belly under cold water.
  2. In a large pot, heat 6 quarts of water and bring it to a boil.
  3. Peel 2 large shallots and chop in half. Lightly crush 4-5 cloves of garlic.
  4. Carefully place pork belly, shallots, garlic, and fish sauce into boiling water and cook for 20-30 minutes. Remove any fat that floats on top.
  5. Remove pork belly from water and let it cool for 3-5 minutes. Do not discard the Pork Water. Once cooled down, thinly slice the pork belly.

Cooking the Shrimp

  1. In a medium size pot, heat 4 quarts of water or enough to cover your Shrimp and bring to a boil. Add 1/4 teaspoon of salt.
  2. Peel/Defrost and de-vein Shrimp. Make a shallow cut along the back side of the shrimp and remove the vein.
  3. Once water is at a soft boil, place Shrimp in and cook for 2-3 minutes or until the Shrimp is no longer translucent.
  4. Remove tails from shrimp and cut shrimp in half along where you de-veined it.

Cooking the Rice Noodles

  • Follow package instructions. Each rice noodle can vary depending on brand and thickness of the noodle. Typically, the cook time is 2-10 minutes. Drain and run noodles under cold water.

Fresh Herbs

  • Rinse and dry your herbs.

Wrapping the Spring Roll

  1. Add warm water in a shallow plate or a large bowl. Dip rice paper in the water so that it is pliable, but too long that it becomes too soft. Lay rice paper on a dry plate.
  2. Add shrimp (skin facing down) towards the bottom of the wrapper.
  3. Now add your lettuce, cilantro, mint, and Thai basil on top.
  4. Add your rice noodles evenly across.
  5. Pull the bottom of the rice paper upwards to cover the content of the roll and bring it towards you. Fold in the left and right parts of the wrapper. Now apply pressure and roll the paper upwards while maintaining pressure to keep the roll tight and snug. Continue to roll upwards to finish the roll.

Peanut Sauce

  1. In a small sauce pan, saute some minced garlic until fragrant.
  2. Add your hoison sauce, peanut butter, and pork water. Mix until homogeneous.
  3. Heat until mixture is the same consistency as hoison sauce. Turn off the heat and poor into a heat proof bowl. This will thicken as it cools.
  4. Sprinkle toasted crushed peanuts on top.

Tips and Tricks

  • Feel free to skip most of the steps for the pork belly. I prefer to wash it this way, since I know the Asian markets near me are not the cleanest.
  • De-veining shrimp is pretty easy. I suggest using a smaller knife, like a parry knife, to slice the back of the shrimp. Alternatively, you can also buy frozen shrimp that is already de-veined.
  • If you are willing to, I do recommend using the rice paper water bowl because it makes dipping the rice paper very easy.
  • Do not try to keep completed spring rolls as leftovers because the rice paper will become soggy. I recommend storing the ingredients separately and wrapping them before eating. Yes, I eat everything cold.

Storage

  • Refrigerator: Store each ingredient separately in an air tight container up to 3-5 days. Do not store spring rolls that are already wrapped. It will become soggy.
  • Freezer: Place each ingredient in a vacuum sealed bag and freeze up to 3 months.

Reheating Instructions

  • In a non-stick pan, heat up pork belly on low for 1 minute. Then roll your spring rolls like normal.
  • If you wish to heat up the shrimp, the best way is to heat it up in a microwave for 1 minute with a damp paper towel covering it.
  • My prefer way of eating leftovers, is to eat everything cold.
Spring rolls on a bed of lettuce with peanut sauce

Vietnamese Spring Rolls

5 from 3 votes
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: Vietnamese
Keyword: Goi Cuon, Peanut Sauce, Spring Rolls
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 10 rolls
Calories: 494kcal
Author: Kevin Bui
This amazing easy Vietnamese Spring Rolls will have you saying, "Wait, that's good!" It is fresh, delicious, and easy to make. Dip this into some fish sauce or peanut sauce and enjoy one of the most iconic Vietnamese dishes. In this post I will be showing you how to make very easy Vietnamese Spring Roll.
Print Recipe Pin Recipe

Ingredients 

Pork Belly

Shrimp

Herbs and other

Peanut Sauce

Instructions

Cooking the Pork Belly

  • Cut pork belly into 3 inch strips. Fill a large bowl with distilled white vinegar enough to cover the pork belly and add 1/4 cup of salt. Leave soaking for 20-30 minutes. Once finished, thoroughly rinse the Pork Belly under cold water.
  • In a large pot, heat 6 quarts of water and bring it to a boil.
  • Peel 2 large shallots and chop in half. Lightly crush 4-5 cloves of garlic.
  • Carefully place pork belly, shallots, garlic, and fish sauce into boiling water and cook for 20-30 minutes. Remove any fat that floats on top.
  • Remove pork belly from water and let it cool for 3-5 minutes. Do not discard the Pork Water. Once cooled down, thinly slice the pork belly.

Cooking the Shrimp

  • In a medium size pot, heat 4 quarts of water or enough to cover your Shrimp and bring to a boil. Add a ¼ teaspoon of salt.
  • Peel/Defrost and de-vein Shrimp. Make a shallow cut along the back side of the shrimp and remove the vein.
  • Once water is at a soft boil, place Shrimp in and cook for 2-3 minutes or until the Shrimp is no longer translucent.
  • Remove tails from shrimp and cut shrimp in half along where you de-veined it.

Cooking the Rice Noodles

  • Follow package instructions. Each rice noodle can vary depending on brand and thickness of the noodle. Typically, the cook time is 2-10 minutes. Drain and run noodles under cold water.

Fresh Herbs

  • Rinse and dry your herbs.

Wrapping the Spring Roll

  • Add warm water in a shallow plate or a large bowl. Dip rice paper in the water so that it is pliable, but too long that it becomes too soft. Lay rice paper on a dry plate.
  • Add shrimp (skin facing down) towards the bottom of the wrapper.
  • Add your lettuce, cilantro, mint, and Thai basil on top.
  • Place pork belly slices above your herbs.
  • Add your rice noodles evenly across.
  • Pull the bottom of the rice paper upwards to cover the content of the roll and bring it towards you. Fold in the left and right parts of the wrapper. Now apply pressure and roll the paper upwards while maintaining pressure to keep the roll tight and snug. Continue to roll upwards to finish the roll.

Peanut Sauce

  • In a small sauce pan, saute some minced garlic until fragrant.
  • Add your hoison sauce, peanut butter, and pork water. Mix until homogeneous.
  • Heat until mixture is the same consistency as hoison sauce. Turn off the heat and poor into a heat proof bowl. This will thicken as it cools.
  • Sprinkle roasted crushed peanuts on top.

Video

Nutrition Facts
Vietnamese Spring Rolls
Serving Size
 
2 Rolls
Amount per Serving
Calories
494
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
19.6
g
30
%
Saturated Fat
 
5.7
g
36
%
Polyunsaturated Fat
 
3.4
g
Monounsaturated Fat
 
9.3
g
Cholesterol
 
89.3
mg
30
%
Sodium
 
263
mg
11
%
Carbohydrates
 
59
g
20
%
Fiber
 
1.1
g
5
%
Sugar
 
1.3
g
1
%
Protein
 
19.6
g
39
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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