Shrimp spring rolls (gỏi cuốn in Vietnamese) are the perfect finger food when we have a party. Not only are they healthy, but they’re very tasty as well. I usually serve them sliced in half with a peanut and hoisin sauce on the side.
For this dish, I prefer to wrap the rolls with tapioca sheets, called bánh tráng mỏng in Vietnamese, which literally translates to ”thin paper disks”. They are thinner than rice paper, and as a result the shrimp are still visible once wrapped. The other plus of using tapioca sheets is that they look fresh longer, once they’re made, versus the ones with rice paper. Tapioca rounds are stickier than rice paper when wet though, so it’s a little more difficult to wrap them.
In these particular fresh rolls, I added the basic ingredients such as shrimp, rice noodles, bean sprouts, cucumber, lettuce and Vietnamese herbs. Meat could be added but I like them very simple. It’s a fairly fast dish; the only long step is wrapping the rolls, but with our large family, the work was quite easy.
And for the vegetarians in the house, we wrapped bì cuốn chay, so everyone could share the same meal for dinner.
1. Info for Shrimp Spring Rolls (Vietnamese Roll Recipe)
- Cook Time: unavailable
- Total Time: unavailable
- Servings: 6
- Calories: unavailable
2. Ingredients for Shrimp Spring Rolls (Vietnamese Roll Recipe)
- 12 bánh tráng disks (tapioca sheets, see tips)
- 2 dozen raw medium shrimp, thawed
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon freshly grated palm sugar (or granulated sugar)
- 2 tablespoons white vinegar
- ¼ teaspoon red chili powder
- 2 tablespoons caramelized onions (see tips)
- ½ cucumber
- 5 ounces thin rice vermicelli noodles, cooked
- 1 dozen lettuce leaves
- 1 cup beans sprouts
- 1 cup Vietnamese mint, stemmed
- 1 cup Thai basil, stemmed
- 6 hẹ (Vietnamese green onions), for decoration
- 2 cups pickled carrots, daikon radish and green papaya
- 2 cups peanut hoisin sauce
- Prepping the cucumber: Cut the cucumber into 2-3 inch matchsticks (depending on the size of your rolls).
- Prepping the shrimp: Remove and discard the head of the shrimp if it’s still attached.
- Cooking the shrimp: Combine 1 quart water, sugar, vinegar, red chili powder and the caramelized onions in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil. Dip the shrimp into the liquid (once it’s changed colors) for about 2-3 minutes. Add salt. Check doneness of the shrimp; it should be firm, white with shades of orange. Drain the cooked shrimp. Once it’s cool enough to handle, carefully shell (make sure to remove the tip of the tail as well, this part is very delicate) and de-vein the black part of the shrimp using a sharp hook-like paring knife, then halve lengthwise.
- For the bean sprouts and herbs: Wash the bean sprouts and drain through a salad spinner. Repeat the same procedure with the lettuce, mint and basil. Remove as much liquid as possible.
- Fill a saucepan with water. Bring the water to a boil. Let cool a bit. Transfer to a large bowl. It’s important that the water isn’t too hot. Fold a paper in 8 to create a thick sponge. Dip it in the hot water and brush both sides of the tapioca sheet. Remember, tapioca sheets are a lot more delicate than rice paper; you don’t want too much excess water. Place on a flat surface. Wait about 1 or 2 minutes. The tapioca sheet should be soft but not too wet. I usually dip 4 tapioca sheets at a time, then start wrapping.
- Using the softened tapioca disk as the wrapper, place a piece of lettuce, bean sprouts, mint, basil, rice noodles and 2-3 cucumber ”matchsticks”. Top with bean sprouts and 4 halved shrimp, so they’re still visible once the rolls are wrapped. The finishing touch is 2 long stems of hẹ, letting the edd extend out one side of the roll. Everything should be about 1-½ inches from the bottom edge so the roll doesn’t burst when it’s wrapped (don’t over-stuff the rolls!).
- Carefully fold each side flap and roll away from you. If the tapioca sheet is moistened properly, it should easily stick and roll. Tuck all the mixture into the wrapper, forming a cigar. Repeat until all the ingredients are used.
- Dip the roll in the peanut and hoisin sauce and enjoy with pickled daikon, carrots and papaya on the side.