The Southern region of Vietnam has a system of criss-crossing rivers and canals and primitive forests that provide the land with a plentiful resource of food to make delicious dishes, including Goi cuon (salad rolls) that is one of the 12 Vietnamese dishes in the food record category recognized by the Asian Record Association.
Goi cuon is a tasty, nutritious and eye-catching dish which is very popular in Ho Chi Minh City and the southern provinces. The main ingredients for making this dish consist of pork, shrimp, salad, basil, rice vermicelli and rice paper – one of the most important and indispensable ingredients that decides the quality of the dish . To make rice paper, it is necessary to clean and soak rice in water for some hours before grinding it into batter. To make thin rice paper, a thin layer of batter is poured on a cloth that is tautly stretched and placed on top of the pot which can quickly cook the rice batter, keeping it moist and pliable. A flat and flexible bamboo stick is used to lift off the delicate rice crepes that are put into flats for drying. Dried rice crepes are then preserved carefully for use over a long period of time.
To prepare for the stuffing for the rolls, pork is boiled and sliced while the shrimp is cleaned and boiled before peeling and splitting into two pieces.
The sauce for Goi cuon is made from a variety of ingredients, such as a dash of soybean sauce, coconut milk, a squeeze of tamarind, chopped garlic, hot pepper, onions, ground peanuts, fried sesame seeds and cooking oil.
To enjoy this dish, spread each rice paper that is made wet by water on a plate and then put a piece of shrimp, pork, salad, basil, a chopstick portion of rice vermicelli and a stem of shallot and roll it tightly. Serve with the sauce.