In 2011, the Vietnamese fresh spring rolls was put on the list of “50 world’s best foods” in CNN Travel. Goi cuon is a popular street food in Vietnam and it is considered as the second favorite food item after Pho. With a simple recipe and nutritive ingredients combining with sweet sour sauce, Goi cuon is a balance between protein and fibre that can be eaten as snack or appetizer at both breakfast and lunch
1. The origin of the name Goi cuon
Derived from the oldest and most characteristic rolls of Hanoi, Nem cuon is a very simple dish with a sliver of boiled meat with a boiled shrimp, some rice vermicelli, an assortment of lettuce, marjoram, coriander and mint wrapped carefully with banh trang (rice paper) and best served after being dunked in sweet and sour fish sauce or a thick peanut sauce.
In Southern Vietnam, Nem cuon has a another name which is Goi cuon. It is said that the name Goi cuon originated from Bo Bia (Popiah – Fresh spring rolls), a traditional dish from China when there are many similarities in material and shape between two. In Saigon, people call Goi cuon by the name Cuon Saigon when it is usually added the word “Saigon” in any specialty by the Saigonese as the result of the fact that Saigon is famous for its diverse cultures.
2. “Summer rolls” and “Spring rolls”
The word “sommerruller” which is Goi cuon refers to the first appearance in the Danish newspaper Politiken. It is still unclear who made this idea, but so far Goi cuon is suitable the most to describe the white roll with the green of the herb and vegetable, the red of shrimp, the white of the noodles and its shape is quite familiar with Cha gio – the “foraarsruller”.
Image 01: Goi cuon – Source: Internet
Nowadays Goi cuon is very popular in Western countries when people are fed up with too much protein and fatty foods. In English Goi cuon is called “fresh spring roll” or “rouleaux de printemps” in French. Take a bite of Goi cuon to feel the harmony of sour, spicy, salty, sweet flavours, the toughness of rice paper, the fat of meat, the sweetness of shrimp, the piquant of raw vegetable and rich peanut sauce.
3. Goi cuon – The touch of nature
It is undeniable that banh trang (rice paper) is the most necessary ingredient of Goi cuon. There are several shapes of the banh trang such as round, square or rectangular one but overall, banh trang is always made of rice flour. Before wrapping, banh trang must be soften with a little bit of water over the surface so that the wrapping will stick together and all materials inside it can be packed well and as the result, a perfect whole is created.
Pork and shrimp are the soul of Goi cuon. The pork meat used to make Goi cuon can be trotter or pork side, it is usually to pick a slice of meat which contains both lean and fat part. The pork is boiled to medium then picked up and rinse by cold water and so is the shrimp. In some other versions of Goi cuon, fish is used instead of pork, for instance grilled snakehead, grilled red tilapia or fried spade fish, etc.
Next is the raw vegetables which can balance the protein in Goi cuon. We can use salad, fish mint, herbs and chives. Then banh trang is used to wrap vegetables with noodles, pork and shrimp. Finally, a special sauce which can be made by peanut or fish sauce is the key point to finish a perfect Goi cuon.
4. The Vietnam Gastronomy Tourism Culinary Event 2018: the Record “10-metre Vietnamese Fresh Spring Rolls participated by the most international contestants”
Along with Pho, Goi cuon is now one of the most typical representatives of Vietnamese cuisine when it can be in any corner, from the street pedlaries and small food courts to the fine dining restaurants. On the upcoming 8th and 9th December, Restaurant Association Vietnam Initiative (RAV) proudly announces to launch the culinary event: Vietnam Gastronomy Tourism 2018 and the Record “10-metre Vietnamese Fresh Spring Rolls participated by the most international contestants”.
The Record “10-metre Vietnamese Fresh Spring Rolls participated by the most international contestants” will be conducted by Mr. Ly Kim Long, who has a lot of experience in setting up the Culinary Record for Vietnam such as the record “Vietnam’s Largest Rice Cracker”, the record “The culinary competition with the greatest number of Vietnamese specialties”, etc. Chef Long studied Master Degree at Les Roches International School of Hotel Management in 2012 which is one of only three schools in Switzerland recognized and licensed by the Swiss Ministry of Education in providing Bachelor’s degree and Master’s degree programmes in Hospitality Management, Tourism and Customer Service. Besides, Chef Long is a member of the Swiss Alumni Association in Vietnam (SAAV) and has contributed actively to the Swiss graduate community. He is now the Director of Hoan My Cuisine Company, one of the most prestigious and quality food service companies in Ho Chi Minh City with more than 30 years of experience.
The international contestants who particiate in the Record will use this Goi cuon’s recipe
- Pork (Trotter or Pork side)
- Rice paper
- Rice vermicelli
- Lettuce, marjoram, coriander and mint
Vietnamese Peanut Dipping Sauce
- Soy sauce
- Coconut milk
- Carrot, chili, onion
- Salt, sugar, seasoning, cooking oil, vinegar.
Step 1: Boil the carrot strips in salted water for 2 minutes, drain then plunge into iced water to stop them cooking. Drain well.
Step 2: Fill a large bowl with warm water, dip two rice papers at a time, very carefully, for about 30 seconds, until totally soft. Lay on a clean tea towel.
Step 3: Arrange three mint leaves in the centre of the rice paper, then three shrimps. Top with some pieces of lettuce, a small bundle of vermicelli, a pinch of snow pea shoots, strips of carrot and red capsicum, spring onion and coriander leaves.
Step 4: Leave about 4cm uncovered on each side. Fold the uncovered sides over and inward, then tightly roll the rice paper up. Repeat with remaining ingredients.
Step 5: For the sauce, place all ingredients in a small dish and whisk. This will keep, well covered, in the fridge.
Through the record, RAV wants to not only introduce Goi cuon to international friends but also bring Vietnamese cuisine closer to the World and contribute to the development of the culinary culture of the country.
Information about the VGT Food Festival:
- Date and time: 8am-9pm, 8th – 9th Dec, 2018
- Add: The Youth Cultural House (4 Pham Ngoc Thach Street, Ben Nghe Ward, District 1 , Hochiminh City)
>> For more updated info about the event: http://bit.ly/2BHmpwd
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