Gỏi cuốn Salad roll: Shrimp and pork

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Background

In Vietnamese: gỏi cuốn; this translates literally as "mix salad rolled"

Vietnamese salad roll have become very popular in the west as people enjoy eating the fresh roll as a snack or light meal. I think that many people have eaten these rolls without knowing that they were Vietnamese in origin. There is also a Thai version but the one seen the most in North America is a variation of the Vietnamese roll.


The roll that most are familiar with are the shrimp and pork version but the rolls can contain many other fillings. The roll should not be thought of as just a dish rather as a way of eating. The rice paper roll can be used to roll anything you like and eaten as an appetizer or as your main meal. Many Vietnamese families will sit down to a meal were rolls are featured prominently as a wrap for whatever meat and greens are on the table. Each person will make their roll from the ingredients that they like and use rice noodle and herbs as they like. The dipping sauce is usually the fish sauce version as it is more versatile that the peanut sauce.

Ingredients

Our version starts with a rice paper roll freshly made (softened in hot water as it comes dried) it is the perfect wrapper as it light in flavour and it is ‘cooked’ in hot water rather than oil. One secret is not to refrigerate the completed roll, as the wrapper will become chewy. You need to eat these rolls fresh as such they are only properly just before you eat them. So if you have suffered chewing through a store bought salad roll you will happy to taste our fresh rolls.

Next comes the lettuce that of course is part of the healthy nature of these rolls but it also adds some crunch to the roll. We use leaf lettuce as it adds the right amount of flavour to rolls.

Next if you want is fresh basil that adds a slight liquorice-like taste to the roll, at a Vietnamese meal the herbs added will vary according to the eaters taste, the season and the filling. We leave out the basil as most customers prefer it that way but we will happily add it if you ask. I would ask it adds a lot of taste.

We add rice noodles next as they give the roll some substance and are as mild tasting as the wrapper. The rice noodle is great when you are dipping the roll as it picks up the sauce and holds it for you to enjoy. As someone who ends up with his share of ruined shirts, I like the sauce sticking to the roll. The best rice noodles have only two ingredients: rice or rice flour, and water.

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Ingredients
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Sliced Vietnamese pork roll (Chả lụa also known as Vietnamese ham or Vietnamese sausage) is added for flavour and for the texture.


Lastly are the sliced Tiger prawns that are the crowning glory to this roll. We use Tiger prawns for their superior flavour and texture; they are more expensive but worth it.

Nutrition

One roll

Calories 81

Calories from Fat 18% Daily Value*

Total Fat 2.0g 3%

Saturated Fat 0.7g 3%

Cholesterol 16mg 5%

Sodium 43mg 2%

Total Carbohydrates 10.1g 3% Dietary Fibre 2.0g 8%

Information from calorie count site

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A view of the inside showing the Tiger prawn and Vietnamese ham

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Dipping sauce

Our peanut sauce is a secret mix of ingredients (is not every chefs’ recipes secret) that you will find is a slightly sweet sauce that compliments the taste of the roll.

One special touch to this dip is the roasted peanuts; they are fresh roasted by us to give them the right flavour you cannot buy in a store. We take raw peanuts and oven roast them until they have the right flavour and texture then we peel the nuts. After chopping, they are ready to top many of our dishes.

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The peanut sauce showing the roasted peanuts we put in the sauce