Roast Pork and Sesame Shrimp Summer Rolls (Gỏi Cuốn)

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Mom's Vietnamese spring rolls remake. Some spring rolls might be bland but not these. Roasted red pork and pickled carrots and daikon make these rolls flavorful. This is one of my favorites.

Roast Pork and Sesame Shrimp Summer Rolls (Gỏi Cuốn)

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My mom used to make summer rolls or gỏi cuốn, a Vietnamese appetizer, on a regular basis when I was young. In our family, it was served as part of the main course. Although I loved it, I distinctly remember the preparation as an arduous, painstaking process. Every vegetable had to be hand washed, dried, and some sliced. Other things to do included boiling and slicing pork; boiling, peeling, deveining, and slicing shrimp; cooking rice noodles; and making dipping sauce. Finally, everything had to be tightly wrapped in rice paper. There was a whole lot of work involved in the deceptively simple little rolls of goodness. 

But because they are little rolls of goodness, they are worth all the work. Eating them puts me in a state of bliss. There is the soft delicate chew of the rice paper and rice noodle; the savoriness of the pork; the sweet tender shrimp; the crunch of fresh carrot, lettuce, and cucumber; the herbaceousness of mint leaves; the sweet/salty/limy/garlicky dipping sauce. Did I tell you that it is a mouthful of bliss!?


Roast Pork and Sesame Shrimp Summer Rolls (Gỏi Cuốn)


Mom had a family of seven to feed, so making summer rolls was time well spent. I don't make them nearly as much as my mother used to, but once in a while I have a craving that cannot be overcome. That is when I get off my lazy-summer-roll-making-butt and whip some up.

My version contains a few modifications to the rolls Mom used to make. For one, I eliminated the rice noodles, since the rice paper used to wrap the summer roll in is essentially the same thing. Besides, the updated version has less carb! 


Roast Pork and Sesame Shrimp Summer Rolls (Gỏi Cuốn)


Other changes add more flavor. Instead of boiled pork, there is  marinated and roasted pork tenderloin. As for the shrimp, it is pan seared in sesame oil for a hint of nuttiness. Finally, Pickled Carrots and Daikon replaces fresh carrots for a more sophisticated flavor profile.

I realize that I just complained about how time-consuming it is to make summer rolls then turned around and made the process even longer. But you know me, I always like to put a twist on recipes. Besides, you can find traditional summer roll recipes in a plethora of other places. So if you are familiar with summer rolls and want to try a new variation, this version is definitely worth your time.  The Pickled Carrots and Daikon as well as the dipping sauce (the same one used here) can be made ahead of time to make it easier on the day you prep the summer rolls.


Roast Pork and Sesame Shrimp Summer Rolls (Gỏi Cuốn)



Thank goodness for the convenience of modern packaged goods! They enable me take a couple of shortcuts. These products were not available or budget-friendly back in the day when my mom made summer rolls for the family. One item I take advantage of is the pre-sliced lettuce, which allows me to cut down on washing, drying, and slicing time. If you have fresh lettuce from the garden and want to use it, go right ahead! Another item I like to use is pre-split and deveined shrimp. Talk about making life a little easier! No more slicing through the shell and removing the vein. It's all done for me! I love the conveniences of modern life! 

And don't forget, omitting the rice noodles not only reduces the starch content, it also saves a step!

The dipping sauce, also known as nước chắm, is a thing of beauty in itself. I use it in many of my Vietnamese dishes. It is complex in flavor with sweet, salty, tangy, savory, and spicy notes. This dipping sauce is an intoxicating mixture of chili garlic sauce, sugar, rice wine vinegar, water, garlic, lime juice, and carrots. As unladylike as it may seem, I love to slurp it up with a spoon. A confession:  I don't always make it the same way. The one in the above photo does not have carrots. I opted for a sprinkling of red pepper flakes instead. Feel free to use one, both, or neither. It will still be fantastic!



Roast Pork and Sesame Shrimp Summer Rolls (Gỏi Cuốn) 





INGREDIENTS:

1 pkg. Seasoning Mix for Roast Red Pork (Use only 1 of 2 packets. Found in the Asian food aisle.)
1 1/3 pound pork tenderloin, silver skin removed
1/2 cup tap water
1 lb. raw 26/20 count shrimp
1/8 scant tsp. salt
1/8 scant tsp. black pepper
2 tsp. sesame oil
14 rounds rice paper (8 1/2" diameter) (see photo B)
2 cups shredded iceberg lettuce
1 large cucumber, peeled and julienned 
a few sprigs of mint leaves (or Thai basil, or cilantro)
Pickled Carrots and Daikon (recipe here)
Dipping Sauce (recipe here)



INSTRUCTIONS:
Photo A (comes with 2 packets inside)

Photo B

Photo C

Photo D

Place water in a large zip lock bag. Add contents of 1 packet of Seasoning Mix for Roast Red Pork (see photo A). Massage bag with fingers to dissolve solids. Add pork and zip tight. Chill for at least 2 hours.

Preheat oven to  375 degrees F.

Remove pork from bag. Discard marinade. Place pork in a prepared rimmed baking sheet. Bake for about 30 minutes or until temperature reads 145 degrees in an instant read thermometer. Remove from oven and allow to rest for 10 minutes. Slice into 1/4 inch slices then into 3/4-inch strips.

While the pork bakes in the oven, prep the other ingredients. Peel shrimp and pat dry with paper towels. Season shrimp with salt and pepper. Toss to coat. Preheat a large skillet on medium high. Add sesame oil. Add shrimp in a single layer. Cook 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Turn shrimp over and cook second side for about 1 minute or until pink outside and translucent throughout. Remove from skillet. Cool for a few minutes. Slice shrimp in half lengthwise. Set aside.

To assemble summer rolls: 

First, line a couple of rectangular containers with wax paper or parchment paper. For each container, dampen a couple layers of paper towels that are large enough to cover the containers. Set aside, but not in the containers. 

Fill a large shallow pan with 1 inch of room temperature water. Submerge one rice paper in water for 20 seconds. Remove, gently shaking off excess. Place on a flat surface. Rice paper should be pliable and will continue to soften more as you work. Place about 1/4 cup of lettuce on the upper third section, leaving at least a 1 inch edge. Add 1/8 cup cucumber. Top with 1/8 cup Pickled Carrots and Daikon. Add 4 to 5 strips of pork. Line 4 shrimp halves parallel to this pile, at equator line of the rice paper (see photo C).   

Working with the pile of filling closest to you, lift and fold the rice paper over the filling. Hold in place with one hand and fold sides over with the other like wrapping a burrito. Roll into a log, tucking the filling and gently pulling the rice paper taught as you roll (photo D). Be gentle as rice paper tears easily. It may take a little practice before you are able to roll a tight summer roll. Place summer roll in one of the lined containers. Cover with dampen paper towels. Repeat steps until all summer rolls are made. Serve with dipping sauce. Makes 14 summer rolls.





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50 comments:

Lani Browne said...

Oh my goodness... My mouth is watering! I love your modifications from the more traditional version. I will have to try this soon.

In Good Flavor /Food for the Finicky said...

Thank you, Lani! I was craving some today while working on this post. :)

Sarah Laker said...

It is such a mouthwatering dish! This is a great food blog and there are a lot of recipes to keep in mind. I have been looking for healthy, delicious and inexpensive dishes and this one made it to my list. I love shrimp and this dish makes me love it even more! It would be a great addition to the recipes i stumbled upon at http://goo.gl/4eg9y2 of which i'm planning to prepare for my friend's birthday party next week! This is totally awesome and in perfect timing. Thanks for sharing this recipe! I hope to read more from you soon. Thumbs up!

Anu-My Ginger Garlic Kitchen said...

Oh wow! These summer rolls look divine! Mouth-watering share!

Kathleen K said...

Summer rolls made by your mom sounds so wonderful, Thao! And these looks fantastic, I love your spin on them! Summer rolls are one of my favorite things to eat during warmer months, they just feel so light and refreshing! Pinning for sure :)

In Good Flavor /Food for the Finicky said...

Thank you, Sarah. I am a big fan of shrimp too! Your friend is so lucky—it sounds like a delicious feast you are putting together. Thank you for thinking of including these summer rolls. Have a great party! And thank you for stopping by!

In Good Flavor /Food for the Finicky said...

Thank you, Anu. I forget how much I love them until I start eating, and then it becomes too hard to stop!

In Good Flavor /Food for the Finicky said...

Thank you, Kathleen. I so agree! They make a perfect meal for summer when you are not in a mood for a hot, heavy meal. And thank you for the pin! :)

Cathleen said...

This looks amazing!
And making food for a family of seven? Wow! Your mom sounds like a busy woman!

In Good Flavor /Food for the Finicky said...

Thank you, Cathleen. She was a very busy woman when her children lived at home. She cooked morning, noon, and night.

Kelly said...

I love summer rolls! They are my favorite especially during the warmer months! My mom used to enlist us to help her wrap summer rolls and spring rolls when w were younger too. Yours look perfect! So fresh and delicious :)

Bam's Kitchen said...

Gorgeous Gỏi Cuốn! Your mom would be proud. I am all about cutting corners and saving time in the kitchen, especially on these warm days. I love these little bites with loads of fresh herbs and the dipping sauce, it is so good. Just pinned!

Annie @ The Garlic Diaries said...

These rolls seriously look so heavenly!! I am so excited to try them!

No Spoon Necessary said...

Oh, I LOVE summer rolls! But, you are right, sometimes they can be a little time consuming, so I love the short cuts you used! I have never tried a summer roll with roast pork before, but I can imagine how delicious that addition is! So, i'm sitting here wondering where I have been my whole life and why I have gone without!? Obviously, now I am super excited to make these! Besides you are right, summer rolls are a mouthful of bliss! I need to get on this. ASAP! <3 Cheers, girl!

Helen @ Scrummy Lane said...

Hello, Thao! I've tried rolls similar to these before and have always absolutely loved them! The best ones I ever tried were made by my friend who has a Vietnamese mum. So I totally agree that they're worth the effort, although to be honest your list of ingredients doesn't seem so long!

In Good Flavor /Food for the Finicky said...

Thank you, Kelly. I never enjoyed the menial tasks my mom doled out, but I did really enjoy the fruits of our labor.

In Good Flavor /Food for the Finicky said...

Thank you, Bam. The fresh herbs are essential, right? And thanks for much for the pin!

In Good Flavor /Food for the Finicky said...

Thanks, Annie. I hope you'll try them! :)

In Good Flavor /Food for the Finicky said...

I have heard some say that typical summer rolls are lacking in flavor, so I wanted to make sure that these are flavor packed. I love using pork tenderloins: they are quick cooking and come out so tender. I'm so glad you agree with me on the bliss factor of these summer rolls! We need to have a summer roll feast together. Have a great week, Chey! :)

In Good Flavor /Food for the Finicky said...

I'm glad to hear that you like summer rolls, Helen. You are right—the list is not very long, but I find the process tedious, especially if you are making it for just one or two people. Or just call me lazy...I would really love it if I could blink my eyes and make some magically appear! :)

Sugar et al. said...

I love your version of the summer rolls. They look incredibly delicious. Yes, talk about conveninece..I can't imagine myself doing half the things our Mums did/still do. It definitely makes life simpler. I'd love to try these rolls at home in the near future!

Lori said...

One of my favorite things to make for lunch! I love the combination of the pork and shrimp here. They look so good!

Katalina@ Peas and Peonies said...

Hi Thao, first - thank you very much for your continuous support on my blog, I love having you there and reading your beautiful comments. Second, these rolls look very tasty, I actually need one now, no kidding here, the roast pork sounds really delicious!

Nagi@RecipeTinEats said...

I agree, they might take time to roll but they are SO worth it! Lucky you, growing up with these :)

In Good Flavor /Food for the Finicky said...

Thank you, Sonali! It sounds as if both our moms still like to do things the old fashioned way, bless their hearts. These rolls are really good—I hope you'll get a chance to try them out. :)

In Good Flavor /Food for the Finicky said...

Thank you, Lori. And thank you for stopping by!

In Good Flavor /Food for the Finicky said...

And thank you for your sweet words, Katalina!! The feeling is mutual. I love to support my fellow blogging friends. I really enjoy visiting your blog—for all its scrumptious recipes and I for your stylish fashion sense.

In Good Flavor /Food for the Finicky said...

So true—they are! Mom won people over with her summer rolls and egg rolls. :)

Liz Berg said...

Your summer rolls are definitely worth the effort! I wouldn't change a thing :)

Lynn | The Road to Honey said...

Oh Thao. . .what great memories of your mother. She is quite the lady making up enough rolls to feed a hungry family of seven! She must have been in that kitchen working hard all day!!!

As far as your version, I'm loving that you cut down on carbs. Yippee! This leaves more room for those amazing shrimp, delicious pork tenderloin and pickled veggies. I can't wait to give this one a try.

While some people get cravings for ice cream or chocolate. . .I often find myself with cravings for summer rolls. Is this strange? :-) )

Vineetha said...

I love these summer rolls, they sound delicious and so full of flavor. Love that you included roast pork anddd shrimp mmmm!

In Good Flavor /Food for the Finicky said...

Thanks, Liz! I do love them. Have a great weekend!

In Good Flavor /Food for the Finicky said...

Thank you, Vineetha. Since I grew up having pork ad shrimp in my summer rolls, it just wouldn't be the same without either one.

In Good Flavor /Food for the Finicky said...

We kept mom busy. I was only able to fully appreciate how much work it was for her to run a family of seven after I had my family of four.

I'm glad you concur with me on the reduced carb version. I'm all for extras on pork and shrimp!

If your craving is strange, then I guess I am too! Most of my cravings are for savory and salty foods—Cheetos, summer rolls, banh mi sandwiches, lobster. YUM!

Have a great weekend, Lynn!

Rachelle @ Beer Girl Cooks said...

I love your summer rolls with the roasted pork and sesame seared shrimp! I'm with you on buying shrimp ready to go - who wants to deal with that? These look so good and pretty! Every time I have tried to make rolls with rice paper they came out really ugly and destroyed! :)

In Good Flavor /Food for the Finicky said...

Thank you, Rachelle! I'm glad we see eye to eye on the shrimp! Working with rice paper takes a little bit of practice. I think the key is not so soak them too long. That's when they break apart on you. And when that happens, I cheat and double wrap them. :)

Hannah | The Swirling Spoon said...

I love the story behind these summer rolls and the time you take to prepare each element. I often see summer rolls as a way to have a quick and lazy dinner and just put raw shredded vegetables in there. Clearly they can be so much more! Your mama sounds like a superwoman!
The dipping sauce sounds amazing too. <3

Natalie @ Obsessive Cooking Disorder said...

My future mother in law is vietnamese and an expert wrap roller. I do like your eliminating the carb version - more of the good stuff! My rolls always burst because I kept wanting to stuff more shrimp and herbs hehe

In Good Flavor /Food for the Finicky said...

You are so kind. Thank you, Hannah. I don't know how she was able to keep up with the pace day after day either. The pork and shrimp version is what I grew up on and didn't know them any other way.

In Good Flavor /Food for the Finicky said...

It looks like I can learn a thing or two from your future MIL. An adept summer roll wrapper, I am not. I'm more like you and like to overstuff them too! :)

ami@naivecookcooks said...

Girl these rolls look scrumptious and I can see myself enjoying them for all my meals!!

In Good Flavor /Food for the Finicky said...

Thanks! I'm glad to hear that, Ami!

I Wilkerson said...

These look so good Thao! I am all about streamlining recipes. If something is too hard to make it doesn't matter how good it is.

Lindsey @ American Heritage Cooking said...

Spring rolls are my FAVORITE! I can't wait to try yours. Pinned!!!!

In Good Flavor /Food for the Finicky said...

I'm with you, Inger. Why make life harder for yourself when you don't have to?

In Good Flavor /Food for the Finicky said...

Thanks for the pin, Lindsey!

jackie @ superman cooks said...

Oh my do these sound delicious! I love how you updated your mom's recipe!! I would definitely be slurping up the dipping sauce with you as well....

In Good Flavor /Food for the Finicky said...

Thank you, Jackie! I'm definitely a dipping sauce girl. I like my summer rolls drowning in it. :)

Amrita said...

It's so good to see a real, authentic rice paper roll recipe finally! Many shops just over load them with noodles. Although I don't eat meat, I can totally see myself roasting off some mock meat in the same way! Beautiful photos, as always xxx

In Good Flavor /Food for the Finicky said...

Awwww! Thank you, Amrita! I am so happy this has your solid stamp of approval! I'm with you—it's disappointing when you get rolls of mostly noodles (or lettuce). I am sure you can rock a serious mock meat version of these rolls!

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