My favorite Vietnamese appetizer is gỏi cuốn tôm, approximately pronounced “goy coon tome,” otherwise known as shrimp summer rolls. I order them every time I go to a Vietnamese restaurant, and my mother makes them for me whenever I visit her. I don’t know what it is about these rolls, but I just can’t seem to get enough of them! Unlike Vietnamese spring rolls (which are pretty amazing too), summer rolls are not fried, making them a lighter and healthier option. To make the summer rolls, shrimp, rice vermicelli, lettuce, fresh mint, Thai basil and cilantro are rolled together in rice paper sheets. Traditionally, thin slices of pork loin are also included, but I prefer to use only shrimp in my recipe. I also make vegetarian summer rolls sometimes by simply using fried tofu instead of shrimp. Just cut the fried tofu into little matchsticks and add shredded carrots for more flavor and color. The peanut sauce for dipping is incredibly delicious. It is truly the perfect accompaniment to the summer rolls.
Although these rolls require a little more time than dishes I typically make, I promise the amazing flavors that explode in your mouth will be well worth it! Be sure to give my recipe a try one night when you have a bit more time on your hands :). Continue reading