Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Goi Cuon

My hometown of Melbourne has a very large Vietnamese population - and therefore access to some spectacular food. When living in Richmond, we used to frequent Victoria Street - home to many authentic/fusion/trendy Vietnamese eateries - where one could eat as much or as little offal as one could ever want! I became particularly partial to Goi Cuon - a cold and very 'fresh' tasting spring roll. The fresh taste is due to the abundant herbs included. It is a perfect Summer dish. 
I was about to have a rebellion on my hands as I served this dish twice... in one week! 
One night we all assembled our own, the other occasion, I made the rolls. I learned a very valuable lesson about the stickiness of rice paper.. with my 'stack' of rolls becoming somewhat 'fused'. 

An allergy to shrimp and no available pork, meant that my version included chicken. I baked several chicken breasts in the oven, basted with garlic, soy sauce, lemon and a little peanut oil. I reserved a little of this marinade (before coating the chicken), and dressed the cooked, shredded chicken with it before adding it to the rolls - as sometimes I find the rolls can be somewhat 'bland' or 'dry'. 

Our version included vermicelli noodles, bean sprouts, Thai basil, cilantro, mint, grated carrot, strips of green onion, baked chicken and thin slices of tomato (one evening) or red pepper (the other evening). This dish can easily become a vegetarian dish with marinated tofu used in place of pork and shrimp or chicken. 

I served the rolls with a sauce made from hoisin sauce, smooth peanut butter and rice vinegar, based upon a recipe I found here


  1. Love these rolls. Ottawa has a million Vietnamese places to eat and I've become addicted.
    I've made them a few times but never with meat. Your chicken sounds delicious!!

  2. These ARE indeed brilliant.
    So... Ottawa huh? Is this as multicultural as Toronto?

  3. It's pretty multicultural. Lots of Vietnamese places a d lots of Lebanese too.

  4. I have some problems publishing comments when using iPhone!! Grrrr
    We have yet to find some really good sushi in Ottawa. We usually make our own, with a twist.
    I'm having a good look at your blog. Makes for great reading!