If you're ever in Vietnam, you'll undoubtedly come across the Gỏi Cuốn, more commonly known as the summer roll or spring roll. Legend has it that during a series of famous battles, King Nguyễn Huệ Quang Trung ordered his men to carry each other on hammocks so that one could rest while the others kept moving. Because they were constantly on the go, they needed "mobile" meals that they could eat quickly and without hassle. Thus, the summer roll was born! These days, you'll find the most basic summer roll in most restaurants: boiled shrimp and pork with basil and mint, cucumbers, cilantro, and rice noodles. But the popular Vietnamese snack can be customized for many different palates, ensuring that your whole team will get a meal they’ll love!
Summer rolls are typically considered a snack or appetizer so if you are ordering them as lunch for your team, you'll want to make sure that you have enough for each person to have three. The ingredients can vary depending on the restaurant but most will have a choice of protein (shrimp and pork are the most popular) with a mix of vegetables and noodles. Lettuce, rice noodles, cucumber, cilantro and carrots are traditionally found in summer rolls.
For the most part, yes! The rice flour paper that summer rolls are wrapped in is gluten-free! And many restaurants fill their rolls with rice noodles which are also gluten-free! What may not be gluten-free is if the protein is marinated in soy sauce. Look out for the (GF) indicator next to your selection to find out if what you are ordering is gluten-free.
There is none! Those are just different names for the same item but each restaurant might slightly augment the filling of their specific offering. Note that sometimes the fried egg rolls / spring rolls you get from restaurants are completely different from what we're referring to here.
Can I order DIY Summer Rolls?
Can you? Probably. But should you? Probably not. Similar to wraps and burritos, rolling a summer roll takes some skill and can be stressful for a team that just wants to eat their lunch without any hassle. Additionally, summer roll paper is dried out like most noodles. It must be dipped in water to become pliable. That's just asking for a mess on top of a possible headache!
Are there vegan and vegetarian options for Vietnamese Summer Rolls?
Yes, you can opt to forgo an animal-based protein in favor of additional vegetables. Look for the (V) and (VG) designations next to each selection to know if you are ordering an item that is vegetarian or vegan.
What goes well with a Vietnamese Summer Rolls?
Summer rolls are a popular appetizer so they are frequently eaten alone but Sugar Cane Shrimp and Shrimp and Sweet Potato Fritters are also popular.
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