“The fresh spring rolls are the glory of the Vietnamese kitchen”
Johannes van Dam // Dutch culinary reviewer

One of the best and tastiest inventions of Vietnamese cuisine is rice paper, made to roll Goi cuon. Goi means salad, and cuon to role or roll(s). These fresh spring, summer, salad or rice paper rolls are fresh and healthy, multi applicable, creative and a joy to vary with. Also important, it’s always fun to create your own Goi cuon together with others at the dining table and it is super tasty.

Rice paper, banh trang, is made from rice flour, tapioca flour, water and salt. It has a slightly salty taste and is sold dry. The typical pattern on the sheets is coming from the braided baskets or racks where they are put on to dry up. Before rolling the rice paper sheets, they are one by one put briefly in hot water. There are different sizes and shapes of rice paper. The most widely used rice paper is the round shape of 22 cm. The smaller variants are actually too small and awkward to apply.

Banh trang tron is a snack from Tay Ninh, where the rice paper sheets are cut and mixed with different ingredients. The rice paper is not only eaten fresh, but can also be fried to make the original Vietnamese spring rolls cha gio. Then there are the rice paper sheets banh trang nuong, usually with sesame seeds, to grill until they become crackers.

Tom nuong (foto: Pho Vietnam © Kim Le Cao)