"Covers the campus like the magnolias"

No. 4 Goi Cuon

April 6, 2022

Goi cuon, also known as Vietnamese spring rolls, is a versatile dish that has grown to be one of the most refreshing and delicious meals that I have loved to make. 

A fond memory that I associate with this dish is introducing it to my friends at Wake Forest after bringing back all the components after a visit home. I must admit, I was reluctant at first and a little embarrassed because I was worried that untoward comments would be made regarding the physical appearance and composition of the dish. Luckily, the people that I surround myself with and consider to be close friends, were nothing but accepting and full of gratitude for showing them something delicious. 

Goi cuon can be made with any filling, but I will describe my personal favorite way to assemble it. One requires rice paper that is soaked and warm-hot water with just a slight wash, and this will act as the wrapping for the roll. The roll is then filled with vermicelli rice noodles and various meats and/ or vegetables. I prefer adding fresh shrimp and pork belly with lettuce and chives to mine before I roll it up. 

The dish is normally paired with a peanut sauce and/or a fish sauce. I can recall many afternoons coming back from high school to prepare all of the components and make the dish. 

While I only had space to describe four dishes, there is vast depth and breadth to Vietnamese cuisine that you simply must try for yourself. If there is anything to take away from this, it is to open your mind and heart (and stomach) to foods outside of your comfort and culture. Food brings us together. 

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