No one knows when Vietnamese people started to consider roll dishes as an indispensable part of their diverse and attractive cuisine or in what context they were created. However, it is undeniable that roll dishes really win the hearts of both Vietnamese and foreign diners.
Localities across the country have put their own twists on Vietnamese roll recipes, making them their specialties. However, the main ingredients must include rice paper, fresh rice vermicelli, and raw vegetables. Depending on the locality, some other ingredients will be added. Here are the most popular and highly favoured Vietnamese roll dishes.
Rice noodle rolls
Rice noodle rolls came into being not long ago. In 2004, a gentleman named Viet owned a pho restaurant at the crossroad between the streets of Ngu Xa and Nguyen Khac Hieu, Hanoi. Fed up with the traditional rice noodle soup, he came up with the idea of making rice noodle rolls with beef and herbs and dipping them into fish sauce. The new dish was warmly welcomed and widely spread after that.
Each rice noodle roll is simply a 20x20cm rice paper sheet wrapped around lettuce, herbs and stir-fried beef, and served with fish sauce. The pleasantness of rice paper, the crunchiness of medium-well beef, the fragrance of herbs and the characteristic taste of fish sauce together create a harmonious, unforgettable dish.
Ban Me steamed rice pancake with grilled pork
As its name indicates, Ban Me steamed rice pancake with grilled pork originates from the city of Ban Me Thuot, Dak Lak province. Just like rice noodle rolls, this dish is made primarily of beef and raw vegetables. However, the beef is seasoned with spices typical of the Central Highlands and grilled over charcoal.
The dipping sauce makes this dish even more special. It is a wonderful blend of pork liver, ground shrimp and glutinous rice.
Roast pork rice paper rolls
Da Nang’s endowment of abundant natural resources is best reflected through its cuisine. Apart from the typical rice vermicelli served with fermented fish sauce, the city is also well-known for its fascinating roast pork rice paper rolls. As simple as it sounds, this dish looks impressive with crispy-skinned roast pork elaborately cut into thin slices.
Roast pork, the main ingredient of this dish, is rolled with fresh rice vermicelli, raw vegetables like lettuce and coriander, cucumber, pineapple, mango, bean sprouts and red cabbage. The veggies make the roast pork less greasy and help create a balanced taste.
Salad rolls are the most popular and favourite roll dish among foreign diners. The main ingredients of the dish are simply boiled pork and shrimp, fresh rice vermicelli, veggies and bean sprouts. Salad rolls can be served with ground soybean sauce or fish sauce, but it tastes perfect when accompanied by hoisin sauce, fried shallot and roast peanut.
The popularity of salad rolls in Vietnamese cuisine is undeniable. This dish is so popular that it is served either as an appetizer in gourmet restaurants or as a street food found in every corner of Saigon.
This post is also available in: Tiếng Việt