Exploring the delight of rice paper rolls in the US

In the flavorful world of Vietnamese cuisine, rice paper rolls stand out as beloved cuisine treasures, often referred to as spring rolls or summer rolls in the US. These delightful creations feature delicate rice paper wrappers filled with an enticing mix of ingredients- succulent shrimp, flavorful pork, tender chicken, crisp vegetables, and fragrant herbs. Served chilled and accompanied by a variety of dipping sauces like peanut or hoisin sauce, they offer a light and refreshing option perfect for enjoying as appetizers or snacks, whether you’re hosting a family gathering or a casual get-together with friends.

Discovering many names of rice paper rolls

In Vietnamese cuisine, rice paper rolls are known as Goi Cuon (Gỏi cuốn), but they earned different monikers in different parts of the US. While some may call them “crystal rolls”, “spring rolls”, or “fresh spring rolls”, others my refer to them as “Vietnamese spring rolls”, “summer rolls”, or “cold rolls”. Despite the varied names, one thing remains consistent- people across the US recognize them for their finger food, delightful flavors and textures, making them a popular choice for any occasion. 

Exploring the world of spring rolls: fresh and deep-fried

When it comes to spring rolls, there are two main types to explore in Vietnamese and Asian cuisine. First, we have the fresh variety, also known as rice paper rolls or summer rolls. These delightful bundles are wrapped in thin rice paper and filled with a delicious mix of ingredients, ready to enjoy immediately. On the other hand, there are the crispy deep-fried spring rolls, featuring a thin outer shell filled with a savory mix of ingredients and fried to golden perfection. Whether you prefer the freshness of rice paper rolls or the satisfying crunch of deep-fried ones, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

fresh spring roll img1
fresh spring roll- rice paper roll - summer roll
deep-fried spring roll img2
deep-fried spring roll

Embracing Vietnamese culinary traditions in the US

In the US, rice paper rolls hold a special place alongside other iconic Vietnamese dishes like Pho and Banh Mi. Most Vietnamese restaurants in the US serve one or two rice paper rolls dishes.  

While deep-fried spring rolls are enjoyed across various Asian cuisines, Chinese, Thai, Philippines, the Vietnamese rendition stands out thanks to its delicate rice paper wrapper, offering a unique crispiness that sets it apart. 

Whether you’re exploring Vietnamese cuisine for the first time or looking to recreate your favorite dishes at home, rice paper rolls or spring rolls offer a delicious and satisfying culinary experience that’s sure to delight your taste buds.