This has to be one of my biggest food faves ever: gỏi cuốn or Vietnamese summer rolls.
The principle of this dish is pretty much the same as for classic Chinese lumpia or its local counterpart the lumpiang sariwa: a salad-like melange of vegetables, glass noodles [mung bean vermicelli], and a protein source (either grilled / sauteed pork or tofu fried till golden-crisp) all wrapped in fresh rice paper. Gỏi cuốn goes a step further and has the earthy sweetness of Vietnamese basil and the fresh coolness of mint in the mix. The end result is dipped in a sauce known as tương xà which is, essentially, hoisin sauce pepped up with a mix of tamarind juice, garlic, and some coconut water.
I love them because, as their name and substance suggest, they are perfect for warm-weather days when you’re craving for a savory, satisfying meal but are much too wilted to face hot entrees and warm sides.
The rolls at Pho Hoa are among my personal picks because they’re loaded with cucumber, noodles, pork, carrot, and shrimp. This makes them oh-so-savory and really cooling.
And speaking of noodles, here’s a foodie shout-out to the adorable Mr. W: heya, happy birthday! Here’s to many more to come!