Vietnamese Fresh Rice Noodle Rolls Recipe – Hanoi Style Phở Cuốn
This Vietnamese fresh rice noodle rolls recipe or Hanoi pho cuon recipe kicks off our series of Vietnamese spring roll recipes. These filling rolls can be eaten as appetisers before a main or served alongside other Vietnamese dishes sharing-style or family-style as we eat here in Southeast Asia.
You probably thought I was going to kick off this series of Vietnamese spring roll recipes with a gỏi cuốn recipe, seeing those fresh, fragrant spring rolls were responsible for getting us hooked on Vietnamese food.
I thought I’d start with this Vietnamese fresh rice noodle rolls recipe or pho cuon Hanoi recipe – more correctly, Phở cuốn Hà Nội – as I just returned from Hanoi, Vietnam, where we ended the 22-day Vietnam Culinary Tour I was hosting, and they were still on my mind.
Vietnamese Fresh Rice Noodle Rolls Recipe – Hanoi Style Pho Cuon Recipe
Vietnamese fresh rice noodle rolls or Hanoi style pho cuon is essentially a street food snack in Vietnam that you can buy on the street or in a simple eatery that probably specialises in these. You’ll also find them in restaurants and that’s where you’d typically see them outside of Vietnam.
You could serve these Vietnamese fresh rice noodle rolls as an appetiser before a main course or serve them alongside a handful of other dishes if you’re feeding a family or group of friends and eating family-style as we do here in Southeast Asia.
They also make great finger food if you’re throwing a party or having an Asian-themed barbecue. Look out for Terence’s series of Cambodian barbecue recipes, which he’s starting soon, for ideas.
For most of the Vietnamese spring roll recipes I’m going to share here, you just need to buy the dry spring roll sheets or wraps, however, for these you need to use fresh rice noodle roll sheets.
If you don’t live in Southeast Asia and can’t buy fresh rice noodle sheets from a local market or supermarket as we can here in Cambodia, head to a market in your nearest Chinatown (such as Sydney’s Chinatown in Australia), a suburb where the Vietnamese community settled (like Richmond, Melbourne or Cabrammatta, Sydney, in Australia) or a good Asian supermarket or grocery store.
If you still can’t find them, then you’re going to have to make them…
Notes on Making Vietnamese Fresh Rice Noodle Sheets Recipe
Making the Vietnamese fresh rice noodle sheets or wraps isn’t all that hard to do once you get the hang of it. We’re going to post a recipe for the fresh rice noodle sheets, which we learnt in Vietnam, but first we want to compare it to this recipe for fresh pho noodles on Lucky Peach by Angie Hong, owner Sydney’s first Vietnamese restaurant.
Angie Hong’s recipe can be made the same day, whereas for our’s you’ll need to start the process the day before you attempt our Vietnamese fresh rice noodle rolls recipe or Hanoi style pho cuon recipe.
What we love about these fresh rice noodle sheets is that they can also be used to make fresh Vietnamese pho noodles for soup. So if you’re going to have some friends over for a Vietnamese feast you might wish to serve bowls of pho as well.
Our recipe for the fresh rice noodle sheets makes a big batch so you can divide the finished fresh rice noodle sheets and use half for this Hanoi style pho cuon recipe and keep half aside to cut into noodles for your Vietnamese pho noodle soup. We’ll be posting a recipe for that, too, soon.
Note that if you’re going to separate half of the rice noodle sheets to make pho noodles, all you need to do is cut the noodle sheets into 1cm strips using a knife on a flat surface or even scissors to make them. They’re that easy. You can them keep them in a bowl in the fridge until your broth is ready.
To make the flat rice noodle sheets you’ll need to prepare a steamer using a big pot of boiling water, a piece of cotton, and string or the kind of elastic you use in clothes. You can either boil the water first in a large pot as the Vietnamese do, then carefully cover the pot of boiling water with a thin piece of cotton, or, if you’re concerned about burning yourself, you can secure the cotton with room temperature water before boiling it.
You’ll also need to make sure that you have a long bamboo stick which is available from markets in Southeast Asia, or Asian supermarkets and grocery stores if you don’t live in the region. It just looks like a very large wooden chopstick. We’ll be posting that recipe next in our series on Vietnamese spring roll recipes, so check back for that.
Vietnamese Fresh Rice Noodle Rolls Recipe – Pho Cuon Hanoi Recipe (Phở Cuốn Hà Nội)
- 400g flat rice noodle sheets
- 200g beef fillet, thinly sliced bite-size pieces
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 small butter lettuce, separate leaves
- 1 cup fragrant herbs, mint, coriander, basil, coriander (cilantro)
- 1 carrot, julienned
- 1 cucumber, cut into thin strips, skin on, seeds out
- 3 tablespoons fried shallots
- Nuoc cham dopping sauce (see recipe)
- Prepare your fresh lettuce, herbs, carrot, and cucumber, and set aside.
- Stir-fry the beef in a hot wok with a little vegetable oil and finely chopped garlic.
- When just cooked through, remove the beef from the wok and set aside.
- Place one flat rice noodle sheet onto a board.
- On one side of the rice noodle sheet place in a neat line a lettuce leaf, then on top of this some fresh herbs (just a few leaves of each), 2-3 pieces of beef, then five strips each of the julienned carrot and cucumber.
- Holding the filling in place, carefully roll to form a long, fat, cigar shape. As you’re using fresh rice noodle sheets, there’s no need to tuck the ends over as you would with dry sheets.
- Set the finished roll aside onto a serving plate and repeat until all the mixture has been used.
- Sprinkle fried shallots on top of the rolls.
- Serve with nuoc cham dipping sauce.