This Vietnamese Pineapple Omelette Prawn Summer Rolls recipe makes the fresh spring rolls found in tropical Southern Vietnam, the Mekong Delta and Southern Cambodia that can be served as a healthy snack, light appetiser, part of a shared family-style meal or as finger food for a Southeast Asian feast or summer barbecue.
This Vietnamese pineapple omelette prawn summer rolls recipe isn’t one that I’ve been making for a long time, unlike the classic gỏi cuốn or Vietnamese fresh prawn and pork spring rolls recipe that we included in our Vietnamese spring roll recipes series last year, posted after I returned from Hanoi, Vietnam, where I’d hosted our inaugural Vietnam Culinary Tour. (By the way, I hope to announce dates for another Vietnam food adventure soon).
We first came across a very similar recipe to this for nem cuốn tôm trứng or prawn and omelette spring rolls in the excellent Vietnamese Street Food cookbook written by Tracey Lister and Andreas Pohl, who moved to Hanoi in 2000, where they ran Hanoi Cooking Centre until last year.
In their introduction to the recipe, Tracey and Andreas say these fresh spring rolls are popular in Vietnam’s tropical south so it shouldn’t have been a surprise to discover that they’re made throughout the lush Mekong Delta, which was once part of the Cambodia’s ancient Khmer Empire and Water Chenla and Funan kingdoms, and Cambodia’s southern coast.
Vietnamese Pineapple Omelette Prawn Summer Rolls Recipe
While I’ve kept the ‘Vietnamese’ in this Vietnamese pineapple omelette prawn summer rolls recipe it’s important to note that this light, healthy snack is just as much Cambodian as it is Vietnamese. Indeed, if there wasn’t a border separating the two regions there’d be little to distinguish much of the cooking of Southern Vietnam and Southern Cambodia.
I have departed from naming these fresh spring rolls, however, which is what they’re typically called here in Cambodia and Vietnam, and what I’ve used elsewhere, and that’s simply because I want you to find this recipe. Europeans and North Americans have a tendency to use ‘spring rolls’ (or egg rolls) to refer to the hot fried rolls and call the fresh cold renditions ‘summer rolls’.
There are just a few differences between this Vietnamese pineapple omelette prawn summer rolls recipe and the prawn and omelette spring rolls recipe in Vietnamese Street Food.
Tracey and Andreas call for tart unripe pineapple as a contrast to the sweet prawns and the only herb they use is fresh coriander. I recommend using sweet ripe pineapple, which is what I found them to do in the Mekong Delta, as the omelette is well seasoned with salt and pepper.
I also suggest adding aromatic Thai basil for additional fragrance and flavour and for a little extra crunch I add a couple of thin sticks of cucumber with skin on alongside the pineapple sticks to each roll. Two is enough. Use everything sparingly. You don’t want your delicate rice paper rolls to burst because you’ve over-filled them.
In Cambodia and Vietnam’s Mekong Delta, I have had these pineapple omelette prawn summer rolls with a tangy coconut based dipping sauce made with coconut milk, palm sugar and fish sauce, and sprinkled with sesame seeds, however, older Cambodian cooks tell me that in the old days they made a similar dipping sauce from sticky rice and palm vinegar, also sprinkled with sesame seeds or peanuts.
As with the other spring roll recipes we’ve shared here, this Vietnamese pineapple omelette prawn summer rolls recipe is super easy to make and is perfect for finger food, a light lunch, an appetiser, or served as part of a Southeast Asian family-style meal. If you’re inviting some skilful, experienced spring-rollers over, you can do a DIY feast and serve all the ingredients on a big platter and invite everyone to roll their own.
If you need some help rolling your summer rolls, take a look at this video on how to roll fresh spring rolls. While I like to lay everything in the lower section of the circle of dry spring roll wrappers, laying the prawns and herbs neatly face down on the bottom so they look pretty, then roll the bottom up once, fold either side in, then continue to roll, the video nevertheless gives you a good idea of how to do the actual rolling.
The key is to ensure your spring roll wrapper is just right (not too dry and not too wet), to get organised before you begin with your ingredients laid out in the order you’re going to add them to your paper, to use your ingredients in equal measure and sparingly, and to work quickly.
Vietnamese Pineapple Omelette Prawn Summer Rolls Recipe
- 6 eggs
- black pepper
- 18 medium-large prawns, boiled, peeled, sliced in half
- 200g dried rice vermicelli noodles
- small butter lettuce or iceberg lettuce, shredded
- 1 small sweet, ripe pineapple, sliced into fine 4cm long sticks
- 1 fat long cucumber, skin on, sliced into fine 4cm long sticks
- 1 large mild red chill, seeds discarded, finely sliced
- fresh coriander (cilantro) leaves
- fresh Thai basil leaves
- 18 rice paper wrappers
- Classic Vietnamese dipping sauce (see recipe below)
- Make thin omelettes: whisk eggs, salt and black pepper; pour mixture into a lightly-oiled frying pan, to thinly cover base of pan, stir, let set, remove, allow to cool. Repeat until all mixture used. Once cool, cut into 4mm-wide strips.
- Prepare prawns: boil water in a pot, add whole fresh prawns and remove as soon as cooked (green prawns will change to orange-red colour), set aside to cool, peel, removing entire shell, including head and tail, slice in half length-ways, then refrigerate until ready to use.
- Soak dried Vietnamese rice vermicelli noodles in boiling water for 3-5 minutes until soft or follow packet instructions if they differ. Drain, run under cold water, and set aside.
- Pour some filtered water into a large plate or tray so that it covers the bottom (you can add more as needed) then lay one piece of dry rice paper wrapper on the water, ensuring it’s fully covered for 2-3 seconds. You want the rice paper damp so it’s no longer stiff and dry, but you do not want it soft.
- Quickly place the rice paper wrapper on a chopping board, then immediately place in a neat line on the bottom middle quarter section of the round rice paper, in neat layers: a few leaves of coriander and basil, two fresh prawn halves, cold noodles, two lengths of omelette, two sticks each of pineapple and cucumber, and lettuce.
- Bring the bottom of the rice paper wrapper up and over the filling, fold in one side and then the other side, and continue to roll up from the bottom. Repeat until you have filled all your rice paper rolls.
- Refrigerate until ready to use and serve with a classic Vietnamese dipping sauce.
Classic Vietnamese Dipping Sauce Recipe
Serve your Vietnamese Pineapple Omelette Prawn Summer Rolls with a classic Vietnamese Dipping Sauce or Nuoc Cham Dipping Sauce, made from combining three tablespoons of Vietnamese fish sauce, 1 teaspoon of rice vinegar or palm vinegar, 150ml lime juice, two tablespoons of sugar dissolved in a little hot water, 1 garlic clove finely chopped, 1 finely-chopped large medium size chilli if you like your sauce mild, and 1 small birds-eye chilli finely chopped if you like a bit of bite. Adjust ingredients to suit your taste.
More of our Vietnamese Fresh Spring Roll / Summer Roll Recipes
Fresh Hanoi-style rice noodle rolls – phở cuốn Hà Nội recipe
How to make fresh rice noodle sheets for phở cuốn Hà Nội
Deep fried Hanoi-style spring rolls – classic nem rán Hà Nội recipe (these fried spring rolls are used for bun cha)
More Summer Roll Recipes
You’ll find more summer roll recipes in these excellent cookbooks.
Vietnamese Street Food by Tracey Lister and Andreas Pohl – we first spotted a very similar recipe in this terrific Vietnamese cookbook by the former owners of Hanoi Cooking Centre. There are ten Vietnamese spring roll recipes in this book.
The Songs of Sapa, Stories and Recipes from Vietnam by Luke Nguyen – there are half a dozen Vietnamese spring roll recipes in this beautiful book by the Aussie-Vietnamese chef who divides his time between Ho Chi Minh City / Saigon and Sydney and owns the outstanding GRAIN Cooking Studio in Saigon.
Street Food Asia by Luke Nguyen – you’ll find more spring roll recipes in this cookbook on street food snacks from Vietnam and beyond.
As always, we love to hear from you. Do let us know if you make our Vietnamese pineapple omelette prawn summer rolls recipe in the comments below or share a pic with us on Instagram.
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