You shouldn’t get confused about the most popular spring rolls in Hanoi. It is easy one is fried and the other isn’t.
Nem Ran / Nem rán – fried spring rolls
These a real Vietnamese classic and most certainly a favorite as comes out piping hot and ready to be dipped in the accompanied light dipping sauce.
Inside is a combination of minced port, crab meat, vermicelli (glass noodle), thinly sliced mushroom, (sometimes carrots) and bean sprouts. Wrapped up tightly in a rice paper wrapper and then deep fried.
Fresh Spring Rolls or Gio Cuon – with shrimp and pork
If you have never been to Hanoi, you may have tried these on your travels or at home. You might know them as Fresh Spring Rolls, Summer rolls or Egg Rolls (even though I don’t think they have eggs inside ?? minor detail !!).
Fresh spring rolls are also called Summer Rolls. Good name for them as they have salad inside which normally means its summer time !!
Served cold, ingredients of with slithers of pork, chicken, beef and shrimps which you can see through the wrapper of moistened rice paper. Salad bits include fresh herbs, lettuce, sometimes garlic chives and rice vermicelli.
Dipping sauce can be either nuoc cham or hoisin sauce. Nuoc cham is fish sauce thinned down with some water and lime juice, garlic, sugar, and small red pepper and hoisin sauce is a brand name like soya sauce but made out of potatoes.