Vietnamese Soft Rolls with Crab

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A very refreshing roll, much like an updated goi cuon, with a choice of two Asian dipping sauces. Served as an appetizer, these rolls make 16, but as a part of a main course, these serve 4 as part of an Asian meal. The rice papers used in this recipe may be found at high end grocers or Oriental markets and are called "Banh Trang".

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Ingredients [?]

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  • add   sesame oil
  • add   1 package rice paper sheets (banh trang)
  • add   1/4 cup fish sauce (nam pla)
  • add   1/4 cup water
  • add   1 cup alfalfa sprouts
  • add   paper towels
  • add   1/2 lime
  • add   3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • add   1 cup shredded carrots
  • add   2 teaspoons sugar
  • add   1/2 cup hoisin sauce
  • add   1 lb fresh asparagus
  • add   1 clove garlic
  • add   1 tablespoon cooking oil
  • add   1 cup fresh cilantro stems
  • add   1 tablespoon chopped peanuts
  • add   1 head red leaf lettuce
  • add   1 cup fresh basil leaves
  • add   1/2 cup water
  • add   1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • add   1 tablespoon sugar
  • add   1 lb cooked crabmeat (imitation crab may also be used)
  • add   2 cloves garlic


  1. Mix together ingredients for the nuoc cham sauce in a small bowl and set aside.
  2. Mix together all ingredients for Hoisin dipping sauce EXCEPT chopped peanuts in a small saucepan.
  3. Bring mixture to a boil; then reduce heat and simmer for five minutes.
  4. Cool Hoisin dipping sauce to room temperature, garnish with chopped peanuts, and set aside.
  5. Het oil in a large skillet, add asparagus and cook for one minute.
  6. Add water and cook, covered, for three minutes more; remove from heat.
  7. Note: crab is meant to be chilled and asparagus is meant to be cooled down to room temperature when building rolls.
  8. Fill a large bowl with warm water (deep enough to submerge a rice paper).
  9. Dip one rice paper at a time while building soft rolls, just till it becomes pliable; remove from water and blot on paper toweling.
  10. To build roll, on softened rice paper, place a lettuce leaf with margins on all sides (except top is ok).
  11. Top lettuce with one ounce of crab, one piece of asparagus, a couple of pinches of alfalfa sprouts and shredded carrots, a fresh basil leaf, and a couple of cilantro sprigs.
  12. Fold bottom edge of rice paper up over filling, then wrap right side over filling and roll up tightly into a bundle.
  13. Place on serving platter covered with a damp paper towel while preparing remaining rolls.
  14. Serve at once with dipping sauces and hot chile paste (sambal oelek), if desired.