Let’s admit it, anything with tiger prawn is going to be a really good dish but the Tiger Prawn Roll, in particular, is the one dish that you can eat over and over again without feeling bored. Wrapped in super thin rice paper along with fresh vegetable, the Tiger Prawn roll is a snack you don’t have to feel guilty about because unlike the typical Asian spring roll, all the ingredients in the Tiger Prawn Roll are fresh and healthy.
In fact, this traditional Vietnamese appetiser is so scrumptious and guilt-free that even famous chef Gordon Ramsey has his own recipe to make the Tiger Prawn Roll.
History of the Tiger Prawn Roll
The origin of the Tiger Prawn is still not clear; however, most people believe that is a variation of the Spring roll that originated from China. Some people believe that the spring rolls were introduced to Vietnam and eventually, they made their version by using fresh ingredients instead of deep-frying it.
In North Vietnam, you will find a lot of pho cuon thit nuong which is essentially steamed spring rolls stuffed with grilled pork, herbs and vegetables. The recipe has been passed on for more than 100 years so it would be no surprise if the Tiger Prawn Rolls evolved from the steamed spring rolls often served in the North of the country.
Variations of Tiger Prawn Roll
The food in Vietnam varies from one region to the other, so it is no surprise that the Tiger Prawn Rolls have different variations. If you are eating the Tiger Prawn Rolls in Central Vietnam, you will probably get a spicier taste than if you were to get your spring rolls in the North where the Prawn Rolls usually contain pickles to give it a sour taste.
The ways they are called in different regions also vary. In the north, the prawn rolls are called Nem cuon, which means Nem rolls. In the southern part of Vietnam, the prawn rolls are called coi guon or salad rolls.
The names don’t just vary in Vietnam itself but in different parts of the world. In Cambodia, the Vietnamese prawn rolls are called nime chao, which translates to raw rice paper and in Japan, the dish is called Harumaki which translates to raw spring rolls. In other countries like Australia and Hong Kong, the term Vietnamese Spring Rolls is a clear indication that you will be getting the raw prawn spring rolls.
Serving the Tiger Prawn Roll
Like most Vietnamese dishes, there is an art that goes into preparing the Tiger Prawn Roll. The rice paper itself needs to be soaked in warm water for about 1 to 2 minutes before it can be used. While some prefer to roll their prawn rolls on the table, some would serve their guests rolled Coi Guon.
Typically, the Tiger Prawn Roll is served with peanut sauce for dipping but people in the South part of Vietnam would also dip it into hoisin sauce that is mixed with coconut water, fried garlic, sugar and chilli powder.
Where to get Tiger Prawn Roll in Malaysia
The Tiger Prawn Roll is a popular appetiser in the Vietnamese cuisine and you can find it easily in most Vietnamese restaurants in Malaysia. However, for the best Tiger Prawn Roll, head to Pho Vietz branches located in Empire Subang Jaya, Pavilion and even Midvalley Megamall.