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Sticky-sweet caramelized pork is complemented by crisp lettuce, carrots, and cucumber and wrapped in rice paper with vermicelli. The creamy peanut sauce makes the perfect dip for these fresh summer rolls.

Caramelized Pork Summer Rolls

Sticky-sweet caramelized pork is complemented by crisp lettuce, carrots, scallions, and cucumber and wrapped in rice paper with vermicelli. Served with a deliciously creamy peanut sauce!

Course Main Course
Cuisine Vietnamese
Keyword caramelized pork summer rolls
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 10 rolls
Author Natasha Bull


Dipping Sauce:

  • 1/4 cup peanut butter
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 3 tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 2 tablespoons peanut oil
  • Chopped peanuts (for garnish)
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Caramelized pork:

  • 1 pork tenderloin (about 1 pound)
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil

Summer rolls:

  • 1 pack rice paper (I used 8 1/2 inch size)
  • 2 large carrots cut into thin sticks
  • 1/2 cucumber cut into thin sticks
  • 4 scallions (green parts) chopped
  • 1/2 butter leaf lettuce
  • 4.4 ounces vermicelli (I used about half a package)


  1. Start by making the dipping sauce by adding the dipping sauce ingredients (except the chopped peanuts) to a food processor and blending until smooth. Transfer to the container(s) you want to serve it in, sprinkle on the chopped peanuts, and put it in the fridge until needed.
  2. Cut pork into bite-size strips, and remove any fat/gristle.
  3. Add the sugar in an even layer to the bottom of a heavy skillet on medium-low heat. It may take a few minutes for anything to happen... but if nothing happens for like 10 minutes, increase the heat a bit. Watch the sugar carefully. Once it melts and turns a nice caramel color, add the pork and stir until it's coated. It's ok if it appears to be a sticky mess.
  4. Add in the fish sauce and salt & pepper and stir. Cover the pan and cook for about two minutes. Add in the garlic and sesame oil and stir. Cook uncovered for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the sauce reduces and the pork is caramelized in the delicious sticky sweet sauce. When it's cooked, transfer to a bowl or plate.
  5. While the pork is caramelizing, it's a good idea to start chopping the vegetables and cook the vermicelli to make use of the time. Peel the carrots and cut them into matchsticks. I don't peel the cucumber; I just cut it into matchsticks. Chop the green parts of the scallions. Tear the lettuce into bite-size pieces. Set the vegetables aside on a plate so they're ready to go. The vermicelli only takes a few minutes to cook. Add it to boiling water and follow package directions. I drain it using a sieve and rinse it under cool water so it cools faster. Place in a bowl and set aside.
  6. When you've completed the above steps, it'll finally be time to assemble the summer rolls :) Fill a large bowl full of cool water. Wet a piece of rice paper and then place it on the surface you'll be assembling the rolls on.
  7. Add the vermicelli, vegetables, and pork to the top third of the rice paper. Fold the sides over slightly and then fold the top over so it just touches the filling. Tuck in the filling with your hands as you roll it towards you. Keep in mind you want the rolls to be fairly firm, but if you roll them too tightly, you'll break the paper. Don't worry... you'll get the hang of it :)
  8. Repeat the process for as many rolls as you have stuffing for. Serve the summer rolls with the peanut dipping sauce. You can keep the rolls intact or cut them in half. Enjoy the fruits of your labor.

Recipe Notes

  • Caramelized pork recipe is adapted from NY Times Cooking.
  • It's hard to say exactly how many summer rolls this recipe makes since it really depends how much you stuff them, but it easily makes at least 10 rolls.