Vietnamese-Style Spring Rolls Stuffed with Smoked Trout

| January 28, 2011 | 5 Comments

One of the fun things about mastering a culinary technique is that you can start innovating when you’ve got the technique down. Today I’m combining two techniques — smoking seafood and making Vietnamese spring rolls — to come up with Vietnamese-style spring rolls stuffed with smoked trout. It’s a delicious way to enjoy smoked trout, and makes for a light and healthy meal. Smoking seafood does not require fancy and expensive smokers if you have a Weber kettle charcoal grill. All you need to do is use fewer coals and pile them up on one side of the grill after they’re lit. Then, you place a pie tin filled with whatever variety of wood chips you like on top of the coals and place the seafood on the side opposite the coals. Close bottom and top vents half-way so that the coals don’t burn too hot and the smoke will be trapped in the grill for as long as possible to flavor your seafood.

Check the grill periodically and add wood chips to the pie tin if all the old chips have burned through and no more smoke is being generated.

Smoking seafood can be easily done in a Weber kettle grill.

Once you’ve mastered this technique, you can smoke all sorts of seafood — mussels, clams, fish — at a fraction of the cost of purchasing smoked seafood at the store.

Smoked wild-caught trout from Detroit Lake.

After smoking trout or any other whole fish, it’s simple to fillet them. Follow the step-by-step photos below:

1. Remove heads and tails and cut a slit down the back of the fish with a sharp knife.

2. Use your fingers to pry apart the flesh down the center, trying to keeping the bones intact as much as possible.

3. Peel back one side of the fish, taking care around the stomach cavity so that you don't break off the bones.

4. Once one fillet has been removed, slowly pull the bones and spine away from the other fillet.

Making Vietnamese-style spring rolls is easy once you get the hang of it. It just requires a little dexterity (you have to use your hands and fingers) and patience. Once you master the technique, you can add your own variations: Replace lettuce with microgreens, replace the traditional boiled pork and shrimp with beef or smoked seafood, or if you want to create a vegetarian version, use tofu. Instead of mint, you can use any fresh herb you like. I’ve found that keeping the rice noodles helps maintain the bulk of filling in the spring rolls, but you can leave it out too. For step-by-step photos showing how to make spring rolls, see my blog on Vietnamese-Style Spring Rolls with Grilled Lobster Tails by clicking here. Have fun and experiment and then come back and share your ideas with our readers by leaving a comment on your distinctive take on spring rolls.

Vietnamese-style spring rolls are a great way to enjoy the flavor of smoked trout.

Vietnamese-Style Spring Rolls Stuffed with Smoked Trout

Makes 8 rolls


  1. ¼ cup (60 ml.) fish sauce
  2. ¼ cup (60 ml.) rice wine vinegar
  3. ¼ cup (60 ml.) freshly squeezed lime juice
  4. 2 tablespoons (30 ml.) sugar
  5. 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  6. 8 sheets of spring roll wrappers, made from rice and tapioca flour and sold dried in round sheets.
  7. 4 lettuce leaves, washed and dried, cut in half and remove fleshy stem
  8. 2 cups (60 ml.) cooked thin rice noodles (mai fun)
  9. 8 smoked trout fillets
  10. 8 pieces of cilantro (you can substitute mint or Thai basil)
  11. 3 spring onions, julienned


  • Make the dipping sauce by combining fish sauce, rice wine vinegar, lime juice, sugar and garlic and stirring well. Set aside until ready to serve.
  • Make one spring roll at a time by soaking a spring roll wrapper in a pie dish filled with warm water until it becomes soft and pliable.
  • Remove from water and place on a butcher block and pat dry with paper towel.
  • Place a piece of lettuce in the center of the spring roll wrapper, then add some rice noodles on top of the lettuce. Place one of the trout fillets on top of the noodles, add a piece of cilantro, several pieces of spring onion and wrap the spring roll. For step-by-step photos showing how to do this, see my blog on Vietnamese-Style Spring Rolls with Grilled Lobster Tails by clicking here.
  • Place finished spring roll on serving platter and prepare remaining spring rolls. Serve with the dipping sauce.


— Vic

Tags: , ,

Category: Appetizers, Seafood

About the Author (Author Profile)

Victor Panichkul is a journalist and writer by training; a cook, wine lover and photographer by passion; and a lover of the outdoors since moving to Oregon more than 10 years ago. He is a native of Bangkok, Thailand.

Comments (5)

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  1. anjelina says:

    Springrolls looks yum.

  2. Mel Wagner says:

    Victor-these look and sound delicious! Easy enough for those of us that aren’t chefs to try out.

  3. Victor says:

    Thanks Mel. They make great finger foods plus it’s fun for the kids to roll their own spring rolls too!

  4. These look divine. I like any variation on the classic spring roll recipe but smoked fish really hadn’t occurred to me. Wishing we had it as locally in Chicago but I’ve got a few ideas of where to find…

  5. Jamie says:

    mmmmmmmm These are gluten-free! I want!

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