Our family loves eating foods from different cultures. The recipes often feature fresh ingredients and it’s nice to try all of the different flavors! These fresh Vietnamese spring rolls are the latest Asian recipe we’ve tried for dinner.
Spring Rolls Recipe
This recipe was inspired by my friend David Vo. It’s based off of a traditional Vietnamese spring rolls recipe but with a few tweaks. In Vietnamese, they’re called g?i cu?n, which translated means salad rolls or summer rolls. You can find them in Vietnamese restaurants or as a street food overseas.
They’re filled with ingredients like shrimp, rice vermicelli noodles, and crispy veggies. Spring rolls also feature fresh herbs like chives and mint leaves. The rolls are then wrapped in Bánh tráng, aka spring roll wrappers, made of rice paper sheets. Unlike egg rolls, these aren’t fried but have a nice, fresh taste.
Spring rolls make for a delicious appetizer or side dish, but they’re filling enough for a meal too. It does take a little time to wrap and roll everything, so this is a great recipe to make as a group activity. Everyone in the family can assemble their own filling ingredients and roll them in the rice paper wrappers. Or have a Vietnamese spring roll party with your friends!
Rice Paper Rolls
In Vietnam and Asia, rice paper is made with just two ingredients, rice, and water. In some grocery stores in the US, they add tapioca flour. This extra ingredient makes the rice paper stronger and less likely to tear, but it adds more chewiness.
Rice paper can be a little tricky to work with if this is your first time making spring rolls. Right before you wrap the ingredients you’ll dip the rice paper into hot water for a few seconds. They really do only need a few seconds! The rice paper will continue to soften after dipping in the water. If it’s in the water for too long it will get mushy and tear very easily.
Spring Rolls Dipping Sauce
Spring rolls wouldn’t be complete without the dipping sauce. Traditionally these rolls are served with n??c ch?m, which is made from fish sauce, chili, sugar, and lime juice. Some people also use hoisin sauce or soy sauce to dip. I opted for a peanut dipping sauce instead. It combines creamy peanut butter with savory spices and honey which contrasts nicely with the crunchy, fresh veggies. The peanut sauce gets a kick from sriracha hot sauce, but you can omit it if you prefer a mild version.
The rolls also taste really good with chili garlic sauce or gyoza sauce.
How to Assemble the Vietnamese Spring Rolls
This part can be a little tricky at first, but once you get the hang of it assembly is a breeze. You’ll want to have all of your ingredients ready to go before you start. I use a pie pan with warm water to dip the rice wrappers in. You’ll then put the wrapper on a clean counter or cutting board.
Next are the filling ingredients. I put two butter lettuce leaves at the bottom of the wrapper, then added the vermicelli rice, shrimp, julienned vegetables, and herbs on top. The spring roll gets rolled up like a burrito. You start rolling from the bottom, fold the sides in once you get halfway up, then keep rolling to the end.
If your rice paper is sticking too much you can put a little water on your cutting board or counter.
Vietnamese Spring Rolls
- 1 cup red cabbage (thinly sliced)
- ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 tsp honey
- 2 ounces rice vermicelli
- 8 rice wrappers (8.5 inch diameter)
- 16 leaves butter lettuce
- 16 medium-sized cooked shrimp (peeled, deveined, and cut in half)
- 2 TBSP fresh basil (chopped)
- 2 TBSP fresh cilantro (chopped)
- 1 carrot (julienned)
- 1 cucumber (julienned)
Peanut sauce for dipping
- ½ cup peanut butter
- 2 TBSP coconut aminos
- 2 TBSP rice vinegar (or apple cider vinegar)
- 1 TBSP honey
- 1 TBSP sesame oil
- 1 TBSP sriracha
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- Water (to thin as needed)
- 1 TBSP peanuts (chopped)
- In a small bowl, stir together the red cabbage, apple cider vinegar, and honey and set aside.
- Cook the rice noodles according to the package directions, rinsing with cold water when finished.
- In a small bowl, whisk together all the ingredients for the peanut sauce and set aside.
- Fill another large bowl with warm water (I used a pie pan for this). Dip a rice wrapper into the warm water for a few seconds to soften.
- Place the wrapper on a clean counter and place two butter lettuce leaves near the bottom.
- Add a small pile of vermicelli rice noodles, 4 shrimp halves, any additional herbs, thin strips of vegetables, and pickled cabbage you’d like to use.
- Roll the spring roll from the bottom, stopping in the middle to fold the sides in, and then continuing to the end.
- Repeat with the remaining ingredients.
- Serve with the peanut sauce and enjoy.
- You can really use any combination of vegetables and protein you’d like in spring rolls. We made some with avocado and leftover chicken.
- You can also use whatever dipping sauce you’d like. We used peanut sauce and also tried them with the chili garlic sauce from bibimbap and gyoza sauce for pot stickers.
What are your favorite ingredients to put in your spring rolls? Leave a comment and share below!
Join the Conversation...