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Fresh Spring Rolls (With Rice Paper)

Fresh spring rolls, also called salad rolls or summer rolls, make a great light lunch, appetizer, or snack. Colorful, crunchy vegetables are tucked inside an al dente rice paper wrapper and served with a delicious homemade Vietnamese peanut sauce.

Traditional Vietnamese spring rolls are filled with shrimp, thin strips of pork belly, rice vermicelli noodles, mint leaves, butter lettuce, and bean sprouts and served with a Vietnamese peanut hoisin dipping sauce.

However, there are many variations of rice paper rolls. The filling ingredients can be easily customized to include any combination of fresh vegetables depending on what you have on hand and also personal preference.

Key Ingredients

  • Rice paper wrappers – translucent round sheets that are naturally gluten-free and can be found at Asian markets or in most grocery stores. I love this brand. You don’t want to use spring roll wrappers which are made with wheat and need to be cooked.
  • Cooked shrimp – or any type of protein to make them more satiating.
  • Fresh veggies – I used a combination of thin slices of purple cabbage (also called red cabbage), carrots, cucumber, butter lettuce, and bean sprouts.
  • Fresh herbs – a mix of fresh cilantro and mint.
  • Vietnamese peanut hoisin sauce – adds saltiness, umami, and creaminess. You can also find the recipe in the recipe card at the bottom of this post.

How to Make Rice Paper Rolls

Step 1. Make the Vietnamese peanut sauce.

Step 2. Submerge a rice paper sheet into a shallow bowl or skillet of warm water for a few seconds. Shake off any excess water then transfer the hydrated rice paper to a clean surface or plate.

Step 3. Place a piece of lettuce in the bottom half of the rice paper along with the thinly sliced cabbage, carrots, cucumber, bean sprouts, fresh herbs, and sliced shrimp. (Place the filling further down than I have in the photo below.)

Step 4. Gently pull the bottom of the rice paper over the top of the filling, tucking it in as tightly as possible.

Step 5. Fold in each side, and complete the roll. Transfer the rolls to a plate lined with parchment paper or lightly oiled, leaving some space in between each one so they don’t stick together.

Step 6. Repeat until you’ve used up all the filling. Serve with peanut sauce.

Make It Your Way: Substitutions & Variations

Please remember that recipes are just a starting point.

How can you make these rice paper rolls using what you already have? Here are some ideas…

  • No mint or cilantro? – use green onion instead.
  • No shrimp? – you can use another source of protein such as cooked chicken or even cooked and cooled ground pork.
  • Make vegan summer rolls – omit the shrimp and use tofu.
  • No peanut butter? – you can also just dip the fresh rolls in soy sauce or tamari, or use another type of sauce such as carrot ginger dressing.
  • Add-ins – creamy avocado slices, red pepper, glass noodles, etc.
  • Make a spicy peanut sauce by increasing the amount of sriracha in the sauce recipe.

Helpful Tips

First time making spring rolls? The rolls will be varying sizes the first time you make them. After you make a few rolls though, I promise you’ll get the hang of it.

Are your rolls sticking a lot? You can lightly oil the plate you assemble the rolls on to make them easier to roll. Roll the rice paper on top of a sheet of parchment paper, this will keep it from sticking. and also put the finished rolls on a plate lightly oiled or lined with parchment paper to prevent the rolls from sticking.

Not serving them right away? Place a damp tea towel over the rolls to keep them from drying out.

Don’t overfill your spring rolls. Rice paper is thin and delicate. If you add too much filling, they’re likely to rip.

Look for rice paper sheets made with rice flour, tapioca flour (also called tapioca starch), and water. This brand is great. The combination of these three ingredients makes the hydrated rice paper wraps more pliable and easier to work with.

More Delicious Recipes

Fresh Spring Rolls (With Rice Paper)

5 from 1 vote
Fresh spring rolls made with rice paper and fresh colorful vegetables cut in half and served with Vietnamese peanut sauce for dipping.
Fresh spring rolls, also called salad rolls or summer rolls, make a great light lunch, appetizer, or snack. Colorful, crunchy vegetables are tucked inside an al dente rice paper wrap and served with a delicious homemade Vietnamese peanut sauce.
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes

Ingredients
 

Vietnamese Peanut Sauce

  • 3 garlic cloves finely minced or grated
  • 1 tablespoon avocado oil or another neutral oil
  • 6 tablespoons gluten free hoisin sauce or storebought
  • 4 tablespoons runny creamy peanut butter or tahini if nut-free see notes
  • ½ – ¾ cup water see notes
  • 1 teaspoon sriracha
  • chopped peanuts, for serving optional

Fresh Spring Rolls

  • rice paper wrappers
  • 1 head butter lettuce
  • 1 cup purple cabbage thinly sliced
  • 2 medium carrots julienned
  • 2 persian cucumbers sliced into thin matchsticks
  • 1 cup bean sprouts
  • fresh cilantro leaves
  • fresh mint leaves
  • ½ cup cooked shrimp sliced in half lengthwise

Instructions

Vietnamese peanut sauce

  • Heat the avocado oil in a small saucepan over medium-low heat and add the minced garlic. Cook for 30 seconds, stirring often.
  • Add the hoisin sauce, peanut butter, and water. Whisk to combine and let simmer for 1-2 minutes. Then remove from the heat and stir in the sriracha. Add the chopped peanuts just before serving.

Fresh spring rolls

  • Submerge a rice paper sheet into a shallow bowl or skillet of warm water for a few seconds. Shake off any excess water then transfer the hydrated rice paper to a clean surface or plate.
  • Place a piece of lettuce in the bottom half of the rice paper along with the thinly sliced cabbage, carrots, cucumber, bean sprouts, fresh herbs, and sliced shrimp.
  • Gently pull the bottom of the rice paper over the top of the filling, tucking it in as tightly as possible.
  • Fold in each side, and complete the roll. Transfer the rolls to a plate lined with parchment paper or lightly oiled, leaving some space in between each one so they don't stick together.
  • Repeat until you've used up all the filling. Serve with the peanut sauce.

Notes

Just make sure your peanut butter (or tahini) is runny or well-stirred, otherwise, if it’s dry from the bottom of the jar it can affect the texture of the sauce.
You can change the thickness of the sauce by using more or less water. If you prefer a thicker sauce, only use ½ cup water. If you like it a little thinner, use ¾ cup. You can add more if needed, but start there.
See the blog post for helpful tips about making fresh spring rolls.

Make It Your Way: Substitutions & Variations

No mint or cilantro? – use green onion instead.
No shrimp? – you can use another source of protein such as cooked chicken or even cooked and cooled ground pork.
Make vegan summer rolls – omit the shrimp and use tofu.
No peanut butter? – you can also just dip the fresh rolls in soy sauce or tamari, or use another type of sauce such as carrot ginger dressing.
Add-ins – creamy avocado slices, red pepper, glass noodles, etc.
Make a spicy peanut sauce by increasing the amount of sriracha in the sauce recipe.

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