Also called summer rolls or salad rolls, or in Vietnamese, Gỏi cuốn, spring rolls consist of rice paper wrapped around soft rice noodles, fresh veggies & herbs, shrimp or pork, or both. If you’ve had them, you know they’re delicious. What surprises many people is how easy they are to make at home! When you’re ready to try, keep the following tips in mind:
#1 Pre-prep all of your fillings & place within reach of where you’ll make the rolls. We find that working directly on a wood cutting board works best.
#2 Don’t let your rice paper become overly wet. Simply splash some water on it or slip it into a shallow bowl of water for no more than a couple seconds. You want it pliable but not soggy.
#3 Immediately transfer a wet sheet of rice paper to your cutting board, add its fillings, and roll everything up like you would a burrito. Repeat the process one roll at a time.
#4 Don’t overstuff the rice paper or you’ll have a hard time rolling it and keeping the fillings inside!
Thank you to Wynn Austin of Wynn’s Kitchen for contributing her expertise to this recipe!
- 8 medium shrimp
- 4 oz rice vermicelli (maifun) noodles
- 5-8 green or red lettuce leaves
- 1 Persian cucumber, sliced lengthwise into thin strips
- 1-2 green onions, sliced lengthwise into thin strips
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, plucked or roughly chopped
- 1/4 cup fresh mint or perilla leaves, plucked or roughly chopped
- 8 sheets rice paper (spring roll wrappers)
- Bring a pot of water to a boil. Once water is boiling add noodles and turn on a timer for 1 minute. (Do not leave noodles in boiling water for more than a minute or they will overcook!) Drain noodles, rinse under cold water to stop the cooking, and set aside.
- Bring a fresh pot of salted water to a boil. Add shrimp and cook for about 2 minutes, until they become pink and opaque, then drain and rinse under cold water. If your shrimp has the shell on, be sure to peel them, then slice each one in half lengthwise.
- Set up your assembly station with a shallow bowl of water, cutting board for rolling, and all of your fillings within reach.
- Wet a sheet of rice paper by splashing some water onto it or slipping it into your bowl of water for no more than 1-2 seconds. Immediately transfer it to your cutting board. Onto the rice paper about 1/3 from the bottom edge, place 2-3 shrimp pink side down. Be sure to leave a couple inches open on the two sides. Next, layer on the rest of your fillings, i.e. a leaf or two of lettuce, a generous pinch of your herbs and veggies, followed about a half ounce of noodles.
- Gently pull each side over to enclose the fillings, then pull the bottom of the wrapper up and over the fillings. Simultaneously tuck in the fillings as you continue to roll until everything is compact and contained. Serve whole, or slice in half on a diagonal and serve with peanut dipping sauce.
Spicy Peanut Dipping Sauce
Commonly served with Southeast Asian cuisines, peanut sauce is often used as a dipping sauce for fresh spring rolls, lettuce wraps, salad dressing, on noodles, or with fish, chicken or beef satay. Make it as sweet or as spicy as your palate prefers!
- 1/2 cup peanut butter
- 2 Tbsp low sodium soy sauce (or tamari or coconut aminos for gluten free)
- 1 Tbsp brown sugar (more to taste)
- 1 Tbsp rice vinegar
- 1 Tbsp lime juice
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 Tbsp fresh ginger, minced
- 2 tsp chili garlic sauce or similar, such as Wynn’s Sate Sauce or Sriracha (more to taste)
- 2-6 tablespoons warm water
- In a small bowl, whisk together all ingredients except the water until fully incorporated. Add water 1 tablespoon at a time, until desired consistency is reached. Less water will result in a thicker sauce, while more water will result in a pourable consistency that can be used as a dressing.
- Prepared peanut sauce can be kept in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. Allow stored peanut sauce to soften at room temp for about an hour before serving, or microwave for 10-20 seconds to return it to a creamy consistency.