Vietnamese Fresh Spring Rolls

It’s pretty easy to fall in love with fresh spring rolls, especially if you’re only used to eating deep fried spring rolls or egg rolls. Fresh spring rolls are made with rice paper that’s either fresh or moistened so that it’s pliable. It’s a little wrapper for fresh and crunchy vegetables and bright herbs, making fresh spring rolls undeniably light and refreshing.

P.S. This post may contain affiliate links. If you click a link, I may earn a small fee for qualifying purchases. I only include links to things I actively use, wholeheartedly recommend, or think you’ll find particularly useful.

Fresh Vietnamese Spring Rolls with Peanut Ginger Dipping Sauce

Once you have the format down, spring rolls are wonderfully customizable. I always use fresh herbs that are so ubiquitous in Southeast Asian cuisine as a backbone and then iterate from there. Tofu is a great way to keep things vegetarian, but I often use rotisserie chicken as well.

How to Make Fresh Spring Rolls (1 min)

 

During our trip to Vietnam last year we took a cooking class at Hoi An Eco Cooking School and were able to make fresh rice paper along with homemade spring rolls. Once you make them once you’ll want to come back to them again and again.

At Hoi An Eco Cooking School we also made a sweet and sour dipping sauce similar to Vietnamese Nuoc Cham, but I prefer something a little stronger to dip the spring rolls in when I make these at home.

You can find dried rice paper at some grocery stores or at Asian specialty markets. They are worth seeking out for exactly this purpose.

Fresh Vietnamese Spring Rolls with Peanut Ginger Dipping Sauce

Here’s what you’ll need:

For the Fresh Spring Rolls

  • 10 dried rice paper sheets
  • 5 large romaine lettuce leaves, torn in half
  • 3 oz fresh bean sprouts, optional
  • 6 oz firm tofu, cooked
  • 2 large bunches basil
  • 2 oz mint leaves
  • 3 large carrots, peeled and julienned
  • 1 English cucumber, julienned
  • 3-4 green onions, sliced thin lengthwise
  • ½ head red cabbage, sliced thin

For the Ginger Peanut Dipping Sauce:

  • ¼ cup smooth, natural peanut butter
  • 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 1 ½ tbsp hoisin sauce
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • ½ tbsp minced ginger
  • 2 tbsp water
  • Chopped peanuts to garnish

Mint, Bean Sprouts, Thai Basil, and Rice Paper

Keys to Success

The first key to success with fresh spring rolls is to prep everything ahead of time. Once you start building your spring rolls, you want every ingredient you’ll need ready to go. So go ahead and take some time to prep all of the vegetables and cook your tofu.

Ingredients on a plate for Vietnamese Spring Rolls

The next key to success is only making one spring roll at a time. Don’t try to moisten all of your rice paper at once, or even two a time! Make one, alter your technique if need be, then make the next one.

Moistened rice paper can also be difficult to work with. Briefly dip the rice paper in a warm bowl of water, just long enough so that the entire surface touches the water at some point. Then blot the rice paper on a paper towel and lay it down on a clean work surface. For best results, work fast!

Rice Paper and Lettuce

Once you have a piece of moistened rice paper on your work surface, start building the spring rolls. Start with a lettuce leaf – this helps to hold the loose ingredients in place. After the lettuce goes down, add the bean sprouts, tofu, carrots, cucumber, and green onion on top.

Mint, Thai Basil, Cucumber, Tofu, Carrots and Lettuce on Rice Paper

Next, lay the fresh herbs towards the middle of the rice paper. You want this to be on the outside so the bright green shows once the spring rolls are complete.

And finally, add the thinly sliced red cabbage. I love the way the purple and green look together when the spring rolls are complete.

Mint, Thai Basil, Cabbage, Cucumber, Carrot, Tofu, Bean Sprouts, and Lettuce on top of Rice Paper

Now comes the rolling. Start at the bottom by the lettuce and roll the spring rolls halfway. At the halfway point, fold in the sides of the spring rolls to create a pouch.

How to roll rice paper to make Vietnamese Spring Rolls

After the sides are folded in, roll the remainder of the spring roll. The rice paper will stick to itself to form a seal. Repeat this with the remaining fresh spring rolls until all are complete. You’ll have 10 rolls in total.

Fresh Vietnamese Spring Rolls with Peanut Ginger Dipping Sauce

Next, make the peanut ginger dipping sauce for the fresh spring rolls. To do this, combine peanut butter, rice wine vinegar, hoisin sauce, soy sauce, ginger and water in a bowl and whisk to incorporate.

Top the sauce with chopped peanuts.

Homemade Peanut Ginger Dipping Sauce Topped with Crushed Peanuts

Serve the fresh spring rolls with the ginger peanut dipping sauce relatively soon after making. The rice paper will dry out after a few hours and become overly chewy. These are best super fresh.

Bon appétit!

Fresh Vietnamese Spring Rolls with Peanut Ginger Dipping Sauce

Fresh Vietnamese Spring Rolls

These fresh spring rolls are bright, herbaceous and refreshing - dipped in a ginger peanut dipping sauce, these are perfect for parties!

Course Appetizer
Cuisine Asian, Thai, Vietnamese
Prep Time 30 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 10 spring rolls

Ingredients

For the Spring Rolls

  • 10 dried rice paper sheets
  • 5 large romaine lettuce leaves torn in half
  • 3 oz fresh bean sprouts optional
  • 6 oz firm tofu cooked
  • 2 large bunches basil
  • 2 oz mint leaves
  • 3 large carrots peeled and julienned
  • 1 English cucumber julienned
  • 3-4 green onions sliced thin lengthwise
  • ½ head red cabbage sliced thin

For the Ginger Peanut Dipping Sauce:

  • ¼ cup smooth natural peanut butter
  • 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 1 ½ tbsp hoisin sauce
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • ½ tbsp minced ginger
  • 2 tbsp water
  • Chopped peanuts to garnish

Instructions

  1. Dip one sheet of rice paper in a warm bowl of water, just enough to coat the entire sheet then blot on a dry paper towel

  2. Place the moistened rice paper on a clean work surface and add half a leaf of lettuce to the bottom half of the rice paper

  3. Layer bean sprouts, tofu, carrots, cucumber, and green onion on top of the lettuce

  4. Add basil leaves and mint leaves across the middle of the rice paper, and sprinkle sliced red cabbage over top

  5. Start from the bottom and roll the spring rolls halfway, fold in the sides to create a pouch and roll the rest of the way 

  6. Repeat steps 1-5 with the remaining rice paper to make 10 fresh spring rolls in total 

  7. Make the peanut ginger dipping sauce by mixing peanut butter, rice wine vinegar, hoisin sauce, soy sauce, fresh ginger, and water in a bowl.  Whisk to incorporate and top with crushed peanuts

  8. Serve the spring rolls with the peanut ginger sauce immediately

Recipe Video



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.