If you are looking for the perfect healthy gluten free and vegan-friendly snack, a light, fresh appetiser or even food that is great for travelling or picnicking, this is the recipe for you. These Vietnamese spring rolls are super fresh, super delicious and are fun to make.
The first thing that comes to most peoples minds when they think about spring rolls is deep fried wrapped filo pastry. Which is amazing don’t get me wrong. However, it’s nice to change things up a bit. And for me, these fresh rice paper rolls is kind of like a spring roll remix.
Snacking on a lot of these for lunch is a great way to be healthy, as they are filled with vegetables, herbs and greens. However, they become a healthy treat once you dip them in the peanut satay sauce. That little bit of richness, saltiness and that light chilli that hits the back of the throat makes everything come together so beautifully.
There is a little bit of brown sugar in this dipping sauce. So if you want to keep this recipe as healthy as possible, you can replace the sugar with honey. Just keep in mind that as great as these spring rolls are, you’re missing out if you don’t have them with the sauce.
How to roll the spring rolls
The most important thing to know when it comes to rolling ingredients in rice paper is that you should aim for a tight, firm roll. The thought of a loosely filled spring roll that flops around everywhere isn’t super attractive, is it? Here is what the process should look like…..
First, you want to place the ingredients on the rice paper in a nice neat bundle.
Then you roll them up…
Notice, as I start to roll the rice paper over, I make sure the ingredients are firmly bunched up together. Once again, this is key.
Rolling rice paper rolls is kind of like cooking pancakes in that the first 1 or 2 are usually a bit awkward. Then you eventually start getting good at it and before you know it, you’re on a roll….(haha!! See what I did there?).
Can you cook Vietnamese spring rolls?
These are classically served raw. However, I did some experiments in the kitchen and I came across 2 effective ways to cook these. You can either fry them or steam them. Although you need to be careful that there are no holes or tears in your spring rolls, otherwise they can fall apart really easily.
So if you do plan on cooking these, you can double roll any spring roles that have tears. This worked out really nicely for me.
Here are the two cooking methods you can use for Vietnamese Spring Rolls.
Shallow fry or deep fry in a non-stick pot/pan – The non-stick part is important because the roll will stick to the bottom or the sides when working with stainless steel pots/pans. Which can cause the delicate rice paper to break and if that happens, well….let’s just say that you may not have a roll any more.
So get your oil nice and hot over high flame (put some bread in the oil to test if it’s ready. If it floats and bubbles, that’s a sign that you’re ready to fry). Fry your spring rolls for 2-3 minutes on each side or until golden brown all over then drain on kitchen paper.
Steaming the Spring Rolls – This is obviously a much healthier cooking option. The first time I tried steaming the spring rolls, the rice paper stuck to the bamboo surface. So when I attempted to lift it up, the rolls fell apart.
So on attempt number 2, I put baking paper in the steamer and then I sprayed it with cooking spray to make sure that the roll doesn’t stick. I then steamed the spring roll for about 4-5 minutes and honestly, I really liked the results.
And it’s as simple as that. Although I have to make one little side note, be careful because once you steam your rolls, the rice paper develops a slightly sticky texture. So be gentle with them and make sure the rolls don’t stick to one another.
Thank you so much for checking out this post. If you like this Vietnamese spring roll recipe, don’t forget to rate it in the recipe box below. You may also want to check out this Vegetable Fried Rice recipe. Other than that, take care and have an awesome day!!!
Vietnamese Spring Rolls with Spicy Peanut Satay Sauce
Vietnamese Spring Rolls:
- 15 rice paper sheets
- 200 g of iceberg lettuce
- 100 g of vermicelli rice noodles steeped in boiling water for 2 minutes then drained. (if you're gluten free, make sure you get gluten free rice noodles)
- 2 spring onion thinly sliced
- 2 small carrots or 1 large carrot peeled and then cut into matchsticks
- 1 Lebanese cucumber cut in half length-ways cored with a spoon and then cut into matchsticks.
- 125 g bean sprouts
- 1 bunch of mint leaves
- 1 bunch of Thai basil NOTE: or just use fresh basil as an alternative
- 1 bunch of chives
Spicy Peanut Satay Sauce:
- Pre-heat a small pot or pan over low-medium heat.
Add your sesame oil and your chopped garlic. Gently fry for about 1 minute.
- Next, add your peanut butter, your soy sauce, your coconut milk, your brown sugar and a pinch of chilli powder.
Stir on low heat until the sugar has dissolved and all the ingredients are well combined. Turn the heat off and set aside.
Vietnamese Spring Rolls:
Have a bowl of cool water, a clean chopping board and all of your chopped and weighed out ingredients ready and neatly placed out on your work surface.
Quickly dip the rice paper roll in the bowl of cool water, then let some of the excess water drip off before placing it flat out on your board.
Start neatly placing your ingredients on the rice paper roll. I placed the ingredients in this order. I added some lettuce, some rice noodles, a few slices of spring onion, some carrot, some cucumber, some bean sprouts, a few mint leaves, some Thai basil and a few sprigs of chives.
Fold the edge of the rice paper over the filling while firmly tucking in all of the ingredients. Tuck the sides of the rice paper in and then finish rolling up your spring roll. (look at the pictures in the post if you are confused).
Roll the rest of your spring rolls.
Serve with the peanut dipping sauce and enjoy.
- Remember, If you find it hard to follow the recipe when rolling the spring rolls, look at the pictures in the post for guidance.
- If you want to fry or steam your spring rolls you can. However, you must be aware the spring rolls are delicate and if any of them have tears, you may want to consider double wrapping them. A firmly sealed spring roll ensures that it won't break whilst being cooked.