Sunday, March 4, 2012

Vietnamese Spring Rolls

Someone was excited for dinner.

I was too.  Not quite that excited, but pretty excited.  We had spring rolls.  Not the fried chinese kind- the kind that is good for you.

I love making spring rolls.  It's fun to roll them as you go, making each one different.  Everyone can make them to suit their tastes.  They are really fun to make for a group or dinner party and have everyone make their own.  The more people you have, the more filling options you can add.

Our dinner party only consisted of the kids, my mom and I so I kept things simple.  I prepped a couple of veggies, shrimp, noodles and the sauces.  The sauces are key, without them you won't have much flavor.  You could just use soy sauce/coconut aminos if you wanted to skip making the sauces but I think the sauces are the best part.  Sometimes I will make 3 or 4- variety is the spice of life right? Anyway, it only takes about 5 mintues to mix up both so go for it.  Everything except the vermicelli can be made ahead of time and kept in the fridge until ready to serve.  This makes it a great meal for the nights when you need something ready when you walk in the door.

If you've never made spring rolls before you will need to find the wrappers.  I got these a Whole Foods.

Vietnamese Spring rolls

1 lb wild caught shrimp
Rice paper
Brown rice vermicelli

Green onion

Fresh herbs- mint, basil, cilantro

Hoisin peanut sauce
2 tbsp peanut butter
1/8 tsp garlic powder
1/8 tsp onion powder
2 tsp rice vinegar
2 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp sriracha
3 tbsp coconut aminos (or soy sauce if you aren't soy free)

Chili Garlic Sauce
4 tsp fish sauce
2 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tbsp sweet chili sauce
Juice from 1 lime
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup water

Peel and clean the shrimp.
Boil or steam shrimp for 5-10 minutes until completely pink.
Rinse the shrimp with cold water to stop cooking and set aside.

Slice the cucumber & carrots into matchsticks.
Shred the lettuce & green onion.
Slice avocado thinly.

Chop herbs or leave them whole.  Just remove the stems.

Combine ingredients for each sauce and whisk.

Cook vermicelli according to package directions (about 4 minutes).  Drain and rinse the noodles.

Now comes the fun part.  You'll need a pie plate or other dish with a lip (baking tray, casserole dish, or plate).  Fill it with very warm water.  I usually just you the warmest tap water.  Then slip your rice paper under the water making sure all parts are submerged.  Let it sit for a couple of minutes until it is soft.

Don't hold your breath- be patient!

Instead you can get your fixins set up.

When the wrapper is ready, carefully pick it up and put it on your plate.

Top it with all the goodies you've cut up and a little sauce too.

Then wrap it up like a burrito.  Fold the ends in first and then pull one side over as tight as you can.    Use the roll to "roll" the other side in.  The tighter you wrap it, the easier it will be to eat.  If you pull too hard the wrapper will break so be gentle.  This one wasn't too pretty but I was in a hurry- I had kids to feed.

You can eat it like this or you can cut it up so it looks pretty.

Either way it's going to taste awesome.  But before you dig in, slip another rice paper into the water so it will be ready when your done eating the first one.  You'll be happy you did.

Other ideas for fillings:
Snow peas
Red peppers
Tofu- seasoned and seared


  1. Love spring rolls! Thanks for including the sauce recipes :)

    1. Excellent! The sauces are the best part!!