A Fine Season For Spring Rolls
Stuff with fresh, crunchy ingredients and roll your own
Photos by Richard Ernest Yap / Gettyimages
Traditional Vietnamese spring rolls (gỏi cuốn) are the perfect springtime food: They’re light, tasty and super fun to make.
And because the rice paper wrappers (bánh tráng) lend lots of texture and only a touch of flavor to a spring roll, you can really get creative with the fillings.
Try stuffing your spring rolls with your favorite sandwich or salad fixings, and then whip up a dipping sauce to compliment the rolls.
Or, if you’re keen to try traditional Vietnamese flavors, stick with shrimp rolls dipped in a hoisin-peanut sauce (see recipe).
However your make them, enjoy these little beauties’ colors and textures. They’re a springtime delight.
Spring Roll Ingredients
Light Protein Options: Medium-sized shrimp (deveined, cooked, shells removed), deli-style roast beef or chicken (thinly sliced), tofu (thinly sliced), pork (cooked, shredded)
Vermicelli rice noodles,* cooked or soaked (according to package directions) and drained
Butter lettuce or another firm-but-flexible lettuce
Fresh mint leaves
Diced chives or green onions
Raw bean sprouts
Shredded carrots and cucumbers
Dipping Sauce Ingredients
¼ cup hoisin sauce*
2 tablespoons peanut butter
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 tablespoons soy sauce*
1 tablespoon sesame oil*
1 teaspoon lime juice
1 teaspoon red chili sauce*
Water to thin mixture to dipping consistency
1. Fill a large bowl with cool water. Soak one sheet of rice paper in the water for about 15 seconds, then turn the sheet over and let it soak for another 15 seconds. Lay the wet (still firm) rice paper sheet on a damp towel and add desired ingredients to the bottom-center portion of the roll (see image). Do not overfill. At this point, the rice paper will have become very flexible.
2. Lift the bottom edge of the rice paper over the filling, then fold in both sides (see image).
3. Continue rolling. The rice paper will stick to itself, forming a tight seal. Serve with Dipping Sauce, soy sauce or plain rice vinegar.
Surround stiff, crunchy vegetables (such as bean sprouts and carrots) with soft noodles or butter lettuce to prevent the stiff veggies from tearing the delicate rice paper.