This was one of my favorite dishes in SE Asia, they are simple to put together, delicious, fresh and full of flavor! They can be made vegetarian or with meat. As a bonus, they’re very healthy – low in both calories and fat, and naturally gluten-free. ENJOY!

  • INGREDIENTS for ROLLS:
  • 1 pkg. small, round rice wrappers (dried)
  • 1 to 1 1/2 cups thin vermicelli rice noodles, cooked and run through with cold water, drained (optional, you can leave them out)
  • 3/4 to 1 cup fried tofu or meat (cooked shrimp, or roasted chicken or turkey, cut into matchsticks)
  • 1-2 cups bean sprouts
  • ½ cup fresh thai basil or sweet basil, roughly chopped
  • ½ cup fresh coriander, roughly chopped (option: parsley)
  • ½ cup shredded carrot
  • 3-4 spring onions, cut into matchstick pieces
  • 2 Tbsp. soy sauce (or wheat-free soy sauce for gluten-free diets)
  • 1 Tbsp. rice vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. fish sauce (available at Asian foods stores) OR another Tbsp. soy sauce if vegetarian
  • 1 tsp. Palm sugar (or honey)

Dipping sauce:

  • 3 ladles of water
  • 2 tsp of palm sugar (you can also use honey)
  • 2 Tbsp. soy sauce (or wheat-free soy sauce for gluten-free diets)
  • 2 Tbsp. fish sauce OR vegetarian fish sauce
  • 1 tsp of peanut butter (alternative: finely chopped roasted peanuts)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 green or red chili, finely sliced OR 1/2 tsp. dried crushed chili or cayenne pepper
  • 1 shallot
  • juice of 2 limes

PREPARATION:

  1. Fill a large bowl with hot water (but not boiling, as you’ll be dipping your fingers into it). Start by submerging one wrapper into the water. It should soften after 30 seconds. Remove the wrapper and place on a clean surface. Add another wrapper to the hot water as you fill and roll the first one.
  2. Place preferred ingredients for roll toward the bottom of the wrapper; spread them out the horizontally (in the shape of a fresh roll).
  3. Fold the sides of the wrapper over the ingredients, then bring up the bottom. Tuck the bottom around the ingredients and roll to the top of the wrapper. To secure the roll: Wet it with a little water on your fingers and press (like sealing an envelope).

To make the Dipping Sauce (optional): Boil 3 ladles of water, add 2 tsp of palm sugar (honey), 2 Tbsp soy sauce, 2 Tbsp. fish sauce, 1 tsp of peanut butter. Simmer for 2 minutes, remove from heat. Finely chop 1 clove garlic, 1 chill, 1 shallot, mix with the juice of 2 limes, you can also add roasted crushed peanuts.

  • 3 ladles of water
  • 2 tsp of palm sugar (you can also use honey)
  • 2 Tbsp. soy sauce (or wheat-free soy sauce for gluten-free diets)
  • 2 Tbsp. fish sauce OR vegetarian fish sauce
  • 1 tsp of peanut butter (alternative: finely chopped roasted peanuts)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 green or red chili, finely sliced OR 1/2 tsp. dried crushed chili or cayenne pepper
  • 1 shallot
  • juice of 2 limes

Taste for saltiness, spiciness, and sweetness, adding more fish sauce (instead of salt), more sugar/honey, or more chili as desired.

Note: the sauce can be served warm or cold. With fresh rolls, I personally prefer a warm sauce to contrast with the cool rolls).

Optional Rolling Instructions – to create a “bouquet” of spring rolls: simply leave one side of the spring roll open as you roll. Place closed end in the bottom of a bowl. Fill the rest of the bowl with spring rolls, so that they are standing up. (It’s best if your bowl has steep sides. Also, make sure it isn’t too large, or it will take a lot of spring rolls to fill it!)

Other Dipping Sauces: Other dips that work for these rolls include: hoisin sauce, Easy Thai Peanut Dipping Sauce, Thai Sweet Chili Sauce (on the picture), and Thai Chili Sauce ‘Nam Prik Pao’ (recipe).

To serve, place your platter or bowl of rolls on the table along with the dipping sauce. Eat with your fingers and lots of napkins. Enjoy!

Fresh Spring Rolls-2