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rice paper rolls arranged on a plate around a thai dipping sauce

Rice Paper Rolls (Vietnamese Spring Rolls)

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Rice paper rolls, also called Vietnamese spring rolls, or summer rolls, are a cold food usually consisting of vegetables, shrimp or prawns, or pork, wrapped up in rice paper.

A light and healthy dish perfect for hot weather, rice paper rolls are easily made ahead of time, and then stored in the fridge for later as long as they are kept moist. Usually served with some kind of dipping sauce, these summer rolls are easily modified to suit any variety of tastes.

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What Exactly Is Rice Paper?

Rice paper is traditionally made in Vietnam and is used to make a variety of dishes with different methods of preparation. Rice paper wrappers are made by mixing and steaming a batter consisting of rice flour, tapioca, water and salt, before letting it sun dry.

Most often sold as a dried round circle, you can find rice paper wrappers at your local Asian grocery store, or order them online.

Are Rice Paper Rolls Good For You?

Yes! Rice paper is a great alternative to high-calorie breads and flour products, and doesn’t need to be fried in oil before eating. All that’s needed is to soak the rice paper in water to moisten it before eating.

By filling the rice paper rolls with lots of fresh vegetables, herbs, lean, meats and seafood, you can enjoy a tasty summer meal that is light and refreshing without having to worry about your waistline.

Leave out the meat and pack these full of julienne veggies, or even fruit, for a filling plant based meal!

Making Your Own Rice Paper Rolls

This recipe was inspired by my wife’s cousin, who served them up while at the beach. It was a DIY kind of lunch, and it was a great way to enjoy some good food with family.

I was impressed by how convenient and easy these were to actually make right there on the beach while providing a healthy, filling food on a hot summers day. I just had to share it with you!

What Do You Serve With Rice Paper Rolls?

If you’ve ever had Vietnamese spring rolls at a restaurant, you’ll know how delicious these are despite their simple ingredient list. I’ve found the secret to a well-flavoured summer roll to be the dipping sauce or condiment that I drizzle over the filling before rolling it all up.

This condiment can be used as a dip, or drizzled right on the spring rolls before wrapping them up. It simply consists of :

  • 1/4 cup olive oil (or other vegetable oil)
  • 3 tbsp water
  • 1/2 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/2 inch chunk of fresh ginger – grated
  • 1/2 lemon or lime – juiced
  • 1 Thai chili – minced (1/2 tsp dried red pepper flakes may also be used)
  • 1/4 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp fresh cilantro leaves chopped
  • salt and pepper

You can also serve these rice paper rolls alongside a richer sauce such as a peanut sauce, which adds another source of protein to the recipe, perfect if you want to keep these rolls plant-based!

Photo Credit: Marina | YummyMummyKitchen.com

Ingredients

To make the rice paper rolls themselves you’ll need:

  • 1 package rice paper wrappers
  • 24 shrimp – cooked and cooled
  • 1 large carrot – julienne
  • 1 red bell pepper – julienne
  • 1 yellow bell pepper – julienne
  • 1 small daikon – julienne
  • 1/2 red onion – julienne
  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro leaf
  • 1 cup Fresh lettuce or spinach leaves
  • salt and pepper

Instructions

1. Start by gathering all your ingredients and preparing the vegetables. You’ll want to julienne the vegetables, (find out what a julienne cut is and how to do it here) in order to keep them uniform and easier to roll up in the rice paper.

2. Mix any condiments you plan on serving with the rice paper rolls.

3. Set up a shallow dish of water, and then quickly soak a rice paper wrapper in the water, making sure to coat all sides. This takes a bit of practice because you don’t want the paper to get too wet. 4 or 5 seconds is plenty.

4. Place the ingredients along the center of the wrapper, keeping it as wide as you want the roll to be long. I like to place a few leaves of lettuce down first to keep everything in a neat pile.

5. Fold up the sides of the rice paper over the filling, then fold up the bottom, gently pull the roll tight, and then roll up the rice paper roll. Voila! You did it!

6. Prevent the rice paper rolls from drying out by covering them with a moist linen cloth as you finish rolling the rest. Serve fresh with peanut sauce and the spiced oil dressing listed above.

Related:  Kale Slaw (With A Creamy Lemon Garlic Dressing)

Tips & Tricks

To make your life a little easier, here are few tips to make rolling spring rolls a breeze!

Most importantly though, feel free to mix and match the veggies mentioned above. Throw in some mango, radish, or avocado to fully customize these rice paper rolls to your own tastes!

vertical image of rice paper rolls (vietnamese spring rolls) on a plate surrounded by dip and various ingredients
  • Don’t over soak the rice paper wrappers. If they are fully saturated, you’ll have a hard time folding and rolling the wrapper.
  • Pull the filling ‘back’ after folding up the bottom lip. This will help tighten the roll, and allow for a more compact summer roll.
  • Season the fillings inside the roll. Drizzle the spiced oil condiment, or peanut sauce right on the fillings before wrapping for extra flavour.
  • Wrap the rice paper rolls ahead of time and store covered in the refrigerator for 1 day. Make sure to keep them covered with a moist cloth to prevent them from drying out.
  • If you have trouble with the rice paper wrapper ripping while you roll, double up the wrapper for a thicker roll,

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Rice Paper Rolls (Vietnamese Spring Rolls)

A refreshing and healthy finger food perfect for summer, rice paper rolls (Vietnamese Spring Rolls), are easy to make and fully customizable!
Course Appetizer, Entree
Cuisine Thai, Vietnamese
Keyword are rice paper rolls good for you?, Vietnamese spring rolls recipe
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 12 spring rolls
Calories 49.6kcal
Author Chef Markus Mueller

Ingredients

Rice Paper Rolls

  • 1 package rice paper wrappers
  • 24 whole shrimp cooked and cooled
  • 1 large carrot julienne
  • 1 whole red bell pepper julienne
  • 1 whole yellow bell pepper julienne
  • 1 small daikon julienne
  • 1/2 whole red onion julienne
  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro leaf
  • 1 cup Fresh lettuce or spinach leaves
  • 1 pinch salt and pepper to taste

Lightly Spiced Garlic & Ginger Dipping Sauce

  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 tbsp water
  • 1/2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 inch chunk fresh ginger peeled and grated
  • 1 tbsp lemon or lime juice
  • 1 whole Thai red chili minced (dried pepper flakes may be substituted)
  • 1/4 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp cilantro leaves chopped
  • 1 pinch salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Start by gathering all your ingredients and preparing the vegetables. You'll want to julienne the vegetables, in order to keep them uniform and easier to roll up in the rice paper.
  • Mix any condiments you plan on serving with the rice paper rolls and set aside.
  • Set up a shallow dish of water, and then quickly soak a rice paper wrapper in the water, making sure to coat all sides. This takes a bit of practice because you don’t want the paper to get too wet. 4 or 5 seconds is plenty.
  • Place the ingredients along the center of the wrapper, keeping it as wide as you want the roll to be long. I like to place a few leaves of lettuce down first to keep everything in a neat pile.
  • Fold up the sides of the rice paper over the filling, then fold up the bottom, gently pull the roll tight, and then roll up the rice paper roll. Voilia! You did it!
  • Prevent the rice paper rolls from drying out by covering them with a moist linen cloth as you finish rolling the rest. Serve fresh with peanut sauce and the spiced oil dressing listed above.

Notes

  • Don’t over soak the rice paper wrappers. If they are fully saturated, you’ll have a hard time folding and rolling the wrapper.
  • Pull the filling ‘back’ after folding up the bottom lip. This will help tighten the roll, and allow for a more compact summer roll.
  • Season the fillings inside the roll. Drizzle the spiced oil condiment, or peanut sauce right on the fillings before wrapping for extra flavour.
  • Wrap the rice paper rolls ahead of time and store covered in the refrigerator for 1 day. Make sure to keep them covered with a moist cloth to prevent them from drying out or store them in a tight fitting tupperware container.
  • If you have trouble with the rice paper wrapper ripping while you roll, double up the wrapper for a thicker roll,

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