Often found in Thai or Vietnamese restaurants, fresh spring rolls are a delightful appetizer or side dish for a special meal. Impress your family or guests with this fresh spring roll recipe, which is vegetarian-friendly, gluten-free, and made without most allergens. Stick to just raw veggies for a fresh, light appetizer, or add prawns or your protein of choice for a more filling dish.
Fresh Spring Roll Recipe
Makes: 12 rolls
- 12 rice paper wrappers, 8-inch
- 6 large lettuce leaves, ripped in half
- 2 carrots, cut into matchsticks
- 1 large cucumber, cut into matchsticks
- 1 avocado, cut into matchsticks
- 1 C bean sprouts
- 3 oz rice vermicelli
- 10 large mint leaves, sliced into strips
- 10 large basil leaves, sliced into strips
Peanut sauce, Thai sweet chili sauce, or hoisin sauce (available in most grocery stores)
Prawns, cooked and cut in half lengthwise
Chicken, cooked and cut into small strips
Tofu, fried in thin strips
- Heat enough water to fill a large frying pan (pan should be able to fit the rice paper wrappers). Water should be as hot as possible, but not burning.
- Bring a medium saucepan of water to a boil. Boil the rice vermicelli for 3 to 5 minutes until softened, but not mushy. Rinse with cool water and let drain.
- Set up your rolling station. Have a clean, empty plate prepared for making each roll. Have the rest of your ingredients prepared nearby and easy to grab.
- Dip a rice paper wrapper into the hot water, and let sit for 10 to 20 seconds. Once the wrapper softens, remove from water and place on plate.
- Place a piece of lettuce flat on the wrapper, leaving a few inches on each side empty. If you are using a protein, tuck a few pieces of this under the lettuce.
- Place small handfuls of carrots, cucumber, and avocado in a row on top of the lettuce.
- Place a small bunch of bean sprouts and rice vermicelli on top of the vegetables, making a mound with the ingredients. Sprinkle a few pinches of basil and mint on top.
- As if rolling a burrito, fold the sides of the wrapper inward, then tightly roll the wrapper around the filling.
- Cut rolls in half on a diagonal, and serve with your favorite dipping sauce.
-Do not soak the wrappers for too long. Make sure to remove from water as soon as they have softened slightly, but not completely.
-Keep boiling water nearby to keep your water warm enough to soften the wrappers.
-If you are having trouble with your wrappers ripping, try doubling up and using two rice paper wrappers per roll. Heat two at one time, and place them on top of each other before assembling your rolls.
-Experiment with different ingredients. Try adding green onions, thinly sliced peppers, cilantro, or your choice of protein.
-The rolls can be prepared ahead of time, covered, and kept in the refrigerator until serving.