Fresh Vietnamese spring rolls with peanut sauce
Delicious vegetarian fresh Vietnamese spring rolls (or gỏi cuốn as it is called in Vietnamese) or summer rolls that are super easy to make and on the table in no time. Don’t forget to make the delicious peanut dip! Delicious for lunch or a light dinner.
Vegetarian Vietnamese Spring Rolls
Homemade spring rolls are one of my favorite quick snacks. They are easy to make, and because they are usually filled with fresh vegetables and herbs, they are also very healthy. That said; the homemade peanut sauce I am serving along with these spring rolls is possibly not so healthy, but it’s not the main ingredient and you can swap it for another kind of dip if you want. I do love to use the peanut sauce as it is the best!
The basis of every (fresh) spring roll is of course the rice paper sheets in which you wrap the filling. You can buy it at the supermarket or Asian grocery store these days, so there is no reason not to try this recipe.
What goes into the vegetarian Vietnamese spring rolls?
I kept the filling for the spring rolls simple this time. It’s mostly fresh veggies and fresh herbs. It’s also really easy to add other elements to the rolls, like pork belly, shredded chicken, shrimps or other veggies like red cabbage or white cabbage. Bean sprouts is also an ingredient that is used a lot. The rice noodles could be replaced by rice vermicelli noodles but do make sure that they are not too thick. So no udon noodles or the like.
- Yellow bell pepper (other colors are possible, of course)
- fresh oregano
- fresh mint leaves
- Thai basil
- rice noodles
- rice paper wrappers
How to make them?
How to make this Vietnamese spring roll recipe is easy. The most work is cutting all the vegetables into julienne size, although you can probably buy some already cut. Cook the rice noodles, drain and rinse. Set aside for later. I like to prepare all the vegetables and the herbs and place it in separate bowls so I have everything ready to go for making the rolls.
Now when using the spring roll wrappers it is important to use cold water and not warm water or hot water. It’s ok if it is slightly luke warm but not more than that or the paper will fall apart. If this is your first time making Vietnamese spring rolls it might take some getting used to handling the rice wrappers.
Rolling the spring rolls
Once I have all my ingredients ready I add water to a large bowl and make sure I have everything ready to go. You want to briefly soak the paper sheet into the water. When it comes out of the water it will still be somewhat firm but once you’ve filled it, it will have softened enough to roll. Place your paper sheet on a flat surface and place all the ingredients (small amounts of it!) in the middle of the rice paper sheet. Now fold the lower part over the filling using your hands. Hold the filling together and push it against the lower part while you fold it over. Now fold in the two sides of the paper and continue to roll to the end. It might take some getting used to.
I think I will be adding some how to here soon, but for now I hope you get the idea. That said; just test it a couple of times to make sure you get the hang of it. You can re-use the filling ingredients if it doesn’t work out and you have to start over again.
What goes into the peanut sauce?
The peanut dip sauce is very quick to make and contains the following ingredients:
- Hoisin sauce (for a sugar-free version, see the recipe for sugar-free hoisin)
- peanut butter
- sweet chili sauce
For making the peanut sauce I use a small sauce pan, add a bit of olive oil and add the garlic and the ginger. I briefly sauté those and then add the sweet chili sauce, the hoisin and the peanut butter. At this point the sauce will be too thick but you can add a bit of water till it has the desired consistency. You can add some fish sauce or soy sauce to the sauce to in order to make it more Vietnamese. Or serve the rolls with a traditional Vietnamese dipping sauce. Definitely a good option too.
While this is a perfectly delicious and healthy side dish or light lunch you can use some alternatives if you don’t want to eat rice paper rolls for instance. You might have seen salad rolls before, where you simply use all the ingredients and add those to a piece of lettuce. Butter lettuce would be a good option for this. Making this into egg rolls is also a great option. I’ve done this on many occasions too. Instead of the rice paper, you bake a very thin omelet and use that to wrap the ingredients in. Perfect if you’re eating low carb or paleo.
Obviously if you do, also leave out the rice noodles.
The peanut sauce can be made into an almond sauce instead. For that you use almond butter instead of the peanut butter.
You can also make this into a spicy peanut sauce by adding some sriracha or chipotle to it. I love using chipotle. Totally not traditional but so delicious!
If you like spring rolls you might want to check out the below recipes too:
Vegetarian Vietnamese Spring Rolls
- 1/2 cucumber julienned
- 1 yellow bell pepper thinly sliced
- 50 gr grated carrot
- 100 g rice noodles cooked
- 2 sprigs fresh oregano
- 2 sprigs fresh mint
- 2 sprigs fresh basil Thai or sweet
- 8 spring roll wrappers
- 2 cloves garlic chopped
- 1 piece ginger grated
- 3 tbsp sweet chili sauce
- 2 tbsp hoisin sauce
- 3 tbsp peanut butter
- 100 ml water or more to taste
- First prepare all the vegetables and put them in trays so you can fill the rice sheets immediately.
- Briefly dip a rice sheet in some lukewarm water and place it on a board. Fill the rice sheet from the center with the vegetables, leaving space on the sides. Tap the bottom of the sheet on top of the filling, pressing the filling lightly with your fingers.
- Tap the side on top and roll up the rest. Repeat for all the rice sheets.
- To make the peanut sauce, heat a saucepan with a little oil. Sauté the garlic and ginger.
- Add the sweet chili sauce, hoisin and peanut butter and stir to combine. If necessary, add more water to achieve the desired consistency.
- Serve the spring rolls with the peanut sauce.
The nutritional values above are calculated per portion. The details are based on standard nutritional tables and do not constitute a professional nutritional advice.