Full of fresh ingredients, Vietnamese spring rolls make for the perfect healthy and quick, grab-and-go lunch.
Vietnamese fresh spring rolls (goi cuon in Vietnamese) are incredibly easy, fresh version of a classic fried spring roll. These rolls (also called summer rolls or salad rolls) are light and healthy, full of fresh herbs and crisp ingredients.
Working with Rice Paper
Rice paper wrappers can be tricky to work with, particularly if they are not prepared correctly. But, with a few tips, you’ll be wrapping and rolling in no time. If you have had trouble working with rice paper in the past, take courage and try again!
The key to working with rice paper wrappers is to dip them in warm water just long enough to moisten them. (No more than 3-5 seconds.) The paper should still be slightly firm when you remove it from the water. Don’t worry, the paper will continue to absorb moisture as it sets, so dip it just long enough to make sure all parts of both sides hit the water.
If you find that your wrappers are too soft when it comes time to wrap your roll, you probably dipped it too long. If you find that the wrappers aren’t pliable and willing to stick to themselves when you wrap your roll, you probably did not dip it long enough. Don’t worry if it takes a few tries to get a feel for how moist the wrappers need to be. Every brand of wrappers will be slightly different in thickness and the amount of water they need, so a little adjusting will be necessary.
If after a couple of tries you are still having trouble with your wrappers tearing, you may have very thin wrappers. Try doubling up on the wrappers and using two for each roll (Just make sure they are both moistened on both sides!) The extra reinforcement should solve the tearing problem.
Making the best spring rolls
Using fresh ingredients is a must in spring rolls. That’s not to say that you can’t get creative and use leftover meats and such to fill your spring rolls. But, you do want to make sure you include at least a few elements with a crunch, like carrot or cucumber matchsticks, bean sprouts, or lettuce.
Fresh herbs are also a must for capturing the Vietnamese fresh spring roll flavor. You’ll be amazed what a few leaves of basil, mint, or cilantro can do to brighten the flavor of the rolls.
The recipe we’re sharing with you today is for traditional Vietnamese pork and shrimp spring rolls. These rolls typically include rice noodles. The noodles act as a nice, light filler to the rolls, and make these rolls much more filling than you would expect from such a fresh and light dish.
How to roll a spring roll
You want to layer your ingredients on the 1/3 of the rice paper closest to you. After layering your ingredients, you will begin to roll by picking up the edge closest to you and pulling it gently over the filling. Use your fingers to tuck the ingredients under the rice paper, pulling them gently towards you as you bring the paper over.
Once you wrap the roll one half rotation, you will notice that the rice paper begins to stick to itself, sealing the ingredients inside and making it very easy to roll. For the shrimp and pork rolls, we like to add the shrimp over top of the lettuce after wrapping the roll one half rotation. This gives the shrimp slices that nice and vibrant, pop-out-at-you, effect.
Continue wrapping the roll until your lettuce side is face down. (You should be about 2/3 of the way through your rice paper.) The lettuce/shrimp side will be the top of the roll, so we need to fold the two sides in so that they stick to what will be the bottom of our roll.
Once the sides are folded in, continue rolling away from you to seal in the sides and finish off your rice paper.
Serving spring rolls
Some people will argue that spring rolls are best served immediately, and while they are WONDERFUL eaten right away, we find that they also make a nice, easy, and quick pack-and-go lunch.
To make your spring rolls ahead of time, wrap each roll, individually, in a lightly dampened paper towel and store them in an airtight container. When you are ready to eat them, unwrap the rolls from the paper towels and let them set, exposed to the air, for a minute or two before eating. (Letting them set will give the wrappers a moment to dry out and become less tacky to the touch.)
We don’t recommend storing the spring rolls side by side (not wrapped in a paper towel) because the rice paper will stick to itself.
Feel free to get creative with your roll fillings. These are the perfect way to turn some leftover meat and fresh vegetables into a tasty and healthy, portable lunch!
- 2 oz rice noodles (rice sticks) (Find them HERE.)
- ¼ lb shrimp, cooked and split in half
- ¼ lb cooked pork, sliced or shredded
- 4 large lettuce leaves, hard veins removed
- 2 carrots, cut into matchsticks
- 1 large handful of fresh cilantro
- 1 large handful of fresh mint
- 1 large handful of fresh Thai basil
- 8 rice paper spring roll wrappers (Find them HERE.)
- Cook the rice noodles according to their package directions. Drain and set aside.
- Mis en place. Get all your roll ingredients chopped and ready before you start on the rolls.
- Fill a large bowl with warm water. Dip a rice paper wrapper in the bowl, just long enough to cover the entire surface (both sides) with water. (No more than 3-5 seconds.) Place the moistened wrapper on a clean, damp tea towel.
- Layer your ingredients on the third of the wrapper closest to you, starting with a piece of a lettuce leaf, followed by carrot sticks, a few leaves of each herb, some rice noodles, and a little pork.
- After layering your ingredients, you will begin to roll by picking up the edge closest to you and pulling it gently over the filling. Use your fingers to tuck the ingredients under the rice paper, pulling them gently towards you as you bring the paper’s edge over. Continue to roll away from you. Once you wrap the roll one full rotation, you will notice that the rice paper begins to stick to itself, sealing the ingredients inside and making it very easy to roll. For the shrimp and pork rolls, we like to add the shrimp over top of the lettuce after wrapping the roll one full rotation. This gives the shrimp slices that nice and vibrant, pop-out-at-you, effect.
- After adding the shrimp, continue wrapping the roll until your lettuce/shrimp side is face down. (You should be about ⅔ of the way through your rice paper by now.) Fold the sides in and continue rolling away from you until all the rice paper has been used.
- Serve immediately with Hoisin sauce for dipping. Or, wrap each roll in a lightly damp paper towel and store in an airtight container for up to 12 hours.
This week the Sunday Supper team is sharing recipes to get your family read to go Back to School! From fueling breakfasts to lunchbox ideas, fun after school snacks to quick school night dinners, get prepared with the great recipes below. Thanks for DB aka Foodie Stuntman of Crazy Foodie Stunts and Caroline at Caroline’s Cooking for hosting this week’s event!
Getting Started On School Days
- Banana and Chocolate Chip Muffins by Caroline’s Cooking
- Caramel Apple Granola by What Smells So Good?
- Chocolate Coconut Granola Bars by Ruffles & Truffles
- Cinnamon Chocolate Overnight Oats by Whole Food | Real Families
- Funfetti French Toast by Brunch with Joy
- PB&J Muffins by Sew You Think You Can Cook
Ideas for the Lunchbox
- Grilled Chicken Sandwich by Cooking Chat
- Healthy Lunchbox Snack Mix by Noshing with the Nolands
- Mini Pepperoni Calzones by The Redhead Baker
- Turkey Bacon Ranch Wrap by Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks
- Vietnamese Fresh Spring Rolls by Curious Cuisiniere
After School Snacks and Beverages
- Back to School Cookies by The Freshman Cook
- Fruit ‘n Chocolate Peanut Butter Granola Bites by The Weekend Gourmet
- Quinoa, Oat and Pecan Blueberry-Peach Crumb Bars by Simply Healthy Family
- Homemade Buttermilk Biscuits by An Appealing Plan
- Mother’s Ruin Punch by Food Lust People Love
- “Nut Butter” Rice Crispy Balls by Books n’ Cooks
- Parmesan Crisps Recipe by Life Tastes Good
- Peanut Butter & Jelly Monkey Bread by Grumpy’s Honeybunch
- Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Apple Nachos by Cupcakes & Kale Chips
- Waffle Pizzas by Our Good Life
School Night Suppers
- Beef Peppers and Onions Burritos by Family Foodie
- One Pot Bacon-Cheeseburger Pasta by A Gouda Life
- Oven Fried Portabello Mushroom Fries by Food Done Light
- Peanut Chicken Cutlets by Magnolia Days
- Smoked Salmon Ravioli with Cream Sauce by Crazy Foodie Stunts
- Turmeric Chicken and Couscous by Cindy’s Recipes and Writings
Sweets to End the Day
- Gluten-Free Almond Joy Cupcakes by NinjaBaker
- M&M Chocolate Chunk Cookies by Fantastical Sharing of Recipes
- Oreo Rice Krispy Treats by The Crumby Cupcake
- Paleo Cherry Blondies by Pies and Plots
- Plum Crumble Bars by Feeding Big
- Stuffed Peanut Butter Rice Krispie Treats by That Skinny Chick Can Bake
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