Vietnamese Fresh Spring Rolls are full of basil, cilantro, shrimp and veggies and then paired with a slightly spicy peanut sauce. They make a great gluten-free and low-calorie appetizer or main dish for your next party or get-together!
One of my all-time favorite appetizers to get when we go to our favorite Vietnamese restaurant (which is ironically called, Vietnam Restaurant!) are their Vietnamese Fresh Spring Rolls.
There is something so satisfying about the freshness of the ingredients. My taste buds are super-happy with all of the flavors and I do not get so full that I won’t enjoy my enormous bowl of pho that normally arrives within minutes.
It has been on my bucket list for a while to attempt these seemingly intimidating Vietnamese fresh spring rolls at home.
And then, a few weeks ago at our weekly running group, a buddy of ours told us that he made Vietnamese fresh spring rolls as a first date activity. *Hint, Hint to any of you fellows out there that might be reading this… Awesome. Date. Idea!!*
So… before I go into the details of all of the awesome ingredients that you can put into these Vietnamese fresh spring rolls, let’s get your mind in the right place…
Your first few rolls are going to be UGLY. Accept it. And let’s move on…
What Ingredients Are Used in these Vietnamese Fresh Spring Rolls?
For these particular spring rolls I used:
- Cocktail shrimp – already cooked, peeled, and deveined… saves you a TON of time!
- Cilantro and basil – if you can, use Thai basil… if not, regular basil works great, too.
- Veggies – carrots, cucumber and cabbage were used in these… mainly because they are brilliantly colorful, but also happen to add an excellent crunch.
- Vermicelli – if you want to cut the carbs, you can leave these out and just load up on the veggies.
The peanut dipping sauce that you’ll see below is a breeze to whip up.
If you are like us, you will most likely want to make two batches. Yup… it’s THAT good.
If you are Vegan or Vegetarian…
You can easily make these Vietnamese fresh spring rolls vegetarian or vegan by leaving out the shrimp and substituting them for extra veggies or even tofu.
Vietnamese Fresh Spring Rolls with Peanut Sauce
- 12 rice papers gluten-free
- 1 bunch cilantro
- 1 bunch basil
- 1 lb medium-sized shrimp cooked^
- 4-5 oz Vermicelli noodles gluten-free, cooked
- 1 large carrot julienned
- 1 large cucumber julienned
- 1 c cabbage thinly sliced
Peanut Dipping Sauce
- 1/3 c peanut butter smooth
- 1 Tbsp soy sauce gluten-free
- 2 tsp brown sugar
- ½ tsp Sriracha sauce
- 3-6 Tbsp warm water
- Fill a large pan or baking dish with 1-2 inches of warm water. You’ll want the dish to be large enough to fit a piece of rice paper into it.
- Dip one piece of rice paper into the warm water and let soak for 10-15 seconds. Just as the rice paper begins to soften, remove it from the water and place on a plastic cutting board. *
In the middle of the rice paper layer cilantro, basil, shrimp, vermicelli noodles, carrots, cucumber, and cabbage.
- Starting from the side closest to you, cover the ingredients with one side of the rice paper. Next, fold the right and left sides of the rice paper to cover the ingredients. (see image)
- Beginning from the side of the roll that is closest to you, roll the rice paper and ingredients like a burrito until it makes a tight spring roll.
- Repeat with remaining ingredients and rice paper.
For the Peanut Sauce:
- Combine peanut butter, soy sauce, brown sugar, and Sriracha sauce. Mix until combined. Slowly add water, one tablespoon at a time, until desired consistency is reached.**
^Can leave shrimp out if vegan or vegetarian.
*Plastic tends to work best. If placed on a wooden surface the rice paper will stick more.
** Depending on your peanut butter, this can be as little as 3 tablespoons or up to 6 tablespoons.
Want more recipes like these Vietnamese Fresh Spring Rolls?