Fresh Spring Rolls with Best Sauce (VIDEO)
Homemade fresh Vietnamese Spring Rolls are easy to make and perfect for summer gatherings or a light dinner tonight.
You’ll love the sauce options including a traditional Vietnamese dipping sauce and a 2-ingredient peanut sauce that we also use for Shrimp Lettuce Wraps. Watch the video tutorial and see how easy it is to make Fresh Spring Rolls.
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We love re-making our favorite Asian foods from Egg Rolls to Fried Rice. If you are a fan of Asian food, this Shrimp Spring Roll recipe is a must-try! We learned how to make spring rolls years ago from my husband’s co-worker, Thien and we have loved them ever since.
Spring Roll Video Tutorial
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What are Fresh Spring Rolls?
There are two types of spring rolls. Fresh Vietnamese spring rolls use prepared ingredients like shrimp and sometimes pork along with noodles and fresh veggies that are wrapped in a dry rice paper wrapper that has been hydrated. Fresh spring rolls do not require any further cooking once they are wrapped.
Chinese spring rolls use refrigerated spring roll wrappers similar to egg rolls and are deep-fried in oil until crispy on the outside.
Ingredients for Shrimp Spring Rolls
- Large Shrimp – we use 21-25 count shrimp that we peel and devein (keep the shells for boiling the shrimp)
- Vermicelli rice noodles – also called angel hair rice noodles.
- Butter lettuce – also called Boston lettuce or bib lettuce. You’ll need 15 leaves
- Carrots – peeled and julienned (we love this julienne slicer)
- Cucumber – julienned and we keep the skins on for extra crunch
- Cilantro – coarsely chopped
- Rice Paper – 15 Round Rice Paper Sheets (8.5” diameter or 22cm)
Vietnamese Spring Roll Dipping Sauce
If you are looking for a traditional Vietnamese dipping sauce, this is it. It has a handful of ingredients, but if you love spring rolls, you’ll make this over and over. My friend Adrienne shared this recipe with me and it was inspired by Vietnamese Nuoc Cham sauce.
- 1/3 cup water
- 1/4 cup fish sauce
- 1/4 cup sugar, or to taste
- 2 Tbsp lime juice
- 2 tsp rice wine vinegar
- 1-2 tsp chili garlic sauce (adding more will make it spicier)
- 1 garlic clove, grated or minced
- 2 tsp sesame oil
- 1 Tbsp shredded carrot
To make the Vietnamese spring roll sauce, just combine all of the ingredients, stir until sugar dissolves and serve. Add sugar and sesame oil to taste.
Easy Peanut Dipping Sauce
Here’s a second and much easier option for a dipping sauce if you are short on time or ingredients.
- 1 cup sesame ginger dressing (we love Newman’s Own)
- 2 heaping Tbsp creamy peanut butter
In a mason jar, combine ginger dressing and peanut butter, cover tightly with the lid, and shake until creamy and smooth.
How to Make Fresh Spring Rolls
- Boil shrimp according to our 3-minute boiled shrimp recipe then immediately cool in ice water and cut shrimp in half lengthwise.
- Cook noodles according to package instructions until softened (do not overcook) rinse in a colander with cold water and drain well. Our method: fill a saucepan with water and bring to a boil, add the noodles, turn off the heat and let them sit in hot water for 5-7 minutes.
- Prep veggies – julienne cucumbers and carrots, remove stiff stems on lettuce leaves, coarsely chop cilantro,
- Assemble spring rolls one at a time. Fill a shallow round bowl with very warm/hot water. Submerge spring roll wrapper for about 10-15 seconds or until softened. Place wrapper on a lightly wet cutting board.
- Add veggies – on the bottom half layer a piece of lettuce, a generous pinch of noodles, some carrots, cucumber, and cilantro sprigs.
- Add shrimp – On the second half place halved shrimp with cut-side up.
- Tightly roll up the lettuce side first, tuck in the sides then roll over the shrimp and finish rolling.
Keep Rolls Moist! Transfer finished rolls to a serving platter and cover with a damp kitchen towel so they do not dry out. Cut in half diagonally to serve.
Yes, if you don’t like cilantro, using fresh chives or even mint leaves is popular in spring rolls.
You can use a different protein such as cooked pork, or imitation crab sticks, or you can even make them vegetarian.
Fish sauces can vary quite a bit and some can be quite strong and fishy. We use the three crabs brand fish sauce.
Rice paper sheets are a dry (not refrigerated) and shelf-stable item. They can be found in the Asian section of most grocery stores.
Tips for the Best Fresh Spring Rolls
- Moist work surface – Keep the cutting board lightly moist (but not too wet). This keeps the rice paper from sticking to your surface.
- Roll tightly – keep a tight roll so they don’t fall apart when you serve them.
- Keep shrimp pink-side-down – you want the pretty side visible through the wrapper when rolled up.
- Don’t overcook noodles – They should just be tender and not mushy. Cook according to package instructions then rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process and drain well.
- Prep-work: The veggies can be prepped and shrimp can be cooked a day ahead, but spring rolls are best enjoyed the day they are assembled, or they tend to dry out.
- A few hours ahead: You can assemble a few hours before they are needed but as soon as they are assembled, keep them refrigerated, covered with a damp kitchen towel so the wrappers don’t get dry. If stacking layers of spring rolls, place the damp towel between layers as well.
- Storing Overnight: If you have leftovers, you can wrap individual rolls in plastic wrap so they don’t stick to each other and store overnight in the refrigerator then let them come to room temperature for 30 minutes before enjoying.
- Make-Ahead Sauces: Both of the dipping sauces can be made a couple of days ahead, just bring them to room temperature and whisk before serving.
Fresh spring rolls are wonderful for a light summer lunch or dinner. Let me know which spring roll sauce you love best.
More Asian Recipes to try
If you’re feeling adventurous and love to recreate your favorite Asian-inspired dishes at home, then you won’t want to miss these:
Fresh Spring Rolls Recipe with Best Dipping Sauce
Fresh Spring Roll Ingredients:
Vietnamese Spring Roll Dipping Sauce:
- 1/3 cup water preferably filtered
- 1/4 cup fish sauce three crabs brand
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar or to taste
- 2 Tbsp lime juice freshly squeezed from 1 lime
- 2 tsp rice wine vinegar
- 2 tsp chili garlic sauce or to taste (more will make it spicier)
- 1 large garlic clove grated of finely minced (or 2 small cloves)
- 2 tsp sesame oil
- 1 tbsp shredded carrot
Peanut Dipping Sauce:
- 1 cup sesame ginger dressing Newmans Own brand
- 2 heaping Tbsp peanut butter
How to Make Spring Rolls:
Boil Shrimp according to our boiled shrimp recipe then immediately cool in ice water. Once boiled and cooled, drain and cut shrimp in half lengthwise.
Cook noodles according to package instructions until softened (do not overcook) then drain in a colander and rinse with cold water. Let noodles drain in a colander until ready to assemble. You can also fill a saucepan with water and bring it to a boil, add the noodles, turn off the heat and let them sit in hot water for 5-7 minutes.
Prep veggies – julienne cucumbers and carrots, remove stiff stems on lettuce leaves, coarsely chop cilantro,
Assemble spring rolls One at a Time. Fill a shallow round bowl (wider than your wrappers) with very warm/hot water. Submerge spring roll wrapper for about 10-15 seconds or until softened(depending on the temperature of your water). Place wet spring roll wrapper on a clean and lightly wet cutting board.
Add veggies on one half in this order: lettuce, a generous pinch of noodles, carrots, cucumber, cilantro sprigs.
Add shrimp on the second half, placing the shrimp cut-side up.
Tightly roll up the lettuce side first, tuck in the sides then roll over the shrimp so shrimp are visible on the outside.
To serve – Transfer finished rolls to a serving platter and keep finished spring rolls covered with a damp kitchen towel so they do not dry out. For a prettier presentation, serve cut in half on the diagonal.
How to Make Vietnamese Dipping Sauce:
In a small mixing bowl, combine all dipping sauce ingredients, adding sugar and sesame oil (if using), to taste.
How to Make Peanut Dipping Sauce:
In a mason jar, combine dressing and peanut butter, cover tightly with lid and shake until smooth and well combined.
Note: The nutrition label is for 1 spring roll without the sauce.