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Delicious fresh spring rolls are a light and healthy dish that you’ll have as much fun making as you will eating! The recipe includes shrimp and ground meat, but you can choose to use one protein or even skip the protein to make it vegetarian. It comes with two sauces - a peanut butter sauce and a Vietnamese dipping sauce. {Gluten-Free adaptable}

Fresh Spring Rolls with Shrimp

5 from 1 vote
Delicious fresh spring rolls are a light and healthy dish that you’ll have as much fun making as you will eating! The recipe includes shrimp and ground meat, but you can choose to use one protein or even skip the protein to make it vegetarian. It comes with two sauces - a peanut butter sauce and a Vietnamese dipping sauce. {Gluten-Free adaptable}
To make the dish gluten-free, use tamari to replace the soy sauce and rice vinegar instead of Chinkiang vinegar.
Prep Time: 40 mins
Cook Time: 15 mins
Total Time: 55 mins
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: Vietnamese
Keyword: cold dish, pantry
Servings: 4 servings (8 spring rolls)
Author: Maggie Zhu

Ingredients

  • 12 shrimp , peeled & deveined

Ground meat (Optional) (Footnote 1)

  • 1 teaspoon peanut oil
  • 8 oz (225 g) ground pork (beef, or chicken)
  • 2 teaspoons Shaoxing wine
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Spring roll

  • 8 (22cm / 8.5”) rice paper wrappers (Footnote 2)
  • 8 lettuce leaves iceberg or bibb
  • 1 bunch basil cilantro, mint, and/or chives *(Footnote 3)
  • 1 avocado , sliced thinly (Optional)
  • 1 carrot , julienned

Sesame Sauce

Vietnamese Chili Sauce (Nuoc Cham)

  • 1 1/1 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons lime juice (or rice vinegar)
  • 2 teaspoons fish sauce
  • 2 cloves garlic , minced
  • 1 to 2 Thai bird’s eye chilis , thinly sliced

Instructions

Prepare the ingredients

  • Prepare the shrimp by boiling a small pot of water with a large pinch of salt. Add the shrimp and cook for about 1 minute, until they turn pink and are fully curled. Once cool, slice the shrimp in half lengthwise and set aside.
  • If using the ground meat, heat the oil in a medium-sized pan until hot. Add the pork. Break it apart to keep the ground chunks small. Stir occasionally as you cook the pork until browned. Sprinkle with salt and add the wine. Keep cooking until all the liquid evaporates and the meat is cooked and chopped into small pieces. Transfer the meat to a plate to cool. (*Footnote 4)
  • Prepare the rest of the ingredients while the proteins are cooling off.
  • If you do not plan to serve the spring rolls the same day, you can now seal all the prepped ingredients in airtight containers and store them in the fridge for up to 2 days.

Make the sauce

  • To make the sesame sauce, combine everything in a medium-sized bowl and stir until it forms a smooth paste. If the paste is too thick, add a few drops of water at a time and mix until your desired consistency is reached.
  • To make the Nuoc Cham sauce, combine all the ingredients in a small bowl with 4 teaspoons of water. Depending on the strength of your fish sauce, you may want to add extra water or sugar according to your taste.
  • The sauce can be made ahead and stored in the fridge for up to 2 days.

Assemble

  • The day you plan to serve the spring rolls, place all the filling ingredients on plates for easy access. Fill a shallow but wide dish with an inch of warm water. (*Footnote 5) You should have a clean working surface like a cutting board that you can spread the rice paper on.
  • Work on the rolls one at a time. Take a rice paper wrapper and pull it through the water slowly 3 or 4 times (rotate the paper if your plate is not enough to fit the whole sheet of paper). You want it to be moist but still a bit stiff, as it will absorb more water as you place your filling on it and will be fully hydrated by the time you roll it up. Lay the moistened wrapper on a flat work surface.
  • To build the roll, work in thirds. Be sure to leave an inch and a half of space on the bottom and top of the wrapper. Also leave 2 inches of wrapper on the edges. (See the step-by-step photos in the blog post above for the folding steps.)
  • On the first third of the wrapper lay a piece of lettuce, then place 1 to 2 tablespoons of cooked ground meat in the center. Fold it so the meat is wrapped in the middle, then place it folded side down.
  • In the middle of the wrapper, lay a few slices of avocado, evenly spaced and at an angle. On top of the avocado, add a layer of carrots and a few herb leaves without the stems.
  • On the top third, place three of the halved shrimp, pink side down and evenly spaced.
  • Take the bottom edge of your wrapper and fold it over the third with the lettuce. Then roll the bottom third over the center. Take both sides and tightly fold them in. Tuck a sprig of the herbs at the edge of the roll, allowing them to poke out of one side. Then continue to roll over the shrimp and press lightly to seal on the remaining loose rice paper.
  • Set the formed spring rolls aside on a plate. Repeat the wrapping with all of the remaining rice wrappers. Make sure to space out the spring rolls, because the rice paper will stick together if the rolls are placed against each other.
  • Serve the spring rolls at room temperature with the dipping sauces. Enjoy!

Storage

  • You should always serve the spring rolls the same day you wrap them. If you plan to prepare them in advance, you should prep all the ingredients and wrap the spring rolls when you’re ready to serve. The ingredients will last in the fridge for 1 to 2 days. The wrapped spring rolls will last at room temperature for a couple of hours (half a day). You can place them in a container and make sure to leave some space between the rolls, so they won’t stick together. Avoid storing wrapped spring rolls in the fridge. The rice paper will become tough and the texture not very good.

Notes

  1. The ground meat is not necessary but highly recommended if you do not plan to use avocado in the recipe.
  2. The rice paper comes in different sizes and it’s OK to use one that has similar size.
  3. It is not necessary to have all these herbs. As long as you have one herb to add some flavor, this recipe will work, but the more, the merrier.
  4. If you’re use pork or beef, you might want to line your plate with a few layers of paper towels, so it will drain off extra fat.
  5. You can use a fry pan, large plate, or a pie dish. But it’s OK if your plate is smaller than the rice paper. You just need to rotate the wrapper when soaking it in the water.
  6. The nutrition facts are calculated based on 1 of the 8 spring rolls that yield from this recipe, excluding the dipping sauce.

Nutrition

Serving: 1roll, Calories: 190kcal, Carbohydrates: 14.5g, Protein: 16.3g, Fat: 7.2g, Saturated Fat: 1.7g, Cholesterol: 90mg, Sodium: 232mg, Potassium: 346mg, Fiber: 2.3g, Sugar: 1.3g, Calcium: 43mg, Iron: 1mg