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Making Spring Rolls (We Can Do Hard Things)

I have always loved Asian foods of nearly every variety. You may have already seen that I keep plenty of Asian cuisine staples in my kitchen at all times from coconut aminos to curry paste.   My range of Asian cooking at home runs the gamut. Some things I’ve ventured into boldly and make lots of different variations – here’s looking at you simple curries. But there was one item on my dream list that I finally tackled last year and now I’m obsessed. 

It sounds really fancy, but I promise they are easier than they look – fresh Vietnamese spring rolls. I just love everything about them. They’re fresh, light, packed with raw veggies. Sidebar, they’re an amazing conduit to a peanut dipping sauce – more on that later. 

Spring Rolls Tips

The actual spring roll itself is a thing of beauty. The first time I made them for the family, I went back to one of my main keys to kitchen success – involving everyone. I thinly sliced a bunch of raw vegetables that I thought would work well in a spring roll and we went for it. Everyone tried rolling their own. Pending the level of perfectionism in your household this is either tons of fun or really frustrating, but it’s worth a shot! 

I’ve included a step by step tutorial below, but here are my top tips for success: 

  • Don’t overstuff the wrapper. You’re going to be tempted, but I promise you’ll get the hang of it if you resist the urge to put too much in each one. They are delicate, so less is more.  
  • Skip the noodles. Many versions of Vietnamese spring rolls have delicious rice noodles in them, but that has always felt overwhelming to me. Too many little bits to keep in line. The wrappers themselves are made of rice so you still get that great, chewy texture without the noodles. (Sidebar: wouldn’t Penn just lose it if they started making these out of cauliflower too!!) 
  • Keep the ingredients simple, sturdy and colorful. Great options include: 
    • Peppers of any color
    • Scallions
    • Avocado, not overly ripe or soft 
    • Purple or green cabbage
    • Green leaf lettuces 
    • Fresh herbs like chives or cilantro 

Easy Vietnamese Spring Rolls 

Prep Time: 10 minutes 

Ingredients

  • Spring Roll Wrappers (this brand is great)
  • Assorted veggies, thinly sliced
  • Scallions
  • Cilantro
  • Peanut Sauce for dipping (see below)
  • Lime juice (optional)

Directions 

  • Choose and thinly slice your veggies 
  • Fill a large bowl with warm (not hot) water and dip each wrapper for about 15 seconds until it becomes pliable
  • Place wrapper on clean surface such as a cutting board and fill in the center with ingredients
  • Fold in each side, left and right
  • Fold up bottom side and roll to the top 
  • DIP and enjoy! 

And because I teased it earlier, I need to remind you to check out the peanut sauce I mentioned. My favorite simple version is from Cookie and Kate – all of her recipes are amazing. This one I could drink with a straw. NOTE: I definitely use jarred, chopped or minced ginger 9 times out of 10 for ease and I use water to thin, not coconut milk. If you don’t like peanuts or have an allergy, I think this would also be super tasty with cashew butter.  

Get to wrapping and send me pics of your spring rolls!

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