How To Make Fresh Spring Rolls

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Tonight’s dinner incorporated two ingredients I’ve never used before…and was quite nervous about using!

1. Rice Sticks:

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Much thinner than rice NOODLES, they are similar to cellophane or glass noodles and take just 3 minutes to cook!

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2. Rice Paper Wrappers: The egg roll wrapper’s chewier, rice cousin.

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If you haven’t guessed – I made Fresh Spring Rolls for dinner!

Print this recipe!

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The good news is that fresh spring rolls are surprisingly fool-proof, thanks to a strong rice paper wrapper that seems rather impenetrable to anything besides a knife and my chompers, and that they are INSANELY, amazingly, delicious!

First we start with zee fillings:

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  • Cucumber
  • Carrots
  • Green onion
  • Extra firm tofu (pressed, cut into strips and tossed with some dipping sauce)
  • Rice sticks
  • Avocado
  • Basil

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I laid them out next to a clean, dry plate and another plate which I flooded with warm water.

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I was kind of freaking out because right out of the package the rice paper wrappers are pretty thick, sturdy and…textured? On the contrary – the fresh spring rolls you get at a restaurant are thin, delicate and chewy. At any rate, I pressed on.

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After I dunked the wrapper in warm water for 10 seconds, I laid it out on my dry plate and added the toppings.

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Magically, as the wrapper laid on the plate, it went from hard, to soft! Yes! I continued to wrap the roll similar to an eggroll – like this – except I rolled them as tight as I could. I thought the wrapper might rip, but it didn’t. Impenetrable, I’m telling you.

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Just like that, I had a fresh spring roll! I was slightly shocked, as it was so much easier than I thought! It was loose, but TASTY!!!!

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I put the petal to the metal on the next ones, wrapping them super snug.

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And it was good!!

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SO good! Seriously – I am in LOVE with these things!

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Chewy wrapper, fun noodles, creamy avocado and hearty tofu.

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Plus you’ve got a nice crunch from the cucumber, carrots & green onion. Amazing texture combos goin’ on!

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I served my rolls (and tossed my tofu) with a quick & easy dipping sauce:

Peanut Dipping Sauce

Print this recipe!

2 Tablespoons Rice Vinegar

2 teaspoons soy sauce

2 teaspoons sugar

2 teaspoons peanut butter

1 Tablespoon hot water

1 teaspoon chili garlic paste

2 Tablespoons chopped peanuts

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It was, dare I say, perfect? This whole dish was! Who knew making fresh spring rolls at home was so easy. I can’t wait to make these again! :D

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Print this recipe!

Have a great night!

~~~~~

What are some foods you were scared to eat or cook with for the first time?

Do you usually order appetizers when you’re out at restaurants? How about dessert?

I was pretty petrified to cook tofu for the first time. Now I can’t live without it!!! And nah, I usually just go for the entree!

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Comments

  1. Jenny 05.19.2010

    Yum! What a fresh, healthy dinner! I wasn’t raised in an “appetizer-ordering” family, and that stuck with me! Sometimes I’ll order an app for dinner if it’s well-rounded and substantial enough, though!

  2. kallie 05.19.2010

    Making asian cuisine in ‘roll’ form, whether sushi or otherwise, always seems so intimidating to me but you make it look SO easy!
    I do not order either appetizers or dessert when I go out generally, unless that is all I order (sometimes the appetizers sound good as an entree). I’m like pretty simple desserts though, and I find restaurants tend to overcomplicate them. All I need is some ice cream! :)

    –k
    (http://kalliemarie.wordpress.com)

  3. Sara 05.19.2010

    I rarely order appetizers – I’m too cheap and they just spoil my appetite! I’ll gladly take part of others order it, though ;) . I never order dessert, though.

    I’m scared to make pizza crust and uses phyllo dough/won ton wrappers/rice paper…I don’t know why! It just seems really finicky and complicated.

  4. heather 05.19.2010

    i used to poach chicken before using it in stir-fry recipes…this is cracked-out, but i was terrified of salmonella. i only order appetizers when i’m at a local place with homemade buffalo wings(and that’s usually what i get in place of an actual meal).

  5. Chris 05.19.2010

    Your spring rolls look delicious. I just started making them within the last year or so, and was also a bit wary of the rice paper at first. My favorite filling combines rice noodles, cucumber, carrots, onion, shredded green cabbage, red pepper, cilantro, and a little grated ginger. Sometimes I’ll put crushed peanuts in the roll instead of the sauce – they seem easier to eat that way.

  6. Sara 05.19.2010

    Wow, those rice paper wrappers look cool and the spring rolls look delicious! What a healthy meal.

  7. Elyse 05.19.2010

    It was tofu for me too! I was also terrified to make it at home and now I have it at least once a week if not more. It’s fun to play with the different types of tofu, including the softer ones that you can mix into your smoothies :-) I don’t typically order an appitizer, but I will go out to eat at some places for just the dessert. Cheesecake factory is an example. I can never seem to get past the dessert menu there to look at anything else!

  8. andie 05.19.2010

    this is funny because my mom had plans to make this tonight for dinner- except she has no idea of how to do it- she’s totally winging it!

    and I love spring rolls- especially with shrimp in them. :) yum!

  9. Lauren 05.19.2010

    Amazing!!! I would like to make these now! :) Thanks for sharing how easy they were, that makes me feel a ton better. :)

  10. Kristin 05.19.2010

    Those look SO good! I’ve never had them with avocado–how was that? I love them at Fawn’s with shrimp. I’m pretty sure they use mint in their version and I LOVE them. Also, I think they use sweet basil–I’m not sure if that tastes any different than regular old basil I buy at HyVee in the produce section… But anyway, yours look just as good! I may have to try making them now. :)

  11. Kristen 05.19.2010

    So where did you end up finding the rice paper?

  12. sassy molassy 05.19.2010

    Oh, I just looove making spring rolls/salad wraps. I could eat the peanut sauce by the bowl. ;)

  13. Dawn 05.19.2010

    Your dipping sauce looks awesome.
    I think my most scary thing was a turkey dinner for a lot of people, it freaked me out!
    At least I knew to take out the package inside, unlike some I have heard of. EWWWWW

    I order apps if I am starving, but I am always sorry when I do for one reason or another.
    ;-)

  14. Dawn 05.19.2010

    I have found rice paper online! BTW

  15. Nice choice putting the avo in the blue bowl : )

    Will I be seeing you @ Healthy Living Summit ’10?

  16. Jessica Lee 05.19.2010

    At one of the vietnamese places i go to, you can order “make your own spring rolls” i love it! i add extra veggies into mine :)

  17. Trish 05.20.2010

    Wow, these look terrific! I just ate dinner and the looks of them are making me hungry again. Seems easy and healthy. Will definitely try out the recipe. Thx :)

  18. Brave, making fresh spring rolls! Yours are so neat :)
    What are some foods you were scared to eat or cook with for the first time?
    Hmm…I used to be scared of fish or chicken in case I undercooked it :s
    Do you usually order appetizers when you’re out at restaurants? How about dessert?
    In an ideal world, all 3 :)

  19. Those spring rolls look awesome! I’m actually going to buy some rice wrappers today, so excited!

    I’m intimidated by anything that comes with specific instructions as I usually just wing it when I cook, lol.

    Jenn

  20. Cristián 05.20.2010

    What a great, yet simple idea!! I’m gonna do them myself! Just a little note, I think those are called Summer Rolls and the fried ones are the Spring Rolls…but who cares? They are delicious every time of the year!

  21. Rachel S 05.20.2010

    Those look delicious! I love ordering those at restaurants because they are so refreshing, and I love the combination of textures. I’d have to say I was nervous to try tofu and veggie burgers for the first time. Usually I don’t get appetizers at a restaurant, I’d much rather save room for dessert! ;)

  22. Sami 05.20.2010

    I’ve been wanting to try making my own spring rolls for awhile now! You may have just been the inspiration I needed to actually do it! I think I’m going to the Farmer’s Market today & picking up some rice paper wrappers at the Asian stop for making them tonight! Beautiful creation :)

  23. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Adam Kerchman, Kristin. Kristin said: How To Make Fresh Spring Rolls http://tinyurl.com/39ejj26 [...]

  24. Jen 05.20.2010

    Hi kristen! These are actually called “summer rolls” or “goi cuon” in vietnamese – meaning a mixed salad roll. I grew up eating them at home, and typically they have pork and/or shrimp in them, but your tofu variety look DELICIOUS! I’ll have to recreate them!

  25. Anna 05.20.2010

    Omg, I was so scared to cook ANYTHING! Now I just go for it :)
    I’m a little intimidated by steaks because I don’t eat them very often so I don’t even know one cut from another really. Oh well!

  26. Wow, I’m absolutely using this recipe this weekend. You are a genius! Thanks for sharing!

  27. Sara 05.20.2010

    These look fantastic! I’ve always wanted to make spring rolls, but I’ve been intimidated ever since I saw them try and make them on an episode of Top Chef and they fell apart when they cut them for serving (I mean if a Top Chef can’t do it how can I lol) but you make it look so easy I might have to give it a go :)

    As for appetizers and desserts, it depends, usually only if its a large group sharing one. Recently I went out with my family (there are 5 of us) and we split some steamed potstickers (there were 5 so we each got one) and then we all split the brownie a la mode for dessert which broke down to about 2-3 bites per person. That way you get to sate your cravings and not over indulge :)

  28. zerrin 05.20.2010

    These look stunning! Wish I could have one. Unfortunately I’ve never seen rice paper wrappers here in Turkey, and haven’t heard of spring rolls before. I think a scrumptious dish is missing in my life. Thanks for teaching me what it is.

    I generally order appetizers at a restaurant ask what desserts they have even if I don’t order. Maybe I go there again another time to order dessert.

  29. Brittany 05.21.2010

    Wow- I can’t believe this was your first time making spring rolls. They look so perfect!! I love the way you showed all the steps.

    Thanks for the shout out. :)

  30. One Day at a Time 05.24.2010

    [...] fresh spring rolls (tofu/shrimp, cucumber, carrots, avocado, green onion, rice noodles) – all wrapped snug as a [...]

  31. [...] snagged this recipe from IGE, although it’s simple enough, and i’m sure i could have come up with something [...]

  32. [...] 3 shrimp/tofu spring rolls [...]

  33. Harlowe 05.28.2010

    Looks so awsome – Can you tell me what kind of Chili Garlic Paste you used? I’m having trouble finding anything but chili paste.

  34. Elyse...Also 05.28.2010

    The Spring Rolls look great….and did you get to the mulch yet? Funny, I just spread out 6 bags…and my back is killing me…lol!

  35. sir jorge 05.31.2010

    that is so much easier than what i’ve tried in the past, i’m going to give it one more chance

  36. Candace 07.25.2010

    Hi!

    We made these on Friday with the peanut dipping sauce and they were fabulous! We made a few adjustments to it as the basil didn’t make it home from the store somehow. I had cilantro so used that instead. We also didn’t use the tofu. I substituted cooked shrimp. Everyone loved these. I will definitely make this again. It was so easy! The rice paper was definitely different! Thanks so much for sharing this recipe.

    Candace

  37. Debbie 08.14.2010

    I finally got around to making this and just wanted to say this is the perfect hot summer night dinner. Very fresh tasting. My husband and I used shrimp instead of tofu but it was amazing. The dipping sauce made it. Thank you for sharing.

  38. Jennifer 10.27.2010

    Yummmmm these look deeelish! I am making mine today, I was searching for a ‘different’ dipping sauce, I seem to make the same two all the time (a sweet chili and a spicy peanut sauce).

    The reason your wrappers are ‘impenetrable’ is because there’s tapioca in them – I’ve used both rice paper with, and rice paper without – if you purchase the papers without tapioca, wrapping your ingredients is sort of like trying to wrap stuff up in a wet tissue paper.

    Also, after they’re chilled, if you cut the rolls without the tapioca, they sort of explode all over the place and filling all falls out. I think this is why so many people are put off by these – they’re purchasing rice paper wrappers without tapioca in the ingredients, and they’re REALLY difficult to work with!

    Now, off to start washing up some mint and cilantro ; )

  39. [...] Much thinner than rice NOODLES, they are similar to cellophane or glass noodles and take just 3 minutes to cook! 2. Rice Paper Wrappers: The egg roll wrapper’s ricier, chewier, more see-through cousin. If you haven’t guessed – I made Fresh Spring Rolls for dinner! The idea for making fresh spring rolls at home has been brewing in the back of my mind since reader Stephanie sent me a link to her favorite roll recpie online, back in April. source [...]

  40. [...] I had already planned to make Spring Rolls for din-din, so, I decided to bring them along as my “veggie” dish. Last week, while out running errands,  I  finally had the opportunity to check out the Asian Food Market on the east side of town. I’ve been on the hunt for rice paper since laying my eyes on my first spring roll (can’t remember where that was know, exactly).  I’ve seen several versions at a few different blogs here, here, here and here! [...]

  41. Vel J. 11.25.2010

    I usually buy these at Whole Foods, but now that I have the recipe I am going to start making them at home since it’s so easy. Thanks for this!

  42. Jeanette 12.20.2010

    These look so bright, light and healthy, and the dipping sauce sounds delicious.

  43. [...] the ol’ pantry and thought – what if I merged this cold, slurpy, noodle delight with my Fresh Spring Roll recipe and create a Frankenstein-esque cold noodle [...]

  44. Katie 12.21.2010

    I was just wondering where you find the rice sticks and rice wrappers. I want to make these!

  45. [...] Fresh Spring Rolls – I’m going to need about 3 times this [...]

  46. Tim 01.14.2011

    I realize this is an old post, but I laughed so hard as I scrolled through your lovely pictures only to find your mulch at the bottom. Spring rolls tonight!

  47. [...] Recette de rouleaux de printemps végétariens (Iowa Girl Eats). [...]

  48. [...] Raw Veggie Spring Rolls – Iowa Girl Eats [...]

  49. [...] I also do not feel very well and just want to rest!) but if you need directions check out IowaGirlEats How-To. Just add cooked cocktail shrimp in place of the tofu to make these. I also use [...]

  50. Susan 04.17.2011

    hey, just wanted to thank you for this recipe. I stumbled upon it, and am so glad I did! I make these All the time now and people love them. Especially the sauce. I never thought making a dish like this would be so easy. I made one change though. I use plan cold cooked shrimp, rather then tofu and it is equally delicious. Yummy! Thanks again!

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