plated finished spring rolls

Spring Rolls are a fabulous way to enjoy fresh, healthy veggies.  Don’t let the name throw you – you can literally fill them with anything you want, any season!  They are a perfect lunch or light supper that can be made a few hours ahead, and they are an easy, impressive appetizer to take to a get together with friends.  Everything you need can be found in the average grocery store, including the wraps!  If you can roll a burrito, you can make Spring Rolls.

Here’s What You Need:

  • Spring Roll wrappers (find them at most supermarkets in the Asian foods section).  These are translucent rice paper rounds, NOT wheat based squares or rounds used for egg rolls and wontons.  You will not be frying these babies!
  • Assorted veggies, sliced into strips and blanched if necessary
  • Assorted fresh herbs such as basil, mint, cilantro, scallion greens
  • Cooked shrimp, halved lengthwise, or kani “crab” sticks (optional)
  • Thin rice or wheat vermicelli noodles, prepared according to package directions (optional)
  • dipping sauces (recipes follow)

Veggies like baby lettuces or baby spinach can be left whole.  Peppers and carrots should be sliced into thin strips.  Beans and sugar snap or snow peas will be easiest to eat if they are blanched first.  Immediately plunge blanched veggies into an ice bath to stop the cooking, set the color and keep them crisp.

For this version of Spring Rolls I chose to use baby spinach, green beans, cooked shrimp, red peppers, sugar snap peas, sliced scallion greens, fresh mint and fresh basil.  This recipe is really just about the technique – you can put anything in there you want.  Eggs, leftover meats, crab or faux crab, mushrooms – it’s all good!

Here’s What to Do:

Decide what your fillings will be and get them all prepped and waiting, assembly-line style.

fillings ready to use

Fill a large, shallow dish with water. (Your dish needs to be large enough to completely submerge the wrapper without folding it.)

rice papers for spring rolls

Completely submerge wrapper for 15-30 seconds until wrapper is mostly softened (not a limp, slimy mess).

How to soften rice papers before using

Carefully remove the softened wrapper from the water and lay it perfectly flat on the counter. I sprinkle the counter with water so the wraps will continue to soften and won’t stick to the counter.

How to soften rice papers before using

Place desired fillings in the center of the wrap. Be sure to leave the edges free. Place any greens on the bottom, then noodles or shrimp if using, other veggies and top with any herbs or scallions.  I know it’s hard to see, but the wrapper is there on the counter!

fillings for spring rolls

Fold the sides up over the filling, and then fold the bottom over the sides – like you are making an envelope or rolling a burrito.

rolling a spring roll

Tuck the fillings into a bundle and roll up like a burrito. You want the bundle tight enough to hold together when you eat it, but not so tight that you tear the fragile wrapper.

rolling a spring roll

After you make one or two, you’ll get a feel for it.  At this point place them in the fridge to chill while you make a dipping sauce or two. Be sure to put plastic wrap or damp paper towels between any layers. They will keep in the fridge a few hours, if you are making them ahead.

finished spring rolls

Once your wraps are chillin’ in the fridge, it’s time to make some yummy dips.  Our faves are spicy peanut butter dip and a sweet-sour-spicy Thai dip.

Spicy Peanut Butter Dipping Sauce

  • ¼ cup peanut butter (either creamy or crunchy – whatever you have)
  • ¼ cup warm water
  • 1 Tbsp. lime juice
  • 2 tsp. soy sauce
  • 2-3 tsp. sugar (to taste)
  • ½ tsp. Sambal Oelek (a Thai pepper condiment found in most supermarkets) or Sriracha

Whisk together all ingredients.  If dip is too thick, add a bit more water.  If it is too runny, add a bit more peanut butter.  The texture really depends on the style of peanut butter you use.  Adjust the heat to your taste.  This sauce shouldn’t be HOT, but have a nice balance of salty, sweet, sour and spicy.

Spicy Thai Dipping Sauce

  • 2 Tbsp. lime juice
  • 2 Tbsp.  rice vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • ¼ tsp. Sriracha
  • ½ tsp. Sambal Oelek
  • 2 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp. toasted sesame oil
  • 1 Tbsp. finely minced scallion greens
  • 2 tsp. chopped fresh cilantro

Whisk all ingredients together.  This sauce is also a perfect dip for pot stickers and filled won tons.

Spicy peanut butter and spicy Thai dipping sauces

When you are ready to serve your rolls, slice them in half crosswise, on the diagonal.  Plate the rolls, pour the sauces into small bowls and enjoy!

plated finished spring rolls

 

Spring Rolls with Two Dipping Sauces

Healthy, versatile Spring Rolls with a sweet, spicy, creamy peanut butter dipping sauce or a complex, but easy to make Thai dipping sauce.
Prep Time 30 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Author Elizabeth

Ingredients

  • Spring Roll wrappers
  • Assorted veggies and greens sliced into strips and blanched if necessary
  • Assorted fresh herbs such as basil, mint, cilantro, scallion greens
  • Cooked shrimp, halved lengthwise optional
  • kani "crab" sticks optional
  • Thin rice or wheat vermicelli noodles, cooked optional

Spicy Peanut Dipping Sauce

  • ¼ cup peanut butter either creamy or crunchy
  • ¼ cup warm water
  • 1 Tbsp. lime juice
  • 2 tsp. soy sauce
  • 2-3 tsp. sugar to taste
  • ½ tsp. Sambal Oelek or Sriracha to taste

Spicy Thai Dipping Sauce

  • 2 Tbsp. lime juice
  • 2 Tbsp. rice vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • ¼ tsp. Sriracha to taste
  • ½ tsp. Sambal Oelek to taste
  • 2 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. garlic minced
  • 1/2 tsp. toasted sesame oil
  • 1 Tbsp. finely minced scallion greens
  • 2 tsp. chopped fresh cilantro

Instructions

  • Decide what your fillings will be and get them all prepped and waiting, assembly-line style.  Fill a large, shallow dish with water. (Your dish needs to be large enough to completely submerge the wrapper without folding it.)    Completely submerge wrapper for 15-30 seconds until wrapper is mostly softened.  Carefully remove the softened wrapper from the water and lay it perfectly flat on the counter. Sprinkle the counter with water so the wraps will continue to soften and won't stick to the counter.   Place desired fillings in the center of the wrap.  Be sure to leave the edges free.  Place any greens on the bottom, then noodles, other veggies or shrimp, and top with any herbs or scallions.  Fold the sides up over the filling, and then fold the bottom over the sides - like you are making an envelope or rolling a burrito.  Tuck the fillings into a bundle and roll up like a burrito. You want the bundle tight enough to hold together when you eat it, but not so tight that you tear the fragile wrapper.  Chill in the fridge while you make a dipping sauce or two. Be sure to put plastic wrap or damp paper towels between any layers.  They will keep in the fridge a few hours, if you are making them ahead.

Spicy Peanut Butter Sauce

  • Whisk together all ingredients. If dip is too thick, add a bit more water. If it is too runny, add a bit more peanut butter. The texture really depends on the style of peanut butter you use. Adjust the heat to your taste. This sauce shouldn't be HOT, but have a nice balance of salty, sweet, sour and spicy.

Spicy Thai Dipping Sauce

  • Whisk all ingredients together.