These healthy Spring Rolls are so fun and easy to make at home. They are filled with grated carrot, cucumber, sliced avocado, spinach, rice vermicelli noodles, and tender shrimp. Enjoy these as an appetizer or as a light meal. Perfect for hot summer days when you don't want to turn on the oven as these are served cold.
I remember the first time I ever had spring rolls. My boyfriend at the time (now my husband) took me out for supper at our local Vietnamese restaurant. He ordered spring rolls as an appetizer, and I was hooked from that first bite. We have been making these at home ever since.
What are spring rolls?
Spring rolls are served cold and have a translucent wrapper made out of rice paper. These rolls originated in Vietnam. They have many names: Vietnamese spring rolls, summer rolls, spring rolls, rice paper rolls, cold rolls, or salad rolls. They typically consist of rice noodles, carrots, lettuce, cucumbers, herbs, and shrimp or pork wrapped in a rice-paper wrapper. Spring rolls are usually served with a peanut or hoisin dipping sauce.
Why we love these
- These spring rolls are made with fresh ingredients and are super healthy, like a salad all wrapped up.
- They taste fresh and delicious.
- You can substitute any fresh fruit or vegetable you have in your fridge.
- They are so easy to make at home and cost a fraction of what you would pay in a restaurant.
- This homemade Hoisin peanut dipping sauce that I make to go with it is so good, you might just eat it with a spoon.
- Did I mention they are easy to make?
Make these Spring Rolls with any fresh ingredients you have in your fridge. I made these ones out of:
- Rice vermicelli noodles. These are made out of rice, and they cook in only 5 minutes. You can use either white or brown noodles.
- Carrot, shredded. I shredded the carrot with my food processor, but you can slice the carrot into thin strips if you like.
- Cucumber. I shredded my cucumber, but you can also slice it into thin strips.
- Spinach. I love spinach, and I use it in everything I can. It is so healthy and tastes delicious.
- Shrimp, deveined, tail-off, cooked. The shrimp I used are small, size 81-90, and I removed the tail myself. You can buy shrimp that already has the tail removed and is ready to cook to save time. If you use larger shrimp, you can cut it in half to make them thinner for the rolls.
- Rice paper wrappers. These come in square shapes or circle shapes. I have used both, and I have no preference. They both roll up well.
Spring rolls may seem a little tricky at first, but you will get the hang of it. Don't worry about them looking perfect at first; they probably won't. (Ours didn't, but they tasted great 😉). If you can roll up a taco, you can roll up a spring roll.
First, cook the rice vermicelli noodles according to the package directions. Then, drain and rinse with cold water to stop the noodles from cooking. Set aside.
Next, boil the shrimp for a few minutes. Drain shrimp. Place on a plate or in a bowl. Set aside.
While the rice noodles and shrimp are cooking, prep your vegetables. Chop, slice, or shred your carrots, cucumber, spinach, and avocado. Assemble on bowls or plates.
Next, arrange ingredients in an assembly line. Get out a large pot or dish and fill it with warm water until about 1-inch deep. Arrange your filling ingredients in the order you want to add them. Place a wet lint-free dish towel in front of you to do the rolling on. Or you can use a cutting board or plate that has some water on it to prevent the rice paper from sticking.
Next, take out a large cookie sheet or baking tray and cover it with parchment paper. Place rolled spring rolls on it to prevent it from sticking. If you don't have any parchment paper, brush the cookie sheet with sesame oil or avocado oil.
Ready? Let's get started!
How to roll spring rolls - Video in the recipe card
Dip rice paper wrappers in water. Fill a large shallow dish or pie plate with an inch or so of water. Take one sheet of rice paper and place it in the water to soak. It only needs to soak for about 10 seconds, then remove and place on a dishtowel or cutting board. The rice paper wrapper should feel fairly pliable but still a little firm. If you soak it too long, it will tear easily when you start rolling it. If the rice paper tears, throw it out, start with another one, and soak it for less time. I like to count in my head how long to soak them for. 10 seconds is a pretty good number for me.
Add filling. Start adding the ingredients in the middle of the rice paper roll. We like to add shrimp first, 3 or 4. Next, add spinach, avocado, carrot, and a pinch of rice noodles. Leave the sides open about 2 inches on each side for wrapping it up.
Wrap. Pick up one side of the rice paper and fold it over the topping. Then pick up the other side of the rice paper roll and pull it snugly over the toppings. Don't pull too tight, or the rice paper will tear. Next, pick up the bottom of the rice paper roll (the end closest to you) and pull it snugly over the toppings. Then pick up the end at the top and pull it snugly over the toppings. Done! Congratulations on rolling your own spring roll! Practice makes perfect! Each one you make will be easier and will look better.
Serve with delicious Hoisin Peanut sauce.
- When cooking the shrimp, boil it for just a few minutes until it turns pink. It is far more tender than sauteeing it in a pan.
- Have everything in your workspace set up and ready to go.
- Don't let the rice paper wrapper sit in the water too long, or it will tear easily.
- When adding the filling, don't overstuff it, or you won't be able to wrap your spring roll properly.
- If your fingers start sticking to the rice paper while rolling, dip your fingers in some water.
- Don't get discouraged if it is a little tricky at first. It gets easier, honest.
- Use whatever vegetables you have on hand.
- Vegetarian and Vegan. Leave out the shrimp and add tofu instead.
- Gluten-free: Use gluten-free noodles.
There are so many different fillings you can use. It depends on your personal preference and what ingredients you have in your house. The options are endless. Some fun fillings to try are:
- Bell peppers, sliced thinly
- Cabbage, sliced thinly
- Mango, sliced thinly
- Jalapeño peppers, sliced thinly, if you want some heat
- Green onions, sliced thinly
- Fresh herbs such as mint, cilantro, and basil.
- Cooked chicken or pork, sliced thinly
- Cooked crab, sliced thinly
- Strawberries, sliced thinly
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Spring rolls are very healthy, especially if you pack them full of veggies and lean protein. The rice wrapper is low in fat and calories. One sheet of rice paper usually has about 30 calories.
Keep your work area wet. Rice paper wrappers are extremely sticky. The best way to keep them from sticking to your work area is to keep them wet. First, assemble spring rolls on a damp towel or on a wet plate to prevent sticking and help with rolling. When finished, place on parchment paper and make sure the rolls do not touch each other.
Rice paper wrappers contains 7.3g of carbs, 0g of protein, 0g of fat, and 30 calories.
These spring rolls are best eaten when made fresh. The rice paper hardens when left out in the air. You can cover them with plastic wrap and place them in the fridge for 2-3 hours before eating them, but I highly recommend making them fresh and eating them right away.
More Recipes To Try
How To Make Fresh and Healthy Spring Rolls
- 1 package rice roll wrappers found in the Asian section in the grocery store
- 1 package rice vermicelli noodles found in the Asian section in the grocery store
- 2 medium carrots, peeled and shredded or sliced thinly
- 1 cup spinach
- 1 large English cucumber, thinly sliced or shredded
- 1 pound small shrimp, cooked, deveined, and detailed
- 1 avocado sliced thinly
- Cook vermicelli rice noodles in boiling water for 5 minutes, according to package instructions. Drain and rinse with cold water.
- Cook shrimp in boiling water for just a few minutes until it turns pink in color. Drain well.
- Gather all filling ingredients together (vegetables, cooked shrimp, vermicelli rice noodles) and place them in your work area.
- Add 1-inch of water to a large dish, pan, or pie plate.
- Place a rice wrapper into the water and let it soak for about 10 seconds. It will still be pretty firm but be pliable. Place it on a damp lint-free dishtowel or damp cutting board or plate.
- Start adding the ingredients in the middle of the rice paper roll. We like to add shrimp first, 3 or 4. Next, add spinach, avocado, carrot, and a pinch of rice noodles. Leave the sides open about 2 inches on each side for wrapping it up.
- Pick up one side of the rice paper and fold it over the topping. Then pick up the other side of the rice paper roll and pull it snugly over the toppings. Don't pull too tight, or the rice paper will tear. Next, pick up the bottom of the rice paper roll (the end closest to you) and pull it snugly over the toppings. Then pick up the end at the top and pull it snugly over the toppings, sealing everything inside the rice paper roll.
- Serve with delicious Hoisin Peanut sauce.