Every time I see a Vietnamese Spring Roll, I get an odd sense of delight knowing that beneath the satisfyingly see-through rice paper there is a whole garden full of fresh, crunchy vegetables. And even though spring rolls may seem like a specialty that should only be handled by the experts themselves, they are surprisingly easy, and incredibly rewarding to make at home!
First, decide on what vegetables you want to create the filling with. You can really use whatever vegetable you want, so deciding on your ideal flavor combo is half the fun. For this example, we’ll start with the basic ingredients of carrot, cucumber, cilantro, red bell pepper and butter lettuce.
Once you decide on your filling, start slicing! The most important step to creating the perfect spring roll is to get everything thinly sliced/julienned and well-organized. If you aren’t prepared, the whole situation could fall apart once you start soaking your rice paper.
After you have everything finely sliced, diced and ready to rock ‘n roll, fill a large bowl with warm water and make sure you have a clean, hard and flat working space available, such as a ceramic cutting board.
You’ll want to wet your rice paper wrappers, fill and roll one at a time. So using the warm water, dip and wet the rice paper according to packet directions, keeping it slightly firm before spreading out flat on the work surface. Once your rice paper is laid flat, you’ll need to work relatively quickly.
Add a small amount of the assorted veggies to the bottom third of your rice paper. You want to roll the filling into the wrapper tightly, like a burrito. Starting from bottom, roll the rice wrapper over the filling then fold the left and right sides toward the center. Roll upwards to the top of the paper, keeping filling tight and trying to achieve as snug of a roll as possible. Once rolled, set aside and begin with the next.
Because the paper is so fragile, you are likely to have a couple snafus as you learn the ropes to spring rolling! Beginner’s tip: stack two rice wrappers on top of each other to fill and roll so you have double the reinforcement.
Once you get the hang of filling and rolling, you’ll have a handful of spring rolls and a heart full of happiness. We recommend enjoying your spring rolls with your favorite sauce, such as a peanut dipping sauce, or a super spicy sesame ginger sauce.
Not only are spring rolls an easy and very healthy appetizer, they are also a delicious and crowd pleasing appetizer that will impress all your friends at your next get together. Pair with a versatile Rosé or a bright and zesty Sauvignon Blanc!
- 1 large carrot, finely sliced
- 1 cucumber, finely sliced
- 1 red bell pepper, finely julienned
- ¼ cup cilantro leaves, roughly chopped
- 5 leaves butter lettuce, roughly chopped
- 8 rice paper wrappers, 6 to 8 inch diameter
Set up the prepared vegetables in an assembly line around a ceramic cutting board.
Fill a large bowl with warm water and dip one rice paper wrapper according to the package directions, until just malleable. Lay rice paper flat on the ceramic cutting board and assemble the filling of assorted vegetables on the bottom third of the wrapper. Use only a quarter cup of filling ingredients to start. You can gauge the amount of filling to for subsequent rolls.
Starting from bottom, roll the rice wrapper over the filling then fold the left and right sides toward the center, like you would a burrito. Roll upwards to the top of the paper, keeping filling tight and trying to achieve as snug of a roll as possible. Once rolled, set aside and begin with the next.
Repeat with additional vegetables and rice paper. Serve immediately with your favorite dipping sauce, or cover with plastic wrap refrigerate for up to 2 hours before serving.