Spring rolls are a traditional Asian dish that comes in various sizes and with many different wrappings and fillings. My personal favorite follows the Vietnamese tradition: a fresh rice paper wrapping that achieves the crispness of the classic Chinese spring roll with fresh vegetables and shrimp. The lettuce leaves provide the crunch while chopped herbs and citrus provide a cool and refreshing flavor.
- ~8 ounces of Vermicelli Noodles
- 8-12 rice paper wrappers (8-8.5in diameter)
- 1 Head of Lettuce
- 1-2 Limes
- 6-12 Shrimp (Cooked or Uncooked, Thawed)
- Fresh Mint Leaves
- Dried or Fresh Basil
- Fresh Cilantro
- Roasted Peanuts
- 4 Teaspoons Fish Sauce
- Salt, Pepper, Garlic Powder
- Optional: 1 teaspoon Sesame Oil
- Optional: Hoison dipping sauce
Prepare the Noodles
- Place all of your vermicelli noodles in a deep mixing bowl or pot
- Boil enough water to cover all of the noodles in a pot on the stove
- Once water comes to a boil, pour it over the noodles
- Stir the noodles every 1-2 minutes
- Once tender (this should only take about 5 minutes) drain and run the noodles under cold water
- Optional: Add a bit of sesame oil and toss the noodles. This will keep them from sticking to each other and to your bowl
Prepare the Shrimp
- De-tail and rinse the thawed shrimp
- If uncooked:
- Be sure to peal and devein if required
- Bring slightly salted water to a boil
- Add the shrimp to boiling water and cook for 2-3 minutes or until pink & opaque
- Cut each shrimp in half along where the vein was/would be
Wash & Chop other Ingredients
- Wash and dry all produce
- Chop the cilantro and mint, removing the stems. Chop basil if fresh.
- Cut and remove the root of the lettuce head with a sharp knife. Chop the head in half and then into quarters. Use your palm to flatten each quarter.
- Use the palm of your hand to apply pressure while rolling the lime on the counter. This will make it easier to squeeze later. Cut it in half.
- Use a blender, knife, or mortar/pestle to chop/crush the peanuts into small pieces.
Fill ’em Up
- Prepare a cutting board or wooden rolling surface
- Fill a bowl with warm water. Place 1 rice paper wrapper on the surface of the water. Let it sit for a few seconds then flip it over and repeat. Remove the rice paper wrapper.
- Lay the rice paper (that should now be tender and moldable) on your work surface.
- Place a lettuce leaf centered horizontally and about 3 inches away from the point nearest you on the circle .
- Add vermicelli noodles and top with cilantro plus a bit of mint and basil
- Add 4 shrimp halves with the pink sides facing up
- Sprinkle on salt, pepper, and garlic powder
- Add the chopped peanuts
- Squeeze some lime juice over the filling and a bit of fish sauce.
Repeat for each of the wrappings:
Dip & Serve
You’re all done. Spring rolls look beautiful on wood/bamboo and go great with hoison sauce for dipping! Add minced garlic/chili sauce or even some ginger for added flavor.