Thai Spring Rolls are a delicious way to eat more veggies, served with a homemade peanut sauce for dipping. They are basically a hand-held way to eat a salad, all wrapped up for convenience, and are served fresh, not fried!
You may also know them as Thai spring rolls, or salad rolls. This recipe was originally inspired by the Garden Vegetable Rolls I used to buy in the prepared section of my local grocery store, back when we lived in California.
They’re delicious, but expensive, so I figured I needed to learn how to make them at home. And it’s so easy once you get the hang of it!
Ingredients You’ll Need
What is normally in a spring roll?
- Shredded carrots
- Sliced cucumber
- Shredded cabbage
- Bell peppers
- Fresh cilantro or basil
- Sliced mango (highly recommend when it’s in season!)
- Rice paper (use white or brown rice sheets)
What’s the difference between spring rolls and egg rolls? The wrappers for spring rolls are typically egg-free and vegan, made with only rice and water.
Egg rolls are usually fried, while spring rolls aren’t always. I prefer this fresh version, because it really does feel like I’m eating a salad wrap, without a heavy tortilla. And the peanut dipping sauce takes the flavor over the top!
How to Make Them
- Prepare the peanut sauce. This recipe moves quickly, so you want the peanut sauce ready to serve before you start making the spring rolls. Stir together 7 ingredients, and you’re ready to go.
- Slice the veggies. I like to use shredded carrots and cabbage, sliced cucumbers and red bell peppers, avocado, fresh cilantro, romaine leaves, and even sliced fresh mango when I have some on hand. (Highly recommend the mango addition when it’s in season!)
- Wet the paper. Start with white or brown rice spring roll paper. Work with one sheet at a time, getting it wet briefly, for about 10 to 20 seconds under running water. (Or, you can dip them in a bowl of water, if that’s easier.) You don’t have to wait for the paper to soften, it will soften significantly as you work!
- Roll up the veggies. Place the wet rice paper on a cutting board or clean towel, then start adding the sliced veggie fillings to the center. Start with a small amount of everything, because if you add too much, the rice paper may break as you try to roll it up. I usually end up ripping the first one I make, so don’t be discouraged if that happens to you, too. (They still taste good, regardless!)
- Repeat. Once you’ve made your first spring roll, repeat the process, getting another sheet of rice paper wet, then filling it with veggies and rolling it up. You can make as many rolls as you like!
Once the rolls are finished, slice them in half with a sharp knife, and serve them with the peanut dipping sauce. The combination is hard to resist!
Tips for Wrapping Spring Rolls
- Don’t try to batch it. Be sure to wet only one spring roll wrapper at a time. If you try to get more than one sheet wet at once, it might get too soggy and break before you have the chance to add all the veggies and roll it up.
- Leave space on the sides. The amount of filling you add will determine the size of your spring rolls, so be sure to leave at least 1 inch on each side of the veggies, so you’ll be able to roll them up like a burrito. Try piling the veggies towards the lower third of the wrapper, so you’ll have plenty of rice paper at the top to seal the wraps as you roll.
- Don’t over-fill. I recommend starting will less veggie fillings than you think you might need. Start with a piece of romaine lettuce, then add a pinch of shredded cabbage and carrots, followed by thinly sliced avocado, cucumbers, red bell peppers, and cilantro. It will pile up quickly, so that’s why starting small is a good idea.
- Move quickly. You don’t have to wait for rice paper to soften up after getting it wet. By the time you add all of the veggie fillings, it should be very pliable and easy to roll up, so feel free to get started right away with the next step.
Spring Rolls with Peanut Sauce
Peanut Dipping Sauce
- 6 to 8 sheets rice paper
- 4 romaine leaves
- 1 cup shredded cabbage
- 2 carrots , shredded
- 1/2 cucumber , thinly sliced
- 1 bell pepper , thinly sliced
- 1 avocado , thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup fresh cilantro
- Prepare the peanut sauce, so the flavors can meld as you make the spring rolls. Add the peanut butter, tamari, lime juice, maple syrup, sriracha, ginger, and garlic to a small bowl, and whisk well, until it looks smooth. Add a tablespoon of water, and mix again, until the sauce is silky smooth, with a dip-able consistency. Set aside.
- To prepare the spring rolls, place a single sheet of rice paper under running water and make sure it's totally coated on both sides. Place the wet sheet of paper on a towel or cutting board, then start adding the veggie fillings.
- Start with a small piece of romaine lettuce, followed by a pinch of shredded cabbage and carrots, sliced cucumber and carrots, then top it off with sliced avocado and fresh cilantro. Be sure to leave at least an inch of space on the sides and bottom, so you'll have room to roll up the rice paper.
- Once the fillings are added, grab the bottom of the rice paper and gently pull it over the top of the fillings. Next, you'll fold the two sides over the top of the veggie fillings, as if you're rolling up a burrito. Finally, you'll continue rolling towards the top, until the spring roll is totally wrapped up.
- Repeat the process with the remaining wrappers and fillings, then serve right away with the peanut dipping sauce. I like to cut the rolls in half with a sharp knife, so I can dip the center of the rolls directly in the sauce.
If you try these Spring Rolls, please leave a comment below letting me know you like them! I hope you’ll love them as much as I do.