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  • Writer's pictureCrystal Munegatto

Spring Salad Rolls


If you’re anything like me, you are doing everything you can to avoid the rich foods and sweets this holiday season. The chocolate. And bread. Comfort food.

Needless to say, I went on a very long run yesterday and made veggie-packed spring salad rolls for dinner.

Have everything sliced and ready to go before you begin assembling. You can use a variety of veggies, I throw in some rice noodles and shrimp. What I always find necessary is adding a lot of crunch. Something crunchy like carrots, cucumbers, peppers, or all of the above. Also? Some tasty herbs like mint, basil, or cilantro. Here’s what I always put in my summer rolls: cucumber, carrots, red pepper, cilantro, shrimp, chopped purple cabbage, butter lettuce, shrimp, and avocado.

Veggies like cucumber, carrot, and peppers should be thinly sliced/julienned. I slice the shrimp into other pieces too, which makes them nice and thin for the delicate roll.

// roll it up

There are many different methods, but this one is easiest for me. Place veggies, herbs, avocado, lettuce, and shrimp very tightly on 1/3 of the slightly firm rice paper wrapper.

I always place them on the bottom 1/3 of the rice paper so it’s easier to roll up. Don’t over-stuff the roll. Rather, begin with a small amount of filling then add a little more until you find what works with your size/brand of rice paper roll....it just takes a little practice.

Roll everything up tightly– just like a burrito. To do so, gently pull up the bottom of the roll and roll over the filling. Then, roll and use your hands to tuck the filling in as you go. Remember, you want a very tight roll. You can fold in the sides of the rice paper roll if you wish.

// peanut dipping sauce

the homemade peanut dipping sauce is one of the best parts of the dish. It’s very easy: peanut butter, hoisin sauce, garlic, a dash of Sriracha (that’s optional), soy sauce, and a little warm water to thin it all out. Topped with crushed peanuts and a sprinkle of crushed red pepper.

// sauce
  • 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter

  • 1 tblsp hoisin sauce2

  • 2 tsp soy sauce

  • 1 clove garlic, mashed (or about 1 teaspoon minced)

  • 1 teaspoon Sriracha sauce or a chile garlic sauce, optional

  • 1-2 Tablespoons warm water, or more as needed

// rolls
  • 10 spring roll rice paper wrappers

  • 1 large carrot, peeled and julienned

  • 1 large cucumber, julienned (you can peel, but I don't)

  • 1/2 of a large red pepper, julienned

  • 1/3 cup chopped purple cabbage

  • 1 ounce cooked rice noodles/rice vermicelli (optional)

  • 1 avocado, sliced

  • handful fresh cilantro and/or mint, basil

  • 5 large green lettuce leaves (romaine, butter, etc)

  • 20 medium cooked shrimp, peeled and sliced in half length-wise

all ingredients are optional // I have listed what I prefer for my wraps

// directions

  1. First, read through the post above to learn some tips/tricks for making these summer rolls. Also, make sure every single ingredient in the summer rolls is prepared/chopped/cooked before you assembling.

  2. Prepare the dipping sauce: You can whisk everything together in a bowl or use a food processor. Add everything to a medium bowl (except water and optional garnish) and whisk until smooth. Add 1-2 Tablespoons of warm water or until you reach desired thinness. Pour into a serving bowl/ramekin and top with garnish. Set aside.

  3. Prepare the rice paper wrappers: Pour warm water into a large bowl or 9-inch square or round baking pan. The baking pan is what I always use. Working with one at a time, dip the rice paper wrapper into the warm water for 15-20 seconds (or whatever the package suggests). Usually it's around that time. You want the wrapper to be soft, yet still slightly firm and pliable. Immediately remove from the water and place flat onto a work surface such as a large plastic or ceramic cutting board.

  4. Fill the rolls: Place a few sticks of carrot, cucumber, red pepper, and a sprinkle of cabbage on top of the bottom 1/3 of the rice paper. Then, a small amount of noodles (if using), a slice or two of avocado and a bit of cilantro. Lay 1/2 of a lettuce leaf on top and 4 slices of shrimp on top. Remember, do not overstuff the roll. Start small then add more, as needed, as you roll each one.

  5. Roll them: Roll everything up tightly. To do so, gently pull up the bottom of the roll and roll over the filling. Then, roll and use your hands to tuck the filling in as you go. It's basically like you're rolling a burrito! Remember, you want a very tight roll. You can fold in the sides of the rice paper roll if you wish.

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