You can never go wrong with these Vietnamese Fresh Spring Rolls when you want to incorporate delicious, healthy meals into your diet. Go for the traditional shrimp option, or try it out with smoked salmon for a twist!
A few days ago I was in the mood to eat something healthy, and then remembered that I had some rice paper left over from the Rice Paper Dumplings I made! So naturally, these rice paper rolls came into mind. I used to be intimidated by these and thought that it would be a bit challenging to make. But after learning some tips and tricks, there’s no sweating it!
Vietnamese fresh spring rolls, known as gỏi cuốn, traditionally contain a mix of rice vermicelli noodles, herbs, vegetables and some protein. The assortment of ingredients wrapped up in rice paper gives a perfect blend of texture and hearty bursts of flavor.
CHOICE OF PROTEIN
One of the more classic proteins that’s normally used is the juicy shrimp. Aside from being a delicious favorite of many, it has the perfect size for easy assembly.
For a second option, I decided to use smoked salmon to test it out…and it was incredible. So SO good! I saw it on Instagram many moons ago back in Malaysia, and it was on my mind ever since.
TIPS FOR VIETNAMESE FRESH SPRING ROLLS
- Soak rice paper – Soak them in warm water for about 5 seconds or 10 seconds in cold water, before starting the wrapping process. It will still continue the softening process after you take it out of the water. So don’t soak for too long or it might break.
- Double sheets – For beginners that somehow manage to break the rice paper whenever folding (read: me), use 2 sheets of rice paper to make each spring roll so that it holds the filling better. It might be a tad bit chewier on the ends as compared to a single sheet, but really not quite noticeable. Delicious either way!
- Wrap like a burrito – Fold the left and right sides inwards tightly, then roll from the bottom up.
- Dipping sauce – Traditionally, hoisin sauce and peanut butter is used for the peanut dipping sauce. This is my version of the dipping sauce that doesn’t use hoisin sauce.
- Store in fridge – The spring rolls are best when eaten fresh. But if you’re making them ahead, store them in air-tight containers before placing in the fridge. The smoked salmon can last up to 4 hours, the shrimp up to 6 hours. If you don’t have air-tight containers, tightly cling wrap each spring roll. This is to prevent it from drying out.
Looking for more healthy meal options? Here you go:
Vietnamese Fresh Spring Rolls (Shrimp & Smoked Salmon)
- 5 shrimp peeled and deveined
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 3 cups water
- 6 rice paper wrappers
- 6 large lettuce leaves
- 2 2 persian cucumber julienned
- 1 handful cilantro
- 1 handful mint
- 6 slices smoked salmon
Peanut Dipping Sauce
- 2 tbsp peanut butter
- 1 tbsp light soy sauce
- 1 tbsp water
- 1/2 tbsp rice vinegar or white vinegar
- 1.5 tbsp sugar
- Add all the sauce ingredients in a microwave safe bowl and heat it up for 30 seconds.
- Stir until well combined.
- In a pot, add the water and salt. Bring to a boil.
- Once it's boiling, add the shrimp and let it cook for 2 minutes.
- Remove from water once it's cooked.
- Once it cools, slice the shrimp in half lengthwise like you are about to butterfly the shrimp but cut it all the way.
Making the spring rolls
- Soak the rice paper in water for 10 seconds.
- Place the softened rice on a dry surface.
- Add a generous amount of vegetables and herbs to the bottom part of the rice paper but leaving about 1 inch of space at the bottom and sides.
- Gently cover the fillings with the bottom edge of the rice paper and roll up once. Make sure to tightly tuck in the fillings before rolling up.
- Flip the right side inwards then the left. Add 3 shrimp halves/2 smoked salmon slices on top of the roll and press down while rolling up so it stays in place.
- Continue rolling until the end. Serve and enjoy!