Cooking Asian is not as difficult as you might think.
Let me help you out a bit here. Here’s a simple dish that you can start with to try: these Vietnamese style fresh spring rolls! I’m sure that this is right up your alley.
You don’t need to buy or have a lot of strange stuff for it. Apart from the rice paper wrappers there’s some very everyday ingredients in it. Fresh prawns, vegetables, fresh herbs and cooked noodles. Doesn’t that sound easy?
Make sure that you have all of your ingredients prepped, sliced and cooked beforehand though. Because this will make assembling these fresh spring rolls much easier and quicker.
And about that dipping sauce: you can leave the rice vinegar out if you can’t find any.
However be generous with the lime juice and the hot sauce. And believe it or not: the palm sugar is the ingredient that ties all the flavors in this sauce together, so make sure to add enough of it!
Fresh Spring Rolls with Prawns
Here’s a great trick if you are making Vietnamese style prawn spring rolls.
Boil the prawns in their shell because that will keep them straight and thin. If you boil peeled prawns, then they will be thicker and harder to wrap up nicely in the rice paper.
I used medium rice paper wrappers that were about 6 inches (15 cm) in diameter. If you are using larger wrappers, then take into consideration that you will end up with less spring rolls because the larger ones will contain more ingredients.
Are you looking for other types of protein to make spring rolls from?
Of course you can use cooked beef, pork and chicken. I often turn a leftover fillet of grilled fish from last night’s dinner into spring rolls. Or you can use surimi and even canned fish.
But what if you want to make a vegetarian spring roll?
Then I suggest that you add tofu, tempeh, boiled eggs and omelets for instance. Or you can keep it purely with a mix of delicious extra vegetables such as avocados, sugar snaps, green asparagus or daikon. And a bunch of fresh and vibrant herbs of course!
Do you love simple Asian recipes?
Then also check out my Thai green mango salad!
Prep The Fresh Spring Rolls
- 10 prawns (raw)
- 1 tsp palm sugar or brown sugar
- 2 tbsp hot chili sauce
- 2 tbsp fish sauce
- 3 tbsp rice vinegar
- 1 tbsp lime juice or lemon juice
- ½ tsp garlic paste or 1 small mashed clove
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- Combine the palm sugar, chili sauce, fish sauce, rice vinegar, garlic paste, lime or lemon juice and vegetable oil in a cup and stir well.
- Put this dipping sauce aside until needed later on. Place a saucepan with water over high heat until boiling. Then add the prawns and boil them for 3 to 4 minutes until cooked through.
- Then strain the prawns and immediately put them in the fridge to cool down. Once cold, peel the cooked prawns and slice them in half.
Prepping these Vietnamese style fresh spring rolls is so important here!
I have already mentioned it before.
So make sure that you have all of your other ingredients grated, chopped and sliced beforehand. Simply because that will also make assembling the fresh Vietnamese style spring rolls much easier and quicker later on.
Prepping in the kitchen is so important.
Are you a little worried about getting to work with that fragile rice paper? Don’t panic if your first fresh spring rolls don’t look very good. Even if they have tears in them. You will get the hang of it after a couple of minutes.
All I can say is, work fast. Don’t try to wrap up the fresh spring rolls too neatly. The longer it takes for you to make a spring roll, the faster the soaked rice paper will dry out and become sticky and impossible to work with.
Are you in for a treat today?
Fresh prawns, crunchy vegetables, rice paper and cooked noodles is all you need to make these Vietnamese style goodies! And I really hope that you will enjoy these tasty and easy fresh spring rolls as much as well did.
It is great as a light lunch or as a healthy appetizer!
Here we go…
Assemble The Fresh Spring Rolls
- 10 medium round rice paper wrappers
- 4,5 oz cooked rice vermicelli noodles (125 g)
- 10 small romaine lettuce leaves
- 1 medium fresh carrot peeled and grated
- 10 slices fresh cucumber cut in halved
- a handful fresh mint leaves
- a handful fresh cilantro leaves
- Place a large saucepan with water over medium heat until it starts to simmer lightly. Turn the heat off and let it cool a little. The water should be warm, just so you can put your hand in it. Soak a rice paper wrapper in the warm water for 20 seconds until a little soft but not soaked.
- Then place it on a clean chopping board. Now you have to choose which filling you want. Make sure not to add too much or the spring rolls will be too thick and difficult to wrap. Let’s start with some lettuce and cooked noodles. Place this in the middle of the rice paper wrapper.
- Top with some sliced cucumber, grated carrot and a couple of mint and cilantro leaves. Place 2 halved prawns right above it. This is for presentation purposes.
- Wrap the filling with the rice paper. Start from below. Roll the wrapper tightly around the filling without tearing it.
- Now fold both sides over the filling. Then roll the whole package up, the prawns should be right on top of the spring roll.
- Once you’re done, place the fresh spring roll on a large plate (lightly brush it with vegetable oil if you fear the rolls will stick too much to the plate) and assemble the rest of the spring rolls using the remaining ingredients. In the end, serve the fresh spring rolls with the dipping sauce.