This Step by Step Guide to Rolling Fresh Spring Rolls will help you to learn how to your own fresh spring rolls at home, so you can have perfect rolls every time. Naturally vegan and gluten-free, these veggie packed spring rolls are bursting with flavor and nutrition and are sure to impress all of your dinner guests.
How to Roll Rice Paper Rolls
Spring Roll or Summer Roll?
You may have had fresh spring rolls at a Chinese or Vietnamese restaurant before, and they may have been called fresh spring rolls or summer rolls.
Spring rolls have a looser definition, they can be fresh or fried, and originate from many different countries, while summer rolls are almost always served fresh, raw, and originates from Vietnamese cuisine.
Many people use the terms spring and summer rolls interchangeably, and for this post, we will be focusing on making fresh, not fried, spring rolls.
There are so many reasons to love Fresh Spring Rolls:
- They are a delicious way to get in two or more servings of vegetables
- They are a perfect meal idea for Meatless Monday, or any day of the week
- They are SO versatile, you can add just about any ingredient you would like
- You can even set these up buffet style and let everyone in the family make their own, which helps to encourage kids to make and enjoy spring rolls as well
Of the nearly 100 recipes here on my blog, this one is by far the most popular for both me and my readers. I personally make this recipe at home all the time, and I LOVE to use this recipe in my live cooking demos. Everybody is always so excited to make them!
BUT, everyone is always intimidated to make them the first time, which is why I love to teach people how easy it truly is.
So sit back and relax, have no fear, this post contains EVERYTHING you need to know about how to roll your own fresh spring rolls, perfectly – every time, including step-by-step picture instructions, and helpful tips and tricks.
The Health Benefits of Rolling Your Own Fresh Spring Rolls
The beauty of rolling your own spring rolls at home is that you can add any ingredient that you want and customize them to any dietary or flavor preference you may have.
Rice Paper Wrappers
At the most basic level, the only thing you really need to get started rolling your own fresh spring rolls is a rice paper wrapper which should be made of a few simple ingredients, most commonly rice flour, tapioca starch, water, salt.
This means that the rice paper wrappers are naturally vegan, dairy-free, gluten-free, LOW-FODMAP, and free of the top 8 most common allergens: dairy, wheat, eggs, fish, shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts and soy.
Each wrapper contains approximately 30 calories, 13 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of protein and no fat, although exact nutrition will vary from brand to brand.
Packed with Vegetables
The second standard ingredient that gets added to fresh spring rolls is vegetables and fresh herbs, two of the most nutritious fresh food options available. While the nutrition will vary depending on the vegetables that you choose to use, all vegetables are typically still a highly nutrient dense, high fiber addition to this meal. Most vegetables contain a high concentration of the different nutrients we need for optimal health, including vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients and antioxidants.
Consuming just two spring rolls is an excellent way to get in two of the recommended servings of vegetables each day. The more veggies you add, the healthier these rolls will be!
Vegan or Not
It is entirely your choice whether or not to enjoy these spring rolls as a vegan or vegetarian dish, or as a high protein meal with the addition of ingredients like shrimp, fish, or chicken.
Making these fresh spring rolls is a great option for families who live with both vegetarian and omnivores, because each spring roll can be made individually to reflect each person’s preference. Feel free to make a half batch of vegetable rolls, and a half batch of vegetable and shrimp rolls to please everyone in the family.
Many people adopt a gluten-free lifestyle for a variety of reasons, and it is helpful to know that these rice paper wrappers are completely gluten-free. As long as you do not add any ingredients with hidden gluten, like traditional soy sauce, you can rest easy knowing that this dish is wheat, barley, and rye free.
Many people are excited to learn that rice paper wraps are Low FODMAP. The term FODMAP is an acronym, derived from “Fermentable Oligo-, Di-, Mono-saccharides And Polyols”. For those following this specific diet, these rice paper wraps are a great addition to expand your food options. Just be careful to ensure that the ingredients you are adding to the spring rolls are FODMAP friendly as well.
The Secret to Easily Rolling Fresh Spring Rolls
My secret for rolling fresh spring rolls perfectly, every single time?
Setting up the mise en place BEFORE getting started.
Mise en place is a French term meaning “putting in place”. Before you get started rolling your spring rolls you want to make sure all of the ingredients are cut, prepped, your work area is set up, and everything is ready to go.
Do not skip this step.
This includes chopping all of your vegetables, preparing any extra ingredients, and having your work surface organized, set up and ready to go. Mise en place is generally a good idea anytime you cook or bake, but it is especially important when rolling fresh spring rolls!
Mise En Place
To Start: The best and easiest way to make great spring rolls is to make sure your mise en place is set up!
- Veggies: – You can use any combination of vegetables you want in spring rolls. However, keep in mind that is important to incorporate some sort ‘hard’ vegetable such as carrots, cucumber, or green pepper. These will serve as the backbone of your spring roll and keep them from folding over or folding together. It is also smart to cut your vegetables julienne style, think skinny sticks approximately 3-4” long. Be mindful of sharp edges or ends which may poke holes or tear your rice paper.
- Extra additions: Feel free to get creative to add some protein to your spring rolls. Shredded chicken or fresh shrimp are two of my favorites. but I have also used beans and cooked quinoa too. Prepare your extra additions however you like, just make sure the pieces are cut small before you start rolling.
- Warm Water Bath: Select a bowl that is large enough to submerge your sheet of rice paper into the liquid without needing to bend it. Fill that bowl with 1-2” of warm water. Optional: I add a few dashes of soy sauce or coconut aminos, a 1/4 teaspoon of minced garlic and squeeze a fresh lime into my water for a bit of added flavor!
- Work Surface: You want a spacious, flat surface to work on that can get wet. I find that both my counter top or a plastic cutting board work just fine.
Now that your Mise en Place is set-up you are ready to get started!
How to Roll a Spring Roll with Step by Step Pictures
For all of my visual learners, here is a quick photo tutorial to show you how this is done:
Helpful Tips and Tricks for Rolling Fresh Spring Rolls
Keep in mind that it will likely take you a few tries to get this right. Have a little patience and don’t be afraid to start over if you have to.
Rolling a really good spring roll takes practice (my first one or two- every time I make them – usually turn out pretty shaky). But once you get the hang of it and feel comfortable, you’ll learn how to do it quickly and easily.
The only downfall to these spring rolls is that they are best eaten freshly made and are not really good after a few hours. If you have leftovers, you could probably keep them for 24 hours in the refrigerator. After that, the wrapper will get tough and gummy.
However, if you have your mise en place all ready to go you could just pull the leftover veggies out of your fridge and roll up some more the next day.
Use this step by step tutorial to help you roll your very own spring rolls perfectly, every time!
- 12 rice spring roll wrappers * these can be found in the Asian section of your local grocery store
- 2 large carrots peeled and sliced julienne style
- 1 small zucchini and/or cucumber sliced julienne style
- 1 bell pepper, any color sliced julienne style
- 1 cup shredded red cabbage
- 1 avocado sliced thin
- 2 cups of shredded romaine lettuce, kale, spinach or any other leafy green
- 1 scallion, green and white parts, chopped
- 1 bunch of cilantro chopped
- sauce of choice, I recommend Thai Peanut Sauce!
Set up your Mise en Place. Have all of the ingredients prepared and cut. For your work surface, you want a smooth waterproof surface (like a silpat mat) and a glass pie dish (or size equivalent) filled with lukewarm warm water.
Before getting started, lightly wet your work surface (as this will keep your rice paper wrapper from sticking).
When you feel like the rice paper is ready , take the spring roll wrapper out of the water and lay it down flat on your wet surface. You will want to work quickly from here.
Starting in the center of the wrapper, place the carrot, zucchini and bell pepper slices in a rectangular shape, staying away from the edges of the wrapper.
Continue to add all of the fillings, from the purple cabbage to the cilantro, by placing everything in the center, one by one, maintaining the rectangle shape in the middle.
Note: Be careful not to overfill your spring roll wrapper because it will cause the rice paper to tear.
That's it, you just rolled your very own spring roll! Now, roll as many spring rolls as you would like and enjoy immediatley.
Enjoy with your favorite dipping sauce. I recommend a Thai Peanut Sauce, anything with Ginger, Soy Sauce or Coconut Aminos!
DON’T FORGET YOUR MEAL PLAN!
I hope you’re inspired to try new and different recipes like this Step by Step Guide to Rolling Fresh Spring rolls! And more importantly, I hope you’re inspired to try new plant-based meal options.
If you’re looking for additional help in meal planning or discovering new and delicious recipes to try, be sure to download my Free 16 page eBook – The 5 Day Happy & Healthy Meal Plan, which features this recipe, below!
Have you tried to make your own fresh spring rolls before? What tasty vegetables would you use in yours? Let me know in the comments section below!
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