This Step by Step Guide to Rolling Fresh Spring Rolls will help you to learn how to make your own fresh spring rolls at home, so you can have perfect rolls every time. Naturally vegan, gluten-free and low FODMAP, 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
You may have had fresh spring or summer rolls at a Chinese or Vietnamese restaurant before but did you know that there is a difference between the commonly known spring rolls and Vietnamese spring 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 originate from Vietnamese cuisine.
Spring Roll or Summer Roll?
Many people use the terms spring and summer rolls interchangeably, but 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. Even the pickiest of eaters can’t complain!
- 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 new foods as well
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 dinner, 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.
From the wrapper to the sauce you dip it in, everything is customizable. You can find many roll recipes online for inspiration as well!
Spring Rolls are Made With Rice Paper Wrappers
At the most basic level, the only thing you really need to get started rolling your own 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 depending on what is available at your grocery store.
Spring Rolls are Packed with Vegetables
The second standard ingredient that gets added to fresh rice paper 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 vegetable 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!
Spring Rolls Can 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 vegetarians 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 spring rolls, and a half batch of shrimp spring rolls to please everyone in the family.
Spring Rolls are Naturally Gluten-Free
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.
Spring Roll Wraps are Low FODMAP
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 your rolls are FODMAP friendly as well!
The Secret to Easily Rolling Fresh Spring Rolls
Do you want to know how to make rice paper rolls perfect 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 rice paper 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!
Set up an assembly line of ingredients so you can easily add a little to each rice paper wrapper as you move along.
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 your rolls. However, keep in mind that is important to incorporate some sort ‘hard’ vegetable such as carrots, cucumber, or green pepper. Bean sprouts also work well here.
These will serve as the backbone of your roll and keep them from folding over or folding together. It is also smart to cut your vegetable 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 when deciding what to put in rice paper rolls. You can also add some protein; 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-hot water then dip the rice paper into it.
Optional: I add a few dashes of soy sauce or coconut aminos, a ¼ teaspoon of minced garlic and squeeze a fresh lime into my water for a bit of added flavor!
After the rice paper has soaked for a few seconds, lift it out of the water with two hands and let the water drain off of it before laying it on your work surface.
- Work Surface: You want a spacious, flat surface to work on that can get wet. I find that both my countertop or a plastic cutting board work just fine.
Now that your Mise en Place is set-up you are ready to get started!
What to Put in Rice Paper Rolls
- Bell Pepper
- Red Cabbage
- Romaine Lettuce
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.
Individually wrap each one in plastic wrap to preserve the freshness and so that they don’t stick to each other and fall apart. 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.
Scroll down for a spring rolls recipe and don’t forget to dip them in a peanut butter sauce for extra flavor!
As Featured in My Cookbook
These delicious spring rolls made their way into my first cookbook, The 30-Minute Thyroid Cookbook: 125 Healing Recipes for Hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s, because of their simplicity and versatility.
They are part of the plant-based recipe section and are among the 73 vegan and vegetarian adaptable recipes in the book. The entire cookbook is gluten-free, dairy-free, and specifically designed to help support the health of those living with Hashimoto's.
Step by Step Guide to Rolling Fresh Spring Rolls
- 12 rice paper spring roll wrappers
- 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
- 1 scallion green and white parts, chopped
- 1 bunch of cilantro chopped
- sauce of choice I recommend Thai Peanut Sauce
- Before getting started, lightly wet your work surface (as this will keep your rice paper wrapper from sticking).
- Take a single dry rice spring roll wrapper and place it in the bowl of lukewarm warm water. Let the the rice paper sit in the water for 10-20 seconds, or until it becomes pliable.
- This is the hard part: continue to feel how flexible the rice paper is. You want it to be soft and workable without being mushy.
- 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.
- Work quickly, you don’t want your wrapper to fall apart. When you’ve placed all of your ingredients in a nice little pile in the middle of the spring roll wrapper, it’s time to roll it shut!
- Note: Be careful not to overfill your spring roll wrapper because it will cause the rice paper to tear.
- Start by folding the top and bottom sections of the rice paper in over the vegetables.
- Starting on the left-hand side, stretch the left side of the wrapper around the pile of ingredients, tucking and rolling until you can rest the wrapper just under the ingredients.
- Tuck the corners in and then continue to roll the spring roll all the way, making your roll as tight as possible without ripping the rice paper wrapper.
- 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!