Thai Fresh Spring Rolls (With Vegetarian Option)

Thai Fresh Rolls - a bouquet!
Darlene A. Schmidt
  • Total: 42 mins
  • Prep: 40 mins
  • Cook: 2 mins
  • Yield: 12 rolls (6 servings)

Welcome guests to your table with a bouquet of fresh rolls. This Thai recipe for fresh rolls is simple to put together, and also can be made vegetarian.

They make a great finger food for parties and potlucks, or serve as an appetizer or a main course offering (makes a perfect substitute for salad, but also includes enough protein for a complete meal).

Fresh rolls also are a terrific snack for any time of the day or night. As a bonus, they're very healthy—low in both calories and fat, and naturally gluten-free. 

Ingredients

  • 12 small, round rice wrappers (dried)
  • For the Filling
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce (or wheat-free soy sauce for gluten-free diets)
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce (or another tablespoon soy sauce if vegetarian)
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1 to 1 1/2 cups thin vermicelli rice noodles (cooked and run through with cold water, drained)
  • 3/4 to 1 cup cooked shrimp (or 3/4 cup baked or fried tofu, or roasted chicken or turkey, cut into matchsticks)
  • 1 to 2 cups bean sprouts
  • 1/2 cup fresh Thai basil (roughly chopped)
  • 1/2 cup fresh coriander (roughly chopped)
  • 1/4 cup carrot (shredded)
  • 3 to 4 spring onions (cut into matchstick pieces)
  • For the Optional Tamarind Dipping Sauce
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon tamarind paste
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce (or wheat-free soy sauce for gluten-free diets)
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce (or vegetarian fish sauce)
  • 1 heaping teaspoon arrowroot powder (or cornstarch)
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 1 clove garlic (minced)

Steps to Make It

Note: while there are multiple steps to this recipe, this dish is broken down into workable categories to help you better plan for preparation and cooking.

Make the Filling

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Thai Fresh Spring Rolls (With Vegetarian Option) Recipe
     The Spruce
  2. Set rice wrappers aside. In a cup, stir together the soy sauce, vinegar, fish sauce (if using), and sugar.

    Thai Fresh Spring Rolls (With Vegetarian Option) Recipe
     The Spruce
  3. Place rice noodles, shrimp, bean sprouts, Thai basil, coriander, carrots, and spring onions in a large mixing bowl and drizzle the soy sauce mixture over. Toss to mix.

    Thai Fresh Spring Rolls (With Vegetarian Option) Recipe
     The Spruce
  4. Then form the rolls.

Form the Rolls

  1. Fill a large bowl with hot water (but not boiling, as you’ll be dipping your fingers into it). Start by submerging one wrapper into the water. It should soften after 30 seconds.

    Thai Fresh Spring Rolls (With Vegetarian Option) Recipe
     The Spruce
  2. Remove the wrapper and place on a clean surface. Add another wrapper to the hot water as you fill and roll the first one.

    Thai Fresh Spring Rolls (With Vegetarian Option) Recipe
     The Spruce
  3. Place a heaping tablespoon of roll ingredients toward the bottom of the wrapper. Spread out the ingredients horizontally (in the shape of a fresh roll).

    Thai Fresh Spring Rolls (With Vegetarian Option) Recipe
     The Spruce
  4. Fold the sides of the wrapper over the ingredients, then bring up the bottom.

    Thai Fresh Spring Rolls (With Vegetarian Option) Recipe
     The Spruce
  5. Tuck the bottom around the ingredients and roll to the top of the wrapper.

    Thai Fresh Spring Rolls (With Vegetarian Option) Recipe
     The Spruce
  6. To secure the roll: Wet it with a little water on your fingers and press (like sealing an envelope). 

    Thai Fresh Spring Rolls (With Vegetarian Option) Recipe
     The Spruce
  7. To serve, place your platter or bowl of rolls on the table along with the dipping sauce.

    Thai Fresh Spring Rolls (With Vegetarian Option) Recipe
     The Spruce
  8. Eat with your fingers and lots of napkins.

Make the Optional Tamarind Dipping Sauce

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Thai Fresh Spring Rolls (With Vegetarian Option) Recipe
     The Spruce
  2. In a saucepan, mix together 1/2 cup water, tamarind paste, 2 teaspoons sugar, 1 tablespoon soy sauce, 1 tablespoon fish sauce, arrowroot powder dissolved in water, and 1 clove minced garlic and heat.

    Thai Fresh Spring Rolls (With Vegetarian Option) Recipe
     The Spruce
  3. When near boiling, reduce heat to low, stirring until sauce thickens.

    Thai Fresh Spring Rolls (With Vegetarian Option) Recipe
     The Spruce
  4. Taste for saltiness, spiciness, and sweetness, adding more fish sauce (instead of salt), more sugar, or more chili as desired.

    Thai Fresh Spring Rolls (With Vegetarian Option) Recipe
     The Spruce
  5. The sauce can be served warm or cold.

Tip

  • To create a "bouquet" of spring rolls, simply leave one side of the spring roll open as you roll. Place closed end in the bottom of a bowl. Fill the rest of the bowl with spring rolls, so that they are standing up. (It's best if your bowl has steep sides. Also, make sure it isn't too large, or it will take a lot of spring rolls to fill it!)

Other Dipping Sauces

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