Tuesday, 22 October 2013 22:41

Fresh Vietnamese spring roll recipe

Growing up in Austria I had a surprisingly frequent encounters with spring rolls - they were a ‘must have’ at every ‘Chinese restaurant’. But they were never fresh Vietnamese spring rolls. I always remember them being fried, invariable served as starters with little bowls of sauce straight out of some bottle  and yes, I liked them.

Then as I started travelling the world, they somehow disappeared out of my life for many years and when I decided to make some at home for the first time I found them to be a sticky, messy, oily disaster.

A great discovery  - the easy fresh Vietnamese spring roll recipe

This was before I discovered  fresh Vietnamese spring rolls – a much lighter and easier version in which the rolls are not fried.

There is actually a great variety of spring rolls all over Asia – now existing in slight adaptations all over the world. They can be savory or sweet, vegetarian or not, fried, freshly made with a pancake-like batter, or made with soaked rice paper without the frying bit – personally, my favorite way. They are great fun to make and if you keep chopped vegetables in your fridge, ready to eat in a matter of  minutes.

The rice paper wrappers are readily available in Asian food shops and to me one of the fun parts of spring rolls – it’s elastic and chewy and slightly sticky and ‘cooked’ in 30 seconds as it’s just soaked it in warm water until pliable. If you are feeling really adventurous, you could even make your own - here’s how it’s made

Ingredients for your personal Vietnamese spring roll recipe

The possibilities for fillings of your own Vietnamese spring roll recipe are endless:  vegetarian rolls use a combination of various ingredients, most commonly:

soaked rice vermicelli and lettuce,

cabbage or  bok choy, carrots, cucumbers, bell peppers, mushrooms

- all of these can be used raw or sautéed,

bean sprouts (canned or fresh) and tofu (fried or raw).

Often they also include fresh herbs like mint, cilantro and parsley.

Thin slices of cooked pork, chicken, crab or shrimp can also be added.

spring roll 041

Sauces for your fresh Vietnamese spring roll recipe

For sauces to go with your Vietnamese spring roll recipe the options are just as numerous: you can create your very own by using

  • lemon juice,
  • soy, hoisin or  fish sauce,
  • rice vinegar,
  • brown sugar,
  • peanut butter,
  • grated fresh ginger,
  • chopped garlic,
  • spring onions,
  • chili (fresh or dried)

Playing with these combinations is likely to send you onto a ‘spring roll journey’ as your taste buds will keep having new ‘aha experiences’ with each new Vietnamese spring roll recipe you come up with.  Assembling them is much easier than you would think so see how it’s done and have some fun using the ingredients of your choice!    

A wonderful selection of simple yet exotic recipes from all over Asia can be found in ‘Spring Roll Greats: Delicious Spring Roll Recipes’ by Jo Franks

Once you’ve discovered the joys of creating your very own Vietnamese spring roll recipe you’ll feel the need to share this with your friends and your dinners will never be the same. You just put the ingredients on the table and everyone gets to ‘play’!

Mary Anglberger

I’ve been travelling the world for over 20 years teaching English and am now taking time to follow my passion for photography and writing. I want to share all the things, events and people that have inspired and inspire me and spread those positive vibes all around.

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