A fresh and crunchy Vietnamese Spring Roll is full of shrimp and colorful vegetables, so you can be sure you’ll get plenty of protein and vitamins with each bite. Make a dozen shrimp spring rolls in less than half an hour for a low-calorie, filling, and healthy snack!
A light, chewy Vietnamese spring roll is appealing for a number of reasons: it has a refreshing taste and doesn’t weigh your stomach down with fatty, heavy ingredients. Perfect for snacking or as an appetizer!
Shrimp spring rolls combine salty, sweet, and tender shrimp with crisp vegetables. It’s all hidden in a springy rice wrapper. You can make dozens very quickly, but you’ll want to eat them within a few hours as spring rolls aren’t great for saving.
The first time wrapping these can be tricky. Watch the video included for a clear, visual walkthrough!
If you want to really impress your guests with your kitchen prowess, serve these with a peanut sauce, homemade sweet chili sauce, which is outstanding with the seafood and vegetables in this recipe, or some salty Vietnamese fish sauce.
INGREDIENT NOTES AND SUBSTITUTIONS
- Dried Vermicelli Noodles – These super fine rice noodles are perfect for bulking our shrimp spring rolls. The best substitute would be glass noodles, though those do have a different flavor.
- Round Rice Paper – Making these will be difficult without rice paper! You can find generic spring roll wrappers. However, these are made with wheat flour which is thicker and less workable. Seaweed paper is another, healthier option.
- Medium Shrimp – Have them peeled, cooked, cleaned, and ready to go. Small shrimp are fine, too, but too large and they won’t fit.
- Butter Lettuce Leaves – Round, sweet, and tender butter cabbage will be easiest to work with.
- Red Cabbage – This variety of cabbage is firm, juicy, and flavorful. Any other cabbage can be used as a substitute.
- Carrots – Peel and chop into 2”, matchstick-like pieces. Don’t make them the length of the wrapper or they might slip out with the first bite!
- Bean Sprouts – These crispy sprouts give a pleasant crunch, plenty of moisture, and a very fresh flavor.
- Mint Leaves – If you aren’t a fan of mint, then try some fresh cilantro instead.
- Sauces for Serving: I recommend serving sweet, nutty peanut sauce, salty Vietnamese fish sauce (or nuoc chom), or my homemade sweet chili sauce.
HOW TO MAKE MY SPRING ROLL RECIPE
1. Soak the Noodles. Submerge the noodles in warm water and let sit, covered, for 4 minutes. Drain, transfer to a bowl, and set aside.
2. Prepare the Vegetables & Shrimp. Shred the cabbage, remove the cabbage stem, and chop the carrots. Chop the shrimp in half lengthwise.
3. Wrap the Vegetables. Lay a lettuce leaf flat on your work surface. Layer some noodles, carrots, cabbage, and sprouts on top. Roll the leaf and set aside, seam-side down.
4. Prepare to Wrap. Fill a large container with enough warm water to submerge the rice paper.
5. Layer. Submerge a rice paper for just two seconds, shake it off, and lay flat. Place 3 sliced shrimp flat-side up on the top third of the wrapper, placing a mint leaf on each side and between each (4 leaves in total). Place the lettuce bundle seam-side down on the bottom third of the wrapper.
6. Wrap. Roll the rice paper up from the bottom to cover the lettuce. Fold both edges inward and continue rolling to wrap the shrimp and mint. The wrapper should be sticky enough to seal itself
7. Repeat. Continue until all ingredients are used and serve right away with preferred sauces. They can be refrigerated for up to 4 hours – any longer and the wrappers will start to easily tear and deteriorate.
What does a spring roll consist of?
A Vietnamese spring roll is filled with crisp vegetables, herbs, and often shrimp – though, it is not uncommon to find a vegetarian recipe.
There are also fried versions, which are crisper and usually made with a wheat flour wrapper rather than the rice paper we use here.
What is a spring roll vs. egg roll?
The biggest difference is that egg rolls are filled with cooked ingredients (versus the raw vegetables in our recipe) and pork. While spring rolls can contain pork, they’re usually either vegetarian or made with shrimp.
Egg rolls are also wrapped in a much thicker, flour and egg wrapper. They’re much crunchier, usually rather oily, and much more filling.
Are spring rolls healthy?
It’s great to finally be able to answer this question with a firm yes! A Vietnamese spring roll makes for a healthy snack, appetizer, or even a light meal.
This entire recipe contains only 93 calories, and that doesn’t even include all of the health benefits! The carrots, red cabbage, and bean sprouts have plenty of vitamins. Shrimp is also considered a lean protein, so you can nourish your body without worrying about excess fat.
Vietnamese Spring Rolls
- 1.5 oz dried vermicelli noodles 2 small bundles
- 12 sheets of 22cm/8.5″ round rice paper
- 18 medium shrimp cleaned, cooked and cooled
- 12 butter lettuce leaves
- 2 cups red cabbage shredded
- 1 carrot peeled and cut into 2-inch matchsticks
- 4 oz bean sprouts
- 48 mint leaves
- Peanut Sauce
- Sweet Chili Sauce
- Vietnamese Fish Sauce (Nuoc Chom)
- Place vermicelli noodles in a bowl or 4 cup measuring cup and cover with warm water for 2 minutes, then drain. Transfer to bowl, set aside.
- Peel and cut carrot into 2-inch matchsticks. Shred cabbage and remove the tough stem of each butter lettuce leaf if needed. Slice each shrimp in half lengthwise.
- Fill a large bowl or container big enough to submerge the rice wrapper with warm water (you’ll be submerging for a total of 2 seconds, so you could always spin it if not big enough).
- Place a cleaned butter lettuce leaf on a flat surface and top with some vermicelli noodles, then some carrots, cabbage and sprouts. Roll up and set aside seam side down.
- Dip the wrapper in the warm water and submerge all of it for 2 seconds. That's it! Shake excess water off and lay on clean surface. Place 3 sliced shrimp cut side up on the top third of the wrapper and place a mint leaf on each side and in between, 4 leaves total. On the bottom third, add the lettuce bundle seam side down. Starting from the bottom, roll wrapper up and over to cover the lettuce bundle, then fold the both edges in and keep rolling to enclose the shrimp and mint. The wrapper is sticky and seals itself well.
- Continue with remaining ingredients and serve immediately with preferred sauce like Peanut Sauce, Sweet Chili Sauce or Vietnamese Fish Sauce (Nuoc Chom).
- Can be refrigerated, but no more than 4 hours covered, I find the wrapper starts to break down easily and tears.
The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.