vietnamese spring rolls

Join Culinate

With a free Culinate membership, you can:

  • Create your own recipe collections
  • Queue recipes for later use
  • Blog your culinary endeavors
  • Be part of our online community of cooks
  • And much more…
Join Now

Fresh Spring Rolls

From the book Moosewood Restaurant Low-Fat Favorites by
Serves 6
Total Time 1 hour
Yield 12 rolls


These little Vietnamese classics are crisp, coolly refreshing, and very pretty — the colors of the filling shine through the translucent wrappers.



3 oz. rice vermicelli
2 to 3 cups lettuce, shredded
1 cup scallions, minced
1 cup carrots, peeled and shredded
1 cup red bell peppers, thinly sliced
24 medium-sized cooked shrimp (about 12 ounces), or 1¾ cups tofu strips (about 6 ounces)
½ cup fresh basil and/or cilantro, chopped
¼ cup toasted peanuts, chopped (optional)
12 rice-paper discs (see Note), each 8 to 10 inches in diameter

Dipping sauce

~ Hoisin sauce, thinned with a little water, or a combination of:
Tbsp. brown sugar
¼ cup soy sauce
2 Tbsp. rice-wine vinegar or lime juice


  1. Place the rice vermicelli in a heatproof bowl, cover with boiling water, and set aside for 10 to 12 minutes, until soft. Drain well.
  2. Assemble all of the filling ingredients, then dampen a clean dishcloth and lay it flat on a work surface.
  3. Fill a large bowl with hot water. Holding a fragile rice-paper disc by the edge, gently lower one side of it into the hot water; it will soften as it absorbs water. Slowly turn the disc in the water until it has completely softened, taking care not to force it or it may crack. Place the disc on the damp towel and flatten it out (see Note).
  4. Using about 3 tablespoons of noodles, make a small bed of rice vermicelli just below the center of the disc. Top the noodles with 1 or 2 tablespoons of lettuce, a pinch of scallions, a sprinkling of carrots, 1 or 2 bell-pepper strips, and finally either 2 shrimp or a few tofu strips. Sprinkle on some basil and/or cilantro and chopped peanuts, if desired.
  5. Fold the two side edges of the disc over the filling to form a rectangular shape with curved ends. Roll up from the bottom to make a neat little package. Place, seam side down, on a platter.
  6. Soften and fill each of the remaining rice-paper discs, cover with plastic wrap, and chill until ready to serve.
  7. Serve with either, or both, of the two dipping sauces.


To soften several discs of rice paper before beginning to fill them, soften each one individually and arrange on the towel side by side; don’t stack them, because they will stick together.

Culinate editor’s notes: Other potential filling ingredients include fresh mint leaves and long, thin matchstick slices of cucumber. If you’ve got leftover marinated carrots and daikon from making Banh Mi, use them in place of the carrots and peppers called for here.

This content is from the book Moosewood Restaurant Low-Fat Favorites by Moosewood Collective.

There are no comments on this item
Add a comment

Think before you type

Culinate welcomes comments that are on-topic, clean, and courteous. For the benefit of the community we reserve the right to delete comments that contain advertising, personal attacks, profanity, or which are thinly disguised attempts to promote another website.

Please enter your comment

Format: Bare URLs are automatically linked; use this style: [ "place text to be linked here"] for prettier links. You may specify *bold* or _italic_ text. No HTML please.

Please identify yourself

Not a member? Sign up!

Please prove that you’re not a computer

Dinner Guest

The gamification of cooking

Earning points

Most of the time with cooking and eating, the rules are clear.

Graze: Bites from the Site
First Person

The secret sharer

A father’s legacy

The Culinate Interview

Mollie Katzen

The vegetarian-cooking pioneer


Down South

Barbecue, tamales, cocktails, and more

Local Flavors

A winter romesco sauce

Good on everything

Editor’s Choice