Vietnamese Spring Rolls
Vietnamese spring rolls are the perfect veggie-heavy, light and healthy spring meal. Filled with shrimp, baby spinach, asparagus, carrots, cucumber, red cabbage and sprouts, these spring rolls are naturally gluten-free and served with a delicious almond butter dipping sauce.
For the last few weeks I’ve been pondering what recipes to include in a Spring themed meal prep video. And the one recipe that’s been stuck in my head, that I essentially built this entire seasonal meal prep around, was these Vietnamese spring rolls. I mean, they have spring in the name – perfect for a spring meal prep!
Of course, you don’t have to meal prep any of this recipe. You can cook it exactly as the recipe is written below, when the craving strikes. But if you would like to include it as part of your weekly meal prep or if you’d just like to watch me make them, click the video below.
What are Vietnamese Spring Rolls?
Vietnamese spring rolls (also known as “summer rolls”) are rice paper rolls filled with a variety of vegetables and protein, including shrimp or pork. Unlike Chinese spring rolls which are fried and crispy, Vietnamese spring rolls are not cooked and are served fresh. Vietnamese spring rolls are great for this time of year when the weather is warming and our bodies start to crave lighter, healthier meals.
How to Make Vietnamese Spring Rolls
The great thing about these rolls is that they’re easily customizable. Whatever veggies are in season, feel free to use them!
Today, I’m adding baby spinach, asparagus, carrots, cucumber, red cabbage and mung bean sprouts. But instead of baby spinach you could use butter lettuce or romaine and instead of mung bean sprouts you could radish sprouts, microgreens or rice noodles. The only key is making sure harder veggies like carrots, cucumber and red cabbage are thinly chopped, which makes rolling them easier.
To assemble the spring rolls, dip a rice paper wrapper in warm water for a few seconds then place it on your countertop (or a cutting board if you have a tile countertop). Layer the ingredients towards one end, then begin rolling. When you’ve rolled about 2/3 of the way, lay a few pieces of shrimp (cut in half) then finish rolling.
You’ll notice in the photos that I didn’t tuck the ends when I wrapped these, but that’s entirely up to you. If you’d prefer to tuck the ends in, go for it. I personally like the asparagus spears dangling out the ends and the longer spring rolls give me an extra dip in the almond butter dipping sauce. Always a good thing!
My Vietnamese Spring Rolls Dipping Sauce is Gluten-Free
Most dipping sauces for spring rolls are not gluten-free as they contain soy sauce or hoisin sauce (which also includes soy sauce). And most include peanut butter. I personally have no problems with peanut butter, but as my nephew has a peanut allergy I’ve always used almond butter rather than peanut butter in my recipes. And in this case, I think you’re really gonna love it.
So what’s in my dipping sauce? It’s a combination of almond butter, tamari, blackstrap molasses, toasted sesame oil, vinegar, garlic and lime juice. It’s savory, umami, a little bit salty and mighty tasty. You could also replace the tamari with coconut aminos for a soy-free and paleo-friendly alternative.
If you’ve never heard of tamari or coconut aminos, make sure to check out my article that highlights the differences between tamari, soy sauce and coconut aminos.
Once the spring rolls and sauce are made, just slice them in half, serve them up and watch your guests dig in. Yep, these Vietnamese spring rolls with almond butter dipping sauce are always a hit. Happy Spring!
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Vietnamese Spring Rolls
Vietnamese Spring Rolls
- 15 medium raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 10 asparagus spears
- 2 cups baby spinach
- 2 cups red cabbage, thinly sliced
- 4 carrots, julienned
- 2 cucumbers, julienned
- 1 cup mung bean sprouts
- 10 rice paper wrappers
Almond Butter Dipping Sauce
- 1/2 cup almond butter
- 5 tbsp tamari, or coconut aminos
- 1 tbsp blackstrap molasses
- 2 tsp toasted sesame oil
- 2 tsp white wine vinegar
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 lime, juiced
- 4 tbsp water
- optional sriracha sauce or chili powder
- At the same time, bring both a small pot of water to a boil and a sauté pan (large enough to fit the asparagus) with water to a boil. Add the shrimp to the pot and add the asparagus to the sauté pan. Cook both items for 2-3 minutes, then use a skimmer to immediately transfer both items to an ice water bath, then drain.
- Slice the shrimp in half and set aside.
- To make the spring rolls, fill a rimmed plate or bowl with warm water. Submerge the rice paper wrapper completely in the water for about 6-8 seconds, then lay flat on your countertop.
- Add several pieces of baby spinach, red cabbage, carrots, cucumber and mung bean sprouts to the rice paper wrapper. Top with one asparagus spear, then tightly roll. When you've rolled 2/3 of the way add 3 shrimp halves, then continue rolling. Repeat this process to make all of the Vietnamese spring rolls.
- To make the almond butter dipping sauce add all of the ingredients to a small bowl and whisk together. Serve the dipping sauce with the spring rolls.
- The rice paper wrappers I use and recommend are Three Ladies Brand. When you're rolling, it's best to roll as tightly as possible. The rice paper wrappers are pretty durable, so feel free to tug and tighten a little while you're rolling.
- You can leave the ends open when making the spring rolls, as I've done, or you can fold them in so everything is contained. It's up to you.
- If you have leftover almond butter dipping sauce, it's great mixed with rice noodles or my cauliflower rice.