The spring roll. Many Asian cultures serve this dish in the springtime, hence the name, near the start of the Lunar New Year celebrations. In some culinary traditions the spring roll will have a crunchy exterior (fried) made of wheat flour and egg. You’ll also find a spring roll (often referred to as a summer roll) wrapped in a Vietnamese rice paper exterior that’s not fried, like the one we’re making today (because it’s our favorite). There are a few key components of the spring roll that many will recognize immediately. The first and most important is the fresh vegetables and herbs that go into the roll. The second most important? The dipping sauces!

In Vietnamese, fresh spring rolls made with rice paper are called gỏi cuốn, translating to “salad rolls”. Typically, you’ll find Vietnamese spring rolls filled with shrimp, vegetables, herbs and rice vermicelli. In our spring roll recipe, we’re going vegetarian and we tried to keep the ingredients seasonal so they can be easily found in your garden or at your local farmers’ market. Feel free to add or replace ingredients based on your liking and what’s available to you!

Traditionally, spring rolls are served with nước chấm, a Vietnamese dipping sauce made of fish sauce (nước mắm), chilli, sugar, and lime juice. We have a recipe below for nước chấm that is vegan. We also made our favorite peanut sauce as a second option that is a great pairing with the fresh herbs and greens Vietnamese cuisine is famous for. If you’re entertaining guests we suggest making both.

Print Recipe
Vietnamese Spring Rolls
Peanut Sauce (option 1)
Thai Chili Sauce (option 2)
Peanut Sauce (option 1)
Thai Chili Sauce (option 2)
Prepare the Dipping Sauce
  1. Pick your dipping sauce of choice above (or make both!) and mix all the ingredients together. Adjust seasonings to taste as necessary.
Prepare the Noodles
  1. Fill a large saucepan with water and bring it to boil on high heat.
  2. Turn off the heat. Let the noodles sit in the hot water for about 8 minutes but double check the package directions as cooking time varies across different brands.
  3. Once the noodles have softened, drain and rinse the noodles under cold water.
Making the Spring Rolls
  1. Fill a large bowl (wide enough to fit the rice papers) with lukewarm water to wet the rice paper sheets.
  2. Transfer all the vegetables, herbs, flowers, and noodles into bowls and arrange them on your work surface.
  3. Using a non-wooden cutting boar, dip your hand in water and brush water over the surface of the cutting board to keep damp. Repeat this step after every 2 spring rolls to prevent rice paper sheets from sticking to board.
  4. Quickly dip a sheet of rice paper in the lukewarm water to moisten the entire surface. This should take no longer than a few seconds. The sheet of rice doesn't need to be completely soft as it will continue to soften as you fill your roll.
  5. Lay the wet rice paper on your work surface. Place three flowers across the center of the rice paper. On top of the flowers, arrange a small pinch of mint leaves, carrots, cucumbers, and scallions. Arrange a small pinch of rice noodles on top.
  6. Grab the right and left edges of rice paper and fold into the center of the spring roll. Take the bottom edge and fold to the center. Starting from the bottom, start to tightly roll the spring roll until all the way to the end.
  7. Repeat the rolling process with the rest of the ingredients.
  8. Serve the spring rolls with the dipping sauce.