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Packed with basil, mint, and cilantro, these fresh rolls are served with a hoisin peanut dipping sauce. Bonus: this easy spring rolls recipe is vegan, too!

Fresh rolls | Easy spring roll recipe

All winter and spring we’ve been salivating over the recipes in The Herbal Kitchen, a cookbook gift from my sister. The book is written by a chef based in her home city of Seattle, and focuses on the myriad of ways to use fresh herbs. So as soon as our cilantro and mint were big enough to harvest, I knew just what I’d use them for: this easy spring roll recipe! Keep reading for this fresh rolls recipe.

This easy spring roll recipe

These fresh rolls are a delicious burst of fresh flavors. Instead of frying to achieve a crunchy exterior, the rice paper wrapper in this easy spring roll recipe is kept fresh. Spring rolls and summer rolls can be stuffed with many different fillings. This fresh rolls recipe takes minimalist approach by using only herbs, chopped peanuts, and iceberg lettuce to provide a crunchy texture. We found the simplicity to be perfectly satisfying; though of course you can customize the filling to your own liking.

To serve with these delicious fresh rolls, we created a hoisin peanut sauce that requires minimal ingredients and no chopping. We loved the way the flavors in the sauce ended up complimenting the herb and peanut filling of the vegan spring rolls.

How to make fresh rolls

Making fresh rolls does require a bit of time, since the rice paper wrappers are a bit fragile and it will take some practice rolling them. But, never fear! Once you start practicing, you’ll be expertly rolling in no time. Here’s how to make fresh spring rolls:

  1. Start by prepping your filling: finely chop or grate the ingredients in the recipe below, and mix them with a little sesame oil for extra flavor.
  2. Prep the rice paper: Prepping the rice paper wrappers is the trickiest part of this recipe, simply because they’re so darn sticky. To prep the wrappers, you’ll need to slide them into a bowl of warm water one by one. After about 30 seconds, the wrapper should be soft and pliable.
  3. Roll the fresh spring roll. Transfer the wrapper to a cutting board.
    Place a handful of the filling at the bottom third of the wrapper, leaving about an inch uncovered on each side. Fold each side of the wrapper inward, then tightly roll the wrapper up, starting from the bottom. Place the finished roll on a platter.

The rolling technique and sticky rice paper is a bit frustrating at first, but the work definitely pays off. Once the fresh rolls are all finished, whisk together the dipping sauce ingredients and dig in!

How to store fresh rolls

These fresh spring rolls are best eaten right away, but leftovers will keep in the fridge for about a day (the herbs may wilt a bit, though!). To store these spring rolls, put them in an airtight container with a small piece of parchment paper between each roll. The parchment paper will prevent the fresh spring rolls from sticking to each other and tearing the wrappers!

Looking for more vegetarian Thai recipes?

Outside of these fresh rolls, here are a few more Thai inspired vegetarian recipes:

This recipe is…

Vegetarian, vegan, plant-based, dairy-free, and gluten-free. (Note: double check that your hoisin sauce is gluten-free, as some contain wheat byproducts.)

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Fresh Rolls with Peanut Sauce


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  • Author: a Couple Cooks
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 12 rolls 1x

Description

Packed with basil, mint, and cilantro, these fresh rolls are served with a hoisin peanut dipping sauce. Bonus: this easy spring rolls recipe is vegan, too!


Ingredients

Scale
  • ½ cup fresh mint leaves
  • ½ cup cilantro
  • ½ cup fresh basil leaves
  • 4 cups lettuce leaves
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 4 carrots
  • ½ cup roasted and salted peanuts
  • 12 rice paper wrappers
  • ⅓ cup hoisin sauce (sans corn syrup, if possible)
  • 2 tablespoons natural peanut butter
  • 4 tablespoons warm water
  • ½ teaspoon hot sauce (Sriracha or other)

Instructions

  1. Coarsely chop the mint, cilantro, basil, and lettuce. In a medium bowl, combine the herbs and lettuce, and add a teaspoon of sesame oil (optional). Grate the carrots. Coarsely chop the peanuts.
  2. Fill a bowl with warm tap water. Slide in one of the rice paper wrappers for about 20 to 30 seconds, until soft and pliable. Transfer the wrapper carefully to a work surface. The wrapper will tend to stick to itself and may tear, but stay strong! After a couple times you’ll get the hang of it.
  3. Place a handful of the herbs, lettuce and carrots in a line at the bottom third of the wrapper, leaving about an inch uncovered on each side. Sprinkle the filling with chopped peanuts. Fold each side of the wrapper inward, then tightly roll the wrapper up, starting from the bottom. Place the finished roll on a platter.
  4. Repeat Step 3 for each of the rolls. (You’ll improve as you roll each one.) Avoid stacking the rolls on top of each other so that they do not stick together.
  5. To make the dipping sauce, combine ⅓ cup hoisin sauce, 2 tablespoons peanut butter, and around 4 tablespoons warm water (adjust the water to reach the desired consistency). For some spice, add ½ teaspoon hot sauce. Garnish with remaining chopped peanuts.
  6. Serve immediately, or cover the rolls with a damp paper towel and plastic wrap; they’ll last for about 2 hours in a cool place (but do not refrigerate).

Notes

Inspired by The Herbal Kitchen by Jerry Traunfeld

  • Category: Appetizer
  • Method: Raw
  • Cuisine: Thai

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes and the joy of cooking! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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11 Comments

  1. Maria Delgado says:

    What if I don’t like cilantro? What herb do I use?

    1. Alex says:

      You could try basil.

  2. Tiffany says:

    Mint, cilantro, and basil… oh my!

  3. Erin @ Dinners, Dishes and Desserts says:

    What a great recipe! I am always a little leery of spring rolls at restaurants, but this one looks awesome! And the dipping sauce looks perfect!

  4. Parsley Sage says:

    Brilliant recipe. No fuss = yes please! I wish I had my own garden :) Buzzed!

  5. Sasha (Global Table Adventure) says:

    I love no chopping, fuss free recipes that are oven free… seriously. I just indulged in a coco-mango soup – chilled. It’s floating around 100 degrees here, in Oklahoma… sigh. At least I was cool while I was sipping on that. Spring rolls are a fabulous idea!

  6. Nicki says:

    SO making these tonight! YAY for recipes that don’t require stoves and ovens!! :-)

  7. Lindsay @ Pinch of Yum says:

    Simple = I like! I love the fabric in your photo, too! :)

  8. Lisa says:

    Ahhh I’m famous!

    These sound SO good. I want to try and make them this weekend! …

  9. Raquel @ Erecipe.com says:

    This is my favorite recipe spring rolls we call it here lumpiang sariwa…