Vegetable Spring Rolls

These fresh vegetable spring rolls are packed with Thai basil, carrots, lettuce, green onion, and more! Bonus: they’re naturally gluten-free.

Vegetable Spring Rolls

Here’s a recipe to go along with our Cambodia posts! Almost all of the places we stopped to eat had vegetable spring rolls, both fresh and fried. We enjoyed both, but loved the fresh rolls for their delicious crunch and vegetable goodness.

We’ve made spring rolls for this blog before, as well as to prepare before our trip with Paul, the chef behind the Green Mango Café (a post to come on that soon!). Rolling the spring rolls has always been a challenge, since the rice paper wrappers can get sticky and rather hard to work with!

However, we finally feel like after some practice we’re starting to get the hang of it!  These rolls do require a little bit of time investment, but are fun to make as a “food project”, especially with family!  We were glad that everyone seemed to enjoy both making and eating them.

How to make vegetable spring rolls

Although vegetable spring rolls require a little TLC when assembling them, they really aren’t that hard to make. To make these vegetarian spring rolls, you first need to prepare the vegetable fillings. Chop the basil and green onion, and shred or finely chop the carrots. (Feel free to use whatever veggies you have on hand!). You’ll also need to cook the rice noodles according to the package instructions.

Once the vegetables have been prepped, you can begin assembling the rolls. Carefully slide a rice paper wrapper into a bowl of warm water and let it soak until it’s soft and pliable. Then transfer the wrapper to a cutting board or flat work surface and fill it with veggies. Fold each side of the wrapper inward, and then roll it up. This will take some practice, so don’t fret if the wrappers tear!

Once the vegetable spring rolls are assembled, whisk together the dipping sauce and dig in.

How to store vegetable spring rolls

These vegetarian spring rolls are best enjoyed within an hour or two of making them, as the wrappers become rubbery in the fridge. If you need to prep these spring rolls ahead of time, make them up to two hours in advance and cover them loosely with plastic wrap and a damp paper towel. This will keep them from drying out too much.

Tips for making vegetable spring rolls

  • Use fresh herbs — If you can, try to get ahold of some fresh herbs for the rolls, especially Thai basil, which is a fairly typical ingredient. We made the rolls this weekend with family, and everyone commented on the basil! It has a slight licorice-y taste, and can be grown in your garden or found at Asian markets. (If nothing else, it’s good idea for some seeds in the garden this year – or try growing some herbs in a pot!)
  • Don’t stack the spring rolls — The rice paper wrappers are incredibly sticky, so be careful not to stack the rolls on top of each other as you’re rolling them.
  • Use fish sauce for a more authentic flavor — We chose to use soy sauce in the dipping sauce instead of the more traditional fish sauce. If you want to make truly authentic spring rolls, use fish sauce instead!

rice paper wrappers

Looking for more easy Asian recipes? 

This recipe is…

These vegetable spring rolls are vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free. (Double check that your soy sauce doesn’t contain gluten!).

Print

Vegetable Spring Rolls


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (4 votes, average: 4.50 out of 5)

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

Description

These fresh vegetable spring rolls are packed with Thai basil, carrots, lettuce, green onion, and more! Bonus: they’re naturally gluten-free.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 12 rice paper wrappers
  • 4 ounces dried rice vermicelli noodles
  • 8 lettuce leaves
  • 3 to 4 carrots
  • 6 green onions
  • 1 red Thai chili (for spice) or red bell pepper (for less spice)
  • One small bunch Thai basil (highly recommended! or substitute other types of basil)
  • Other filling ideas: Cilantro, mint, bean sprouts, cucumber, cooked shrimp, chopped peanuts – try to have at least one fresh herb!
  • 2 limes (or about 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice)
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce (or fish sauce, to be authentic Khmer (Cambodian!))*
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 to 2 Thai bird’s eye chili peppers (or substitute 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes in a pinch)

Instructions

  1. Cook the rice vermicelli noodles according to the package instructions.
  2. Prepare the veggies: Wash all vegetables. Chop the lettuce leaves and Thai basil. Peel the carrot, and slice it into fine strips. Thinly slice the green onions and red chili.
  3. Assemble the rolls: Set up a large bowl with warm tap water. Slide in one of the wrappers for about 20 to 30 seconds, until soft and pliable. Transfer the wrapper carefully to a work surface (we found a plate or cutting board work well!). The wrapper may stick to itself or may tear, but never fear! After a couple times you’ll get the hang of it.
  4. Place a handful of each of the ingredients filling in a horizontal line at the bottom third of the wrapper, leaving about an inch on each the left and right sides. Fold each side of the wrapper inward, then tightly roll the wrapper up, starting from the bottom. Place the finished roll on a platter.
  5. Repeat for each of the rolls. (You’ll get better as you do each one.) Avoid stacking the rolls on top of each other, as they will likely stick together.
  6. Make the dipping sauce: Thinly slice the bird’s eye chili pepper. Mix 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice, 2 tablespoons soy sauce (or fish sauce), 1 tablespoon sugar, and the chili pepper. Taste, and adjust seasonings as desired.
  7. 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 not the refrigerator).

Notes

*Double check that your soy sauce is gluten-free. Some brands do contain gluten!

  • Category: Appetizer
  • Method: Raw
  • Cuisine: Asian

Keywords: vegetable spring rolls, spring rolls

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About the Authors

Sonja Overhiser

Cookbook Author and writer

Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.

Alex Overhiser

Cookbook Author and photographer

Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.

13 Comments

  • Reply
    Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar
    April 9, 2012 at 6:49 am

    Love how easy and yummy these look! Awesome.

  • Reply
    erin
    April 9, 2012 at 8:53 am

    I seriously eat spring rolls at least one a week- I can’t wait to try this sauce out! Love all the post about your trip!

  • Reply
    Eileen
    April 9, 2012 at 12:34 pm

    These look delicious! My dipping sauces usually turn out too salty, so I’m especially excited to try yours. :)

  • Reply
    kelsey
    April 10, 2012 at 11:38 am

    Love it! I’ve been meaning to comment on your recent Cambodia series… SE Asia has a special place in my heart. I learned to roll my own rolls in Vietnam.

    • Reply
      Sonja
      April 11, 2012 at 9:29 pm

      Awesome! When did you go to Vietnam? (We are still beginners in rolling — you are probably much more skilled! :) )

  • Reply
    Sara {Home is Where the Cookies Are}
    April 10, 2012 at 8:28 pm

    Yum! These look delicious! Totally what I need after pounding down the kids’ Easter candy for 3 days! Ooops! Did I say the kids’ candy? I meant just regular old candy. . . . *cringe*!

  • Reply
    Courtney Jones
    April 11, 2012 at 5:54 pm

    Looking forward to trying these! Love vegetable spring rolls. The dipping sauce sounds wonderful. Yum! :)

  • Reply
    Joe Shoemaker
    April 20, 2012 at 9:39 am

    Can’t wait to try these! They’re a family favorite, and gluten-free.

  • Reply
    Suzie knows Indy
    April 20, 2012 at 8:03 pm

    I’ve enjoyed hearing about your travels to Cambodia! My husband and I went to Russia a few times after the Iron Curtain fell. We shared with music like you both did with cooking. You go to share and end up learning more. –I understand about the experience being life changing for you! I think everyone should find a reputable group to link up with and take their talents to share with others.
    —concerning your great cooking ideas, I just wanted to mention the Asian Mart behind Castleton for northsiders to obtain Thai basil, Thai birds eye chilis and many hard to find Asian ingrediants. -keep on cookin’

    • Reply
      Alex
      April 23, 2012 at 7:36 am

      Thanks for the comments! Also, we will be excited to check out the Asian grocery in Castleton – we’ve never been inside! Thanks for the tip :)

  • Reply
    Tihana
    June 19, 2012 at 6:59 am

    It looks delicious! Must give it a try, but theses look more like Vietnamese summer rolls than spring rolls.

  • Reply
    Bernadette @ B3HD
    September 22, 2012 at 11:14 pm

    So yummy. I work in a very diverse neighborhood in partnership with an org that had an annual dinner. One of the healthy food alternatives they were teaching folks to make were spring rolls just like this. Time to get making! So easy!

  • Reply
    Nguyen
    February 7, 2015 at 4:37 pm

    “2 tablespoons soy sauce (or fish sauce, to be authentic Khmer (Cambodian!))”
    It sounds very ridiculous this part, because this dish is widely known as Vietnamese spring roll. Actually your recipe is just a fusion from the original Vietnamese ‘Goi cuon’. If you have a chance to visit Vietnam, I hope you can travel along our long seashore and taste the local specialities. We can make spring rolls from fresh material and the recipe depends on the season and what you can buy from local market. Especially there is a bunch of ‘fish sauces’ in Vietnam too. I didn’t know that fish sauce is the authentic Khmer. Maybe we have something similarity, but I hope you can show the authentic fish sauce by Khmer next to the Vietnamese one.
    Our fishsauce makers tried to register the copyright for Phu Quoc fish sauce, because many Thai brands copy it but it is not authentically from that unique island in Vietnam. We feel proud of our fish sauce and our dish too. When you mention the ‘authentic Cambodian fish sauce’ , wow, I must say it is a surprise. Because the Khmer community in Vietnam is famous for a different kind of sauce – very strong smell and salty. And I don’t think you can get it from any market in Western. It smells really strong. And what you mention here is merely Vietnamese fish sauce.

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