Tuesday, April 12, 2011

How to Make Spring Rolls

We have been experiencing 85 to 95 degree weather in Austin, TX and are just thrilled to welcome Spring! I want to soak up every lovely afternoon that we have in the 80's because soon and very soon it will be in the triple digits. Right now is the perfect time to put together a batch of these cool and crunchy Spring Rolls that are surprisingly easy to assemble and highly customizable.

Have you seen or cooked with these vermicelli rice noodles? They are quick cooking, thin noodles that are great as the base of stir-fry or added to soup. I boiled a medium pot of salted water, added a handful of rice sticks and let them boil for just a few minutes. As soon as they were cooked through (about 3 minutes) I strained and set asside to cool as I prepped the remaining ingredients.

For a nice spicy bite, I rinsed a handful of cilantro.

I like the crunch of cool Spring Rolls, so I thinly sliced a red bell pepper. Again, use what you have on hand!

I also made matchsticks out of a carrot. Other wonderful veggies include avocado and green onions.

These Vietnamese rice paper wrappers were purchased from one of the Asian Markets in Austin. Don't fret when you buy these and they are thick, sturdy and textured.

Fill a large bowl with warm water and working one at a time, dip a wrapper into the water gently until it becomes translucent and plaible.

Wet a papertowel and cover your work surface. This will make working with the thin wrappers so much easier.

As for what to use on the inside of your spring roll, be creative and use what you have on hand. Choose from a variety of fresh or steamed veggies, fresh herbs like basil, mint, cilantro, coriander leaves and proteins like cooked and shredded chicken, cooked shrimp or tufu.

I started with a few matchstick carrots, matchstick cucumbers and topped with a mint leave and some cilantro.

In order to get a fuller roll I added a few more leafy mixed greens.

This was my first experience with Tofu.

The medium firm tofu worked great for my spring rolls. It was firm enough to cut into strips and held together well.

After a few strips of tofu, I topped with some of my cooked vermicelli noodles.

Wrap up tightly like you would a burrito. Fold the bottom up over the filling, fold in the sides, then roll tightly into a cigar shape.

The wet wrapper will stick nicely to itself and I love how the translucent roll shows all the lovely colors and flavors inside.

These make a lovely appetizer or light lunch. I served mine with a spicy peanut dipping sauce made of peanut butter, soy sauce, rice vinegar, chile garlic sauce, brown sugar, fresh ginger, cilantro and chicken stock. Click the link for measurments and directions on the dipping sauce.

These really don't keep very well, but if you must make these early I would recommend covering with a damp paper towel and sealing in an airtight container. Serve within an hour or two.

Before I forget, let me point out that HWM has a bright new look and a convenient new way to get recipes straight to your inbox. Scroll back to the top on the left side and enter your e-mail address to subscribe to my e-mail list.

In a celebration for ALL that is SPRING, Click to Enter the Home With Mandy Giveaway to win a dozen Easter cake balls from Iffy's Sweets and Treats.


  1. Just came across your wonderful blog and am a new follower!!! We have the same layout too!
    - Jessica

  2. This is one of my favorite, quick, weekday light meals. We keep the spring roll wrappers in stock at all times, and will just pick up a pre-cooked rotisserie chicken and a cabbage, slice them up, and use them as filling with a bit of hoisin or sriracha sauce and maybe some cilantro. So easy and tasty! Mine never look as pretty as yours do, though; I tend to overfill them. :)


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