Thank you Nuts.com. for sponsoring this post. All opinions are my own.
These insanely delicious homemade Vietnamese Fresh Shrimp Spring Rolls are a flavor and texture explosion in every addictive bite! They are packed with marinated veggies, juicy shrimp and rice vermicelli all dunked in out of this world Pineapple Hoisin Peanut Sauce. I’ve included all my tips and tricks and step by step photos (video coming soon) so you can be making these restaurant quality Shrimp Spring Rolls like a pro!
Do you looooooove Vietnamese Fresh Shrimp Spring Rolls?! They are also known as summer rolls, rice paper rolls and salad rolls, but by whatever name, they have long been a favorite order-every-time appetizer of mine so I am SO excited to be bringing them home to you! They make a show stopping appetizer or healthy, light, refreshing lunch or dinner and you can prep all the ingredients ahead of time and just assemble when ready.
If you have have never tried spring rolls, they are basically a fresh, bright textural and aromatic symphony of crunchy veggies, firm noodles, and plenty of fresh herbs all cocooned in a rice paper wrapper (more on the wrapper later). I’ve added shrimp to these spring rolls because – YUM – but feel free to leave it out. You can also mix up the veggies, add avocado, mangoes, etc., but whatever you do, just make sure you have lots of crunch in your spring rolls – its all about the crunch. So let’s get to it!
HOW TO MAKE FRESH SHRIMP SPRING ROLLS
Sweet Chili Marinade
Well, that’s not entirely true, is all about the crunch aaaaaaaand the Sweet Chili Marinade. Many Fresh Spring Roll recipes fall flat because although they are fresh, they rely solely on the Peanut Sauce for flavor – so the roll is just a bundle of veggies – might as well eat a veggie platter. But not these Vietnamese Fresh Shrimp Spring Rolls. I’ve concocted a Sweet Chili Marinade by whisking Asian sweet chili sauce, pineapple juice, honey, fish sauce, garlic powder and ginger together. We add a couple tablespoons of this dynamic marinade to everything – the veggies, the noodles, the shrimp, even the Pineapple Hoisin Peanut Sauce so every single element is infused with flavor and stand alone delicious. I had to pull myself away from eating all the shrimp or I wouldn’t have any left to make rolls with – everything is independently that good.
While on the subject of shrimp, you can totally leave it out, like I mentioned earlier, if you are not a shrimp fan/don’t have any on hand, but if you are a shrimp lover, you will loooove this juicy shrimp sauteed in butter, seasoned with salt and pepper then enveloped in some Sweet Chili Marinade – and it takes under 5 minutes to make! After we saute our shrimp, we remove them to a cutting board and slice in half lengthwise. We want the shrimp nice and thin to stay proportional with the rest of the filling and so they will lay flat in the delicate wrapper.
One element of these fresh Shrimp Spring Rolls you might not be familiar with is rice vermicelli. Rice vermicelli is a classic element in Vietnamese Spring Rolls and is also known as thin rice noodles or rice sticks. Most importantly, these rice noodles can be found in the Asian section of almost every grocery store – so don’t be tempted to skip them! You can also find them at Nuts.com HERE. They truly MAKE these Shrimp Vietnamese Spring Rolls in my opinion and they are super easy to prepare.
After we cook our shrimp, we use the same pan to boil some water then add our rice vermicelli and let it sit until al dente, 5-10 minutes (follow package directions). That’s it! The only thing to be aware of is to not overcook the noodles because mushy noodles completely defeats their entire purpose. So just test a noodle every few minutes or so and you’ll be in perfect form.
Rice Paper Wrappers
Next up, the rice paper wrapper! Rice paper comes in a firm disc that deceptively looks and feels like thin plastic but is actually mainly rice flour. I purchased my rice paper wrappers from Nuts.com under their Spring Roll Wrappers HERE, and they were perfection for these Vietnamese Fresh Shrimp Spring Rolls.
If you haven’t heard me talk about Nuts.com before, let me introduce you to my favorite source for practically everything! Nuts.com has over 2,000 quality items that ship right to your door (no searching store to store!). I especially love Nuts.com for hard-to-find items like kaffir lime leaves which I used in my One Pot Thaic Chicken Noodle Soup and these Spring Roll Wrappers. While you’re ordering your Spring Roll Wrappers, you can also get your Rice Vermiccili there too (click HERE) because, like I said, they have everything. Everything from delectable nuts and chocolate to specialty items for all your Asian, Italian and Mexican cooking needs.
What I especially love and respect about Nuts.com is the quality personal customer service and quality values of the family business. Nuts.com was started way back in 1929 when grandfather “Poppy” took a risk and started his own business and three generations later, it is still in business – that’s when you know a company delivers quality in everything they do.
So now that you know the best place to get your rice paper wrappers, let’s talk technique. The main mistake people make when using rice paper wrappers is soaking them too long – this will make them mushy, sticky, hard to work with and destined to tear. Instead, we want to just dip the wrappers into the room temperature water for a few seconds, just long enough to soften slightly but still firm enough that they keep their shape when you remove them from the water – their edges shouldn’t be falling all over the place. It might take you 1-2 tries to perfect your timing and to get the feel of working with rice paper, but after that, it will be a breeze.
After you dip your rice paper wrappers in water and they are still firm but pliable, lay them flat on either a damp clean kitchen towel, ceramic, plastic or marble work surface – I just don’t recommend wood as the wrappers tend to stick to it. I haven’t tried using a nonstick mat but that might be just the ticket.
There is no right or wrong way to assemble/layer your spring rolls but I find it easiest (and prettiest) to first place the Boston lettuce leaf half in the center of the wrapper then top with the rice vermiccili, veggies, cilantro, mint and basil.
Be careful not to overstuff the roll as it will make it harder to roll and more likely to tear. After you make a roll or two, you’ll get the hang of how much filling to add. Next we line 3 pieces shrimp halves in a row next to the filling to ensure they show up on the outside of the spring roll. I like to then add 2 basil or mint leaves in between the shrimp as pictured, but this is purely decorative.
How to Roll
Roll up wrappers carefully and tightly like you would a burrito. Starting with the side away from the shrimp, gently pull the bottom of the roll over the first row of filling then fold in the sides and continue to roll. Repeat process until all spring rolls are assembled.
Serve with Sauce!
The Pineapple Hoisin Peanut Sauce is eat-it-with-a-spoon deeeeeeeeelish. It truly is phenomenal and super easy to make. Simply whisk together a couple tablespoons of your Sweet Chili Marinade, hoisin sauce (like Asian BBQ Sauce, found in the Asian section of your grocery store), pineapple juice and peanut butter then simmer until peanut butter is melted and the sauce is sightly thickened. Most Vietnamese Peanut Sauces use water to thin and vinegar for a bit of tang but by adding pineapple juice we achieve both and superior flavor.
So now that I’ve written an essay on How to Make Spring Rolls, I hope you try them! You will NOT be disappointed. They are worth every ingredient and every step for OVER THE TOP YUM!
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