Clean out the fridge with these Fresh Spring Rolls with Peanut Sauce! They’re the perfect light lunch or dinner for those Hot Summer days when the last thing you want to do is turn on the oven!
You can’t beat these light and refreshing Fresh Spring Rolls with Peanut Sauce! Loads of crisp veggies and herbs are packed into rice paper rolls then dipped into the most creamy and flavourful peanut sauce you, yes you, made yourself! It’s like a match made in Heaven and a burst of flavour with every bite. These Fresh Veggies Spring Rolls are light, perfect for Summer lunches or snacks and are a great way to use up any combination of veggies you already have on hand. Simply delicious, at it’s finest!
Spring Rolls Peanut Sauce. There’s something about those four words when said together that just makes my mouth salivate. I mean, said on their own, they can pretty much accomplish the drool factor, too. But, it’s no secret that Fresh Spring Rolls and Peanut Sauce just belonnnnng together. The combination of the creamy and slightly spicy peanut sauce with the crunch from the fresh veggies and the softness of the rice paper. I mean, can you think of a better combo? I’m drooling.
And hey, before we get any further with the four drool worthy words – Spring Rolls Peanut Sauce – let’s just establish right from the get-go, right here and now, that this is not just ANY Peanut Sauce. This is the ultimate Peanut Sauce YOU made from scratch in your very own kitchen. Yeah, that’s right. It’s homemade, full of natural ingredients and not only pairs perfectly with these Fresh Vegetable Spring Rolls but with so, so many other dishes, too. Talk about a WIN-WIN.
Besides the DELICIOUS AF peanut butter sauce that’ll rightfully earn you a few bragging rights (something along the lines of: YEAH, BABY, I MADE THAT!!!!), the best part about these Fresh Rolls is that you can use whatever veggie or combination of veggies you already have on hand. So, yeah, the ones lingering at the bottom of the fridge you don’t know what to do with now have a purpose. Is there such a thing as a WIN-WIN-WIN situation? Or did we just create one?! 😉
WHAT IS SPRING ROLLS?
Spring Rolls come in all sorts of different forms, shapes, sizes, wrappers, fillings, sauces…you name it! They’re often found in Chinese or other Southeast Asian cuisines and can be filled with anything from meat such as pork or shrimp to tofu or veggies. Depending on the type and the wrapper (some are made from flour and water and others, like in this recipe, are made from rice), they can be either crispy or soft, steamed or fried, served hot or cold.
These Fresh Spring Rolls, which are the main focus of our discussion today, have more of a Vietnamese origin, are served cold and besides meat and veggies, are often filled with other ingredients such as noodles or fruits like mangoes. Unlike their crispy counterparts, people also refer to these Fresh Rolls as Summer Rolls (cause they’re perfect for Summer, duh!) and have a translucent wrapper in which the ingredients are visible from the outside. Although the Peanut Dipping Sauce would be equally amazing with the crispy version of spring rolls IMHO, a Fresh Spring Roll is almost always paired with some whereas a fried spring roll is normally paired with more of a plum or sweet and sour dipping sauce.
FRESH SPRING ROLLS INGREDIENTS
This is the fun part! You get to fill your rolls with any vegetable your heart desires! These are my favourites (and yes, I use ’em all at once!) but again, you do you, boo. Use what you want or already have on hand. These Fresh Veggie Spring Rolls are a great clean out the fridge meal! Let’s discuss the ingredients in a little more detail down below:
- Rice Paper: The wrapper for these fresh spring rolls and what holds the filling in place. And yes, it’s exactly as it sounds – a paper thin sheet made of only rice. You can find them in the Asian section of the grocery store. They start off firm and hard but when dipped in water become soft and malleable. However, if dipped in water too long, they become mushy and unusable. Follow the package directions for best results.They’re quite easy to manage but might take a few tries if it’s your first time.
- Greens: Adds a nice fluffiness or sort of “cushion” for the filling and rest of the ingredients. I used a blend of mixed baby greens here but anything will work. Spinach, arugula, lettuce and/or kale are always good options.
- Herbs: Where a lot of the flavour comes from and adds an undeniable freshness to the rolls! Feel free to get crazy with it and add an abundance of mixed herbs. Cilantro, parsley, basil and mint are all great options both individually and collectively. Fresh herbs work best for this recipe and I highly recommend using them. However, use dry if that’s all you have on hand (or omit the use of herbs completely). PRO TIP: If you are opting to use dried herbs instead of fresh, try tossing the veggies in the herbs before assembling the rolls. They won’t pack in the same flavour as the fresh herbs so coating the veggies beforehand will amp up the flavour.
- Bell Pepper: Adds the perfect crunch to the rolls. Also adds flavour and a bit of “juicy-ness” to the dish. I used red to add a pop of colour but any colour will do.
- Jalapeño: For a bit of a kick. Feel free to omit for no spice or leave the seeds in or use a different pepper (such as Thai Chilies) for extra spicy.
- Carrot: For freshness and crunch. I love grating/shredding mine on a box grater but julienned or match-sticks also works.
- Red Cabbage: Adds a pop of colour and more crunch to the rolls. Pairs perfectly with the other veggies.
- Cucumber: For freshness and another juicy element for the rolls. I find that skinning the cucumber makes the rolls look prettier and easier to digest. However, you can leave the skin on if you prefer. I like my cucs julienned in very thin matchsticks but grating or shredding will also work. PRO TIP: If you opt to grate or shred the cucumber instead of julienning, squeeze out the excess water before adding them to the rolls.
- Green Onion: I love the freshness and taste that the green onion adds to these rolls. However, you can use red or white onion instead.
- Peanut Sauce: I’ve said it before and I’ll gladly say it again, this Peanut Sauce and these rolls GO HAND IN HAND so definitely do NOT skip it. They’re a package deal, IMHO. It’s a simple but delicious blend of pantry ingredients you probably already have on hand. Peanut butter, soy sauce, rice vinegar, garlic, ginger, honey, lime juice, sriracha and sesame oil. Click here for the full recipe. (Ok, the only way I’ll forgive you for not making the peanut sauce for these spring rolls is if you’re allergic to peanuts….)
HOW TO MAKE SPRING ROLLS WITH PEANUT SAUCE (KEY TIPS)
- Don’t soak the rice paper in the water for too long. It’s best to follow the package directions but shouldn’t take more than 15-20 seconds. You want it to be soft enough to handle but not too soft so that it becomes mushy and falls apart. Remember, it’s the vessel holding all of the filling and ingredients. Without it, you have no Fresh Spring Rolls.
- Don’t cut the veggies too big. The useable/fillable surface area on the rice paper is not that wide. Remember you still have to fold in the sides and outer edges to make a roll. EXTRA TIP: Don’t cut anything longer than your index finger.
- Have all your veggies and filling ingredients cut up and ready to go before dipping the rice paper into the water. You want to set up a sort of “assembly line” with the veggies in bowls so it’s easy to stick to the same order every time. Once you dip the rice paper roll in water, it’s go time, baby, and you have to use it immediately. There’s no playing around here or time to chop veggies mid roll.
- Take control of the rice paper roll! Show it who’s boss! Don’t be afraid to pull it and shape it over the filling. If you soak it properly, you won’t have an issue handling it. However, don’t be a madman and still be somewhat gentle.
- Place your filling in the lower third portion of the rice paper instead of smack dab in the middle. This will make it easier to roll without everything shifting around and falling out.
- Stuff but don’t over stuff! You definitely want the rolls to be full and filling so don’t be shy when assembling them. However, overstuffing will make them difficult to manage and hard to roll and eat. If you have the same amount of veggies as I use here, a couple pieces of each ingredient is all you need. Use your judgement, you’ll be a pro after the first couple rolls!
- Leave about 1-inch of open rice paper all around the edges. This helps the filling stay in place and makes it so much easier to roll. Also helps with preventing over-stuffing.
- Roll tight. You don’t want the filling falling out or the roll falling apart after the first bite. Make sure you pack it in as tight as you can get it without breaking the rice paper.
- Try (your hardest) not to stack these fresh spring rolls as you’re making them. They will stick together as they’re still soft and a bit wet. EXTRA TIP: If you must stack them, do so between damp paper towels or lettuce leaves to prevent sticking. Ensure you GENTLY pull them apart upon serving.
- Be patient. This can be a bit of a tedious process (especially if you’re doing it all by yourself!) but heck, it’s SO worth it. Rolling the rice paper isn’t as hard as it might seem and I promise, you’ll get better and better after each one!
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
No! These Fresh Spring Rolls require absolutely 0 cooking! In order to get your rice papers soft and rollable, they need to be soaked in water for 15-20 seconds. Be careful not to over soak.
The peanut sauce will be good stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week (so make it in advance if you have to!). If you have any left, it’s great on anything from noodles, to chicken, to stir frys and more! The Spring Rolls are best eaten fresh but will be good in the fridge for up to 2 days if stored in an airtight container. Keep in mind that the rice paper wrapper will harden as it sits so I definitely recommend trying to eat them ASAP. PRO TIP: Cover them with a damp paper towel before storing.
Other than the veggies already listed, these spring rolls can be stuffed with tofu, noodles, fruit such as mango, meat such as pork or chicken, shrimp, bean sprouts, avocado or beans. Have fun with it!
If you’re serving a crowd, you can serve these Fresh Spring Rolls and Peanut Sauce in one of two ways. Option One: Using wet hands, cut each roll open to showcase the fillings. Then arrange them on a platter around the peanut dipping sauce. If loosely stacked, barely touching and arranged just before serving, you shouldn’t have a problem pulling them apart. PRO TIP: Separate them with lettuce leaves to avoid touching. Option Two: Have all the filling ingredients chopped up in bowls next to the rice paper rolls and water and set up a u0022DIY Spring Roll Baru0022. Everyone can then make their own rolls to their liking.
For the Spring Rolls
- 1 package Rice Paper
- 4 large handfuls of Fresh Greens such as Spring Mix or Arugula, chopped
- 1 cup Red Cabbage, thinly sliced
- 1 large Carrot, peeled and grated or julienned into matchsticks
- 1 large English Cucumber, peeled and thinly sliced
- 1 large Bell Pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
- 1 bunch Green Onions, chopped
- 2 Jalapeños*, sliced (optional)
- 1/2 - 1 cup Fresh Herbs such as Parsley, Cilantro, Mint or Basil, chopped
For the Peanut Dipping Sauce
- Make the Peanut Sauce according to this recipe and set aside until ready to use.
- Prepare and chop all your veggies and put them in bowls. Set up a sort of "assembly line" for yourself so it's easy to reach all the veggies once the rice paper is ready.
- Add about 1 inch of water to a large deep bowl (use a pie pan or cake pan if you have one!). One at a time, soak the rice paper in the water for about 15-20 seconds (look at the directions on the package for best results). The rice paper should be soft but still a touch firm. Careful not to over soak*
- Leaving about 1-inch of open rice paper around the edges, layer the veggies into the bottom third of the rice paper. Start with a few pieces of chopped greens, then layer the other ingredients on top (a couple pieces or sprinkles per veggie). Finish by topping with a couple sliced jalapeños and a generous pinch of the chopped fresh herbs.
- Fold the lower piece up tightly over all the fillings.
- Tuck in the two sides tightly using both hands.
- Roll it up (like you would a burrito!) so all the filling and ingredients stay firmly in place. The rice paper is sticky enough so it will hold together.
- Repeat with the remaining rice paper rolls and ingredients until none remain. Serve cold with the peanut dipping sauce.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 86Total Fat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 14mgSodium: 129mgCarbohydrates: 16gFiber: 5gSugar: 5gProtein: 6g
Nutrition is only an estimate and calculated using Nutritionix.
IF YOU’RE LOOKING FOR A DIFFERENT ALTERNATIVE TO THE PEANUT DIPPING SAUCE, TRY THIS JAPANESE STYLE ROASTED SESAME DRESSING INSTEAD!
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