We’re currently at the tail end of a heat wave here in NYC + I haven’t wanted to cook much of anything. There has been a lot of simple salads with seasonal fruit + other cooling recipes like these easy vegetable spring rolls happening in my kitchen!
They come together so quickly + are great with crunchy vegetables, a little fruit, + thin rice noodles (vermicelli) served with a quick peanut/almond sauce. Traditionally they’re also filled with boiled shrimp + pork but I love the touch of fruit + avocado instead!
Lets get rolling!
The vegetable/fruit filling possibilities are endless. In this recipe I used cucumber, mango, carrots, mint, cilantro, avocado, bell peppers, + purple cabbage. Some other ideas could be tofu, peaches, radishes, bean sprouts (yum!) or lettuce.
Thin rice noodles, I used brown rice vermicelli noodles, are also inside the roll. You can toss them in sauce or marinade before filling your rice paper for extra flavor! I love these noodles because they literally cook in under 5 minutes or can be soaked in warm water. I’ve run out of noodles before + left them out of the rolls entirely + that was delicious too. I just added a lot of extra vegetables!
The secret to not having rice paper that falls apart when you try to roll it is only dipping it in warm water for about 10 seconds (not too long!) before rolling. It should still be firm. You’ll also notice there is a rough side of the paper, this should be facing up where your filling is going to go.
When assembling the rolls you want to have them nice + full but not over stuffed so the paper rips! What you want shown on the outside of the roll (mango + avocado in this recipe) should be on the bottom of the roll so it shows on top when you finish rolling.
You roll these just as you would a burrito! If you’re a visual person here’s a quick video.
I love sauces + since I prefer almonds to peanuts I used almond butter, tamari (or soy sauce if not gf) + lime as the base of this flavor-bomb quick dipping sauce. It pairs perfectly with the fresh spring rolls!
- 2 cups thinly sliced vegetables/fruit (cucumber, mango, carrots, cabbage, bell pepper)
- ½ avocado, sliced
- ½ bunch fresh cilantro
- ½ bunch fresh mint
- 3 oz thin rice noodles or vermicelli
- 8 six inch spring roll rice papers
- 1 tbsp almond or peanut butter
- 3 tbsp tamari, soy sauce, or coconut aminos
- Juice of 1 lime
- ½ tsp maple syrup or another liquid sweetened (optional)
- 1 small garlic clove, minced (optional)
- ½ tsp chili garlic sauce, sriracha, or red pepper chili flakes
- If desired, water to thin
- prepare the rice noodles by following the directions on the package. drain, rinse with cold water + set aside
- prepare all the vegetables + fruit + set aside
- prepare the dipping sauce by adding all the sauce ingredients to a bowl + whisk until thoroughly combined. if the almond butter isn't disintegrating warm it in the microwave or on the stove to loosen it up a bit. taste + adjust seasoning as needed! this is very important as everyone's taste buds are different. if it needs more acid add lime, more saltiness add tamari, more fat add almond butter, etc. set aside
- place warm water in a wide bowl or plate + submerge one piece of rice paper for about 10 seconds. note the rough + smooth side of the paper as the rough side should be facing up where you will place the fillings. the paper should still be somewhat tough since it'll soften as you fill + roll
- transfer to a plate or cutting board + place the mango or avocado (this is what will be showing on the outside top of the roll) in the center of the paper then on top add the vegetables, cilantro + mint, + noodles last (see picture above). be sure not to over fill it or it might rip when rolling
- to roll, fold over once then fold in the sides + continue rolling until it's completely sealed (like a burrito!). don't worry if it takes you a few tries, you'll get the hang of it!
- serve with the dipping sauce. these are best eaten fresh as they stick together when stored in a container but I sometimes wrap them individually for lunch the next day + they're tasty!