If you want a light lunch or appetizer, try these fresh shrimp spring rolls served with a tangy and sweet peanut dipping sauce. The shrimp spring rolls are filled with rice noodles, juicy shrimp, healthy crispy veggies, and fresh herbs. This shrimp spring roll recipe will impress your friends and family.
Vietnamese food has become increasingly popular in recent years, and one of the easiest recipes you can make is shrimp spring rolls. These tasty little rolls are super healthy because they’re loaded with lean protein and healthy vegetables.
The trick to mastering perfect shrimp spring rolls is to carefully soak the rice paper wrapper. Properly soaking the spring roll wrappers will ensure that the rolling process is easy. It takes just a few seconds to wrap your spring rolls, so be sure all of your ingredients are ready for assembling the spring rolls.
Ingredients for the Filling
Traditional Vietnamese shrimp spring rolls are made with a delicious combination of shredded carrots, crisp lettuce leaves, bean sprouts, and red cabbage. The vermicelli rice noodle makes the fresh spring roll a bit heartier, but these fresh spring rolls are still perfectly light.
Adding some fresh herbs such as cilantro or mint adds some nice flavor so that every bite is delicious. Be careful not to fill the wrappers too much or wrap them too tightly because this can cause them to break.
Do you want to add some more tang to your spring rolls? You can add some fresh lime juice or lemon juice to the peanut sauce, or you can sprinkle lime juice over the cooked shrimp.
Prepare the Shrimp
To prepare the shrimp for your spring rolls, you’ll blanch your shrimp in boiling water for just 1-2 minutes. You want the shrimp to be opaque and pink but not overcooked. You can also buy pre-cooked shrimp to make these fresh spring rolls.
We like to use extra jumbo shrimp (the 16/20 count). Pink or white shrimp are best for spring rolls. The shrimp will be cut in half lengthwise so that they lay flat when you roll the spring rolls.
How to Use Rice Paper Wrappers
You can buy Vietnamese spring roll wrappers at most Asian markets or large supermarkets. If you don’t have access to them via your local market, you can also buy them on sites such as Amazon.
Spring roll wrappers are dry, very thin circular sheets that are translucent and made from rice. A spring roll wrapper about 9 inches wide, and you can fill it with anything you like.
Preparing Vietnamese Spring Rolls
Follow these steps to prepare your own Vietnamese spring rolls.
- Cook the rice noodles in boiling water. Then, rinse them well with cold water to stop the cooking process. Drain the noodles and refrigerate them until you’re ready to use them. If you’re concerned about your rice noodles sticking together, you can add some olive oil or vegetable oil to the cooking water. Don’t use very much oil. Just a tablespoon of oil is plenty to keep your noodles separated.
- Cook the shrimp with a blanching process in hot water. Allow them to chill in the fridge, then cut them in half. You can also use shrimp that’s already cooked. Find cooked shrimp in the seafood section of your supermarket, or buy frozen cooked shrimp. If you use frozen shrimp, be sure to thaw them before cutting them in half and adding them to your spring rolls. Also, make sure you dry the cooked shrimp with paper towels so they don’t get your spring rolls too moist.
- Place a paper towel or damp kitchen towel on a large cutting board.
- Fill a pie dish or bowl with cool water.
- Dip the rice papers one at a time into the cool water, allowing them to sit in the water for 15-20 seconds.
- Place the rice paper onto the damp dish towel.
- Add the lettuce leaf to the bottom third of the rice paper. Then, add the carrots, rice noodles, bean sprouts, and cabbage to the lettuce.
- Roll the spring rolls into a cylinder about halfway up. Then, fold the spring rolls on the sides.
- Put the shrimp halves, parsley, and mint on top.
- Roll tightly to seal into a cylinder.
Process for Assembling
Assembling your shrimp rolls is easy. Just dip the rice paper in the water for no longer than 20 seconds. Then, lay the rice paper onto your paper towels or damp dish towel. The towel needs to be damp so that the rice paper doesn’t stick to the towel.
When you remove the rice papers from the water, they will feel rigid. However, don’t soak them for longer than the recommended 20 seconds because it makes them difficult to work with. The starch in the papers gets sticky and glue-like when they get wet.
After you add your ingredients, the rice wrapper will be flexible instead of rigid. If the rice paper wrappers start to get too sticky, you can dip your fingers in a bowl of water and separate the areas that are clinging together.
Make the Peanut Sauce
A savory and sweet peanut sauce makes these shrimp spring rolls even better. Best of all, this peanut sauce is incredibly easy to make. The ingredients are creamy peanut butter, hoisin sauce, and rice vinegar (rice wine vinegar).
The consistency of this peanut sauce is luscious and thick, making it perfect for dipping your spring rolls. You don’t need fish sauce or soy sauce for this peanut sauce because the hoisin sauce has the perfect umami flavor.
Fish sauce or oyster sauce will be overpowering in these Vietnamese spring rolls. Also, there is some sweetness in the peanut butter, and that gives you all the sweet flavor you need.
If you’re using homemade or all-natural unsweetened peanut butter, you’ll need to adjust the level of sweetness in your spring rolls. You can use brown sugar, honey, coconut sugar, or maple syrup to add a delightful sweetness to your peanut sauce.
If you crave some spice with your sweetness, consider using sweet chili sauce or red pepper flakes to make this peanut sauce.
Other Options for Fillings
Want to try this shrimp spring roll recipe with other ingredients? No problem!
- Protein: Chinese barbecue pork, grilled chicken breast, or tofu
- Fruit: Pineapple, mango, or strawberries
- Veggies: Cucumber, sliced bell pepper, green onion, spiralized vegetables
You can experiment with various ingredients to make this shrimp spring rolls recipe uniquely yours. Consider different types of meats, more vegetables, and various herbs.
How Long Will Shrimp Spring Rolls Keep?
Shrimp spring rolls are best if you eat them within a couple of hours of rolling them. Ideally, the fresher the spring rolls are, the more flavorful they will be. Nevertheless, you can prepare your spring rolls in advance and keep them in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. Be sure you cover them with plastic wrap.
One issue that happens when you store spring rolls for too long is that the rice paper wrapper becomes rigid. This happens because the wrappers lose moisture.
Shrimp Spring Rolls Recipe with Peanut Dipping Sauce
- 2-3 quart Saucepan
Shrimp Spring Rolls
- 10 large shrimp
- 6 oz. Thai Kitchen thin rice noodles rice vermicelli noodle
- 10 large lettuce leaves Boston lettuce cut in half with stems removed
- 10 Three Ladies Brand rice paper wrappers
- 1 cup thinly shredded red cabbage
- 1 cup thinly shredded cabbage
- 20 fresh mint leaves
- 1 cup fresh bean sprouts
- 1/2 cup lightly packed cilantro leaves
Peanut Dipping Sauce
- 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
- 1/2 cup hoisin sauce
- 1 Tbsp. Marukan Seasoned Gourmet rice vinegar
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 Tbsp. chopped peanuts
Shrimp Spring Rolls
- In a medium-sized saucepan, boil 3 quarts of warm water. If you're worried about your noodles sticking together, you can add a little olive oil, vegetable oil, or sesame oil to the cooking water. Add the rice noodles to the pot and cook them just until they're tender, approximately 4-6 minutes. Be sure to follow the package instructions for cooking the noodles because overcooked noodles can get mushy.
- Transfer the cooked noodles to a colander and rinse well with cold water to stop the cooking process. Don't discard the cooking water because you're going to cook your shrimp in that. Put the noodles in the fridge covered with plastic wrap until you're ready to use them.
- Using the water that you cooked the noodles in, add the large shrimp. Cook the shrimp until it's opaque and pink, about 1 to 1 1/2 minutes.
- Remove the shrimp from the water immediately. Drain the shrimp in the sink and place them in a bowl in the fridge so they can cool.
- When the shrimp have cooled, remove the shell. Cut the shrimp in half lengthwise to get two pieces. Set the shrimp aside.
- In a large bowl or pie dish, add cool water. This is what you'll use to prepare the rice paper wrappers.
- On a cutting board, place a damp dish towel. Put the rice paper sheets into the water one at a time, leaving them there for between 15 and 20 seconds.
- Remove the rice paper from the water. Shake until the excess water is removed, then lay the rice papers flat on the damp dishcloth. If the rice paper is still stiff, that's OK. It will become more pliable when you build the shrimp rolls.
- Place one lettuce leaf over the rice paper's bottom third. Place 2-3 tablespoons of rice noodles atop the lettuce. Then, add 1 tablespoon of shredded cabbage, 1 tablespoon of shredded carrot, and some bean sprouts.
- Roll the rice paper halfway up into a cylinder. Fold in the sides to form an envelope pattern.
- Place 2 shrimp halves along the crease, cut side down. Add a few fresh mint leaves and chopped cilantro leaves beside the shrimp. Continue rolling the rice paper until you have a tight cylinder.
- Repeat this process with the rest of the wrappers. Store the shrimp rolls with the seam side facing down.
- Serve with the creamy peanut dipping sauce.
Peanut Dipping Sauce
- Whisk together the creamy peanut butter, hoisin sauce, water, peanuts, and rice vinegar until smooth. If you want a thinner sauce, add more water.
- Transfer the mixture to a bowl and sprinkle liberally with chopped peanuts.