Fresh, light, healthy, and summery Vietnamese salad rolls are packed with vermicelli noodles, shrimp, fresh vegetables and herbs and dipped in a homemade peanut dipping sauce. Plus, they are super easy to make and are fully customizable, making them the perfect summer meal.
What is in Vietnamese Salad Rolls?
Vietnamese salad rolls, also known as spring rolls, summer rolls, or rice paper rolls are basically like a spring roll that are not fried. The key components in a salad roll are rice wrappers, vermicelli noodles, protein, vegetables, and fresh herbs.
- rice wrappers - To prepare the rice wrappers, I dipped them into warm water for one second. However, keep in mind that the texture and thickness of rice wrappers depends on the brand used. You might need to dip them in for a few more seconds to make them pliable, so refer to the package instructions.
- noodles - I used Wai Wai brand thin vermicelli rice noodles. They are my favourite noodles to use in this recipe and they are are gluten-free. You can find them widely available in most Asian grocery stores.
- protein - I used shrimp and boiled them for 5 minutes. You can also steam them. You can even substitute the shrimp for other protein including shredded chicken and firm tofu.
- vegetables - I used carrots and shredded them to make it easy. You can also slice or julienne them. Feel free to use other vegetables that you have one hand. Cucumbers, cabbage, lettuce, and avocado are some of the popular choices.
- herbs - cilantro, basil, and mint.
- peanut dipping sauce - made with a combination of hoisin sauce (or can substitute with black bean sauce), peanut butter, water, fresh lime juice, honey (or can substitute with sugar) and topped with roasted peanuts.
The best part about of making salad rolls is that it is totally customizable. You can choose your favourite vegetables or meat. The most popular choices include cucumbers, cabbage, lettuce, avocado, firm tofu, and shredded chicken.
How to Make the Best Vietnamese Salad Rolls with Shrimp and Peanut Dipping Sauce
- Prepare the shrimp: Bring a pot of water to a boil over high heat and add shrimp. Cook for 5 minutes. Remove and run it under cold water to cool down. Once cool enough to handle, slice in half.
- Prepare the vermicelli noodles: Bring a pot of water to a boil over high heat and add vermicelli noodles. Cook for 2 minutes until soft. Transfer the noodles to a bowl with a strainer to completely drain out any water.
- Prepare the rice wrappers: Fill a large shallow bowl with warm water, about 1 to 2 inches high. Take one wrapper at a time and quickly dip it into the warm water for 1 second. Shake off excess water. The wrapper will start to soften and feel a bit sticky. Transfer the wrapper onto a clean dry flat surface.
- Assemble the salad rolls: Place 2 tablespoons of vermicelli noodles in the center of the wrapper into a log shape, leaving 2 inches of space on each side. Place 3 pieces of shrimp, pink side down, on a row above the noodles. Add 2 tablespoons of shredded carrots in a row underneath. Place 1 tablespoon of cilantro, ½ tablespoon basil and ½ tablespoon mint on top of the carrots.
- Wrap the salad rolls: From the bottom, roll the wrapper up tightly but gently so that you don't tear it. Roll it up halfway over top of the noodles. Then fold over the left and right sides inward. Then continue to tightly roll the wrapper to seal the mixture inside. If the wrapper doesn’t feel soft and pliable, apply some water to your fingers and to the wrapper to help it soften.
- Make the peanut sauce: Combine hoisin sauce, peanut butter, water, lime juice, and honey. Stir well with a spoon until smooth and uniform. Sprinkle some chopped roasted peanuts on top.
Tips for Making Summer Rolls
- Keep the ingredients are dry. You want to make sure that the vermicelli, shrimp and vegetables are fairly dry prior to wrapping. If you don’t eat the salad rolls right away and you leave them out for a few hours, excessive water from the vermicelli noodles might cause the rice wrappers to disintegrate and break apart.
- Read package instructions. In regards to the rice wrappers, keep in mind that the texture and thickness of rice wrappers depends on the brand used. You might need to dip them in for a few more seconds to make them pliable, so refer to the package instructions.
- Be patient. Be patient the first time you try to roll and wrap the salad rolls. It can take several attempts to figure out the technique. You can start with less filling, and once you get the hang of it, increase the amount of filling used.
- How to store salad rolls. Salad rolls are best served freshly made. Once they sit out for a few hours, excess water can cause the rice wrappers to break apart. If you have leftovers, store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for no more than 24 hours.
- Make extra sauce. The peanut dipping sauce might be the best part. I like to make extra and dip everything in it. It goes so well with satay chicken or beef skewers or tossed in noodles.
More Summery Asian Dishes
- Teriyaki Grilled Salmon Rice Bowl
- Korean Beef Steak Rice Bowl
- Asian Cold Noodle Salad
- Spicy Chili Oil Wontons
- 10-Minute Chicken Pad Thai
- Thai Red Curry Mussels
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