These Vietnamese salad rolls are fresh, light, healthy, and packed with vermicelli noodles, shrimp, and fresh vegetables. This peanut sauce will then put these rolls right over the top.
I have always loved these salad rolls; they are such a nice, light, and healthy lunch option or an appetizer for your Vietnamese dinner. They are so easy to make and can easily be a great vegetarian option. This option uses shrimp, but you can easily omit that from the recipe and add your favorite veggies.
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What is a Vietnamese Salad Roll?
Vietnamese salad rolls are also sometimes called spring rolls, summer rolls, or rice paper rolls. They are pretty much like a regular spring roll, but they are not deep-fried. You will find salad rolls wrapped in rice paper, and then the filling is vermicelli noodles, a protein like chicken shrimp or tofu, vegetables, and fresh herbs. Then they are usually always served with a peanut dipping sauce.
Ingredients you need to make Vietnamese Salad Rolls
- Rice Paper I like to use the Blue Dragon brand because I love the chewy texture, I like that it doesn’t rip and tear compared to other brands, but if you have a favorite brand definitely use that.
- Shrimp You can use any protein for this recipe. I use large or jumbo shrimp and, if possible, have them de-veined, which is a nice time saver.
- Noodles My favorite rice noodle is vermicelli, which is easily found in most grocery stores or Asian markets.
- Vegetables I like using shredded carrots; you can also julienne them; and there are a variety of vegetables you can use, such as cucumbers, cabbage, lettuce, and avocado.
- Herbs are optional but you can use cilantro, basil, and mint.
- Peanut dipping sauce There are a variety of sauces that can be used with these salad rolls, and I will provide a peanut version and a peanut-free version. The base is hoisin sauce, nut butter, and lime juice.
How to make the best Vietnamese salad rolls
- Prepare and Cook Shrimp To cook the shrimp, you want to quickly boil them in water and cook them until they turn pink, around 5 minutes. Remove them and place them in cold water to stop them from cooking. Slice them in half once they have cooled down.
- Cooking vermicelli noodles bring water to a boil and add noodles. Cook for around 2 minutes until soft and then drain in a colander to allow all of the water to be drained.
- Slice vegetables and herbs Thinly slice the vegetables and herbs you are wanting in your salad roll; the thinner the vegetables are, the easier it will be to roll the salad roll.
- Prepare rice wrappers fill a large bowl with warm water, you want it larger than your wrappers. Take one wrapper at a time and quickly dip it into the warm water for 1-2 seconds and shake off excess water, the wrappers will soften quite quickly and be quite sticky.
- Assembly place 2 tablespoons of noodles in the center of the wrapper in a log shape, leaving 2 inches of space on each end. Place 3 pieces of shrimp pink side down, just above the noodles, and add 2 tablespoons of shredded carrots
- Wrap Bring the bottom of the rice paper over the filling to begin rolling as tightly as possible, being gentle so as not to tear the rice paper. Roll halfway over the top of the noodle, then fold the left and right ends inward. If the paper doesn’t seem like it wants to be rolled up, add some water to help it soften up.
- Make Peanut sauce combine hoisin, peanut butter, water, and lime juice. Combine until smooth.
How to make Peanut Dipping Sauce
Mix together in a medium-sized bowl all ingredients
- Peanut butter or almond butter
- Brown sugar
- Soy sauce or coconut/soy amino
- Lime juice
- Rice vinegar
- Ginger powder
- Warm water or coconut milk
Tip for making Vietnamese salad rolls
- Practice Rolls The first salad rolls don’t very often come out perfect, but they get better as you go. So make a couple of extras for practice.
- Keep the ingredients dry You want to make sure the noodles, shrimp, and vegetables are nice and dry before wrapping them in your rolls because any amount of water will make the wrappers too wet and they risk breaking apart.
- Don’t oversoak Make sure to just dip the rice sheets in water until they are pliable because they will continue to soften as you make your rolls.
- Make extra sauce the peanut sauce might be the best part, so I always like to make a little bit extra.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are Vietnamese salad rolls made of?
These salad rolls are made using rice paper wrappers, cooked rice noodles, vegetables, and a protein like shrimp, pork, chicken, or tofu.
What’s the difference between a spring roll and a salad roll?
They are both delicious but there are a couple of primary differences between spring rolls and salad rolls.
Wrapper spring rolls are wrapped in a thin flour or rice wrapper and are crispy when cooked while salad rolls are wrapped in a soft and sometimes sticky rice paper or wrapper.
Preparation spring rolls are fried which gives them a crispy exterior, while a summer roll wrapper is soaked in water and wrapped and have a soft chewy texture.
Can you make Vietnamese Spring Rolls ahead of time?
Yes, you can, but only a few hours ahead of time. You don’t want to make them a day ahead; the longer they sit, the softer they will get, and will easily fall apart.
Are Vietnamese Salad Rolls healthy?
When it comes to these salad rolls I think they are very healthy especially when packed with raw vegetables and lean protein.
Vietnamese Salad Rolls
- 9 large shrimp de veined
- 1 cup rice vermicelli noodles thin
- 6 (8.5 inch) round rice wrappers
- 1 cup carrots shredded or julienne
- 7 lettuce leaves finely shredded
Peanut or nut butter sauce
- ¼ cup peanut butter or almond butter
- ¼ cup coconut milk or water
- 1-1/2 tbsp hoisin sauce or black bean sauce
- ½ tbsp lime juice
- 1 tsp brown sugar
- 1 clove garlic minced
Vietnamese Dipping Sauce – Nuoc Cham
- ¼ cup fish sauce
- ¼ cup sugar
- ⅓ cup water
- 2 tbsp lime juice
- 2 tsp rice wine vinegar
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 small Thai chili pepper thinly sliced *optional
- 1 tbsp shredded carrot
Vietnamese Salad Rolls
- Shrimp: Bring a pot of water to a boil over high heat and add shrimp. Cook until shrimp turn pink should be around 5 minutes. Remove and run it under cold water to cool down. Once cool enough to handle, slice in half.
- 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.
- rice wrappers: Fill a large shallow bowl with warm water, about 1 to 2 inches. Take one wrapper at a time and quickly dip it into the warm water for one second, or according to package directions. 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: 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 2 tablespoons of lettuce on top of the shrimp.
- 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 the 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.
Vietnamese Dipping Sauce – Nuoc Cham
- Set the carrots aside. Add the remaining ingredients in a bowl and mix it together until the sugar completely dissolves. Add the shredded carrots right before serving. Makes about 1 cup of sauce.
Peanut or nut butter dipping sauce
- Combine all the ingredients (except for the chopped peanuts) in a medium size bowl and mix it together until the peanut sauce is smooth and creamy. Depending on how thick your peanut butter is, you may need to add more coconut milk or water to get the desired consistency. If your peanut butter has added sugar, you may want to reduce the amount of sugar added.
- Garnish with chopped peanuts and chili garlic sauce if desired. Makes about ¾ cup of sauce.