New recipe alert! Here’s a shrimp dish that’s light and satisfying, perfect for spring weather and will carry you into the warmer summer months. It’s hard to imagine a more refreshing appetizer or light meal than our Fresh Vietnamese Spring Rolls, or gỏi cuốn. Sometimes called summer rolls, these are healthier than traditional fried spring rolls yet maintain superior crunch.
These rolls keep for a couple of days in the refrigerator and are portable, making them perfect for grab-and-go lunches, a picnic (pack on ice), after-school snacks or any gathering. No matter how you serve them, they will get snapped up in a hurry (if our tasters’ experience is any barometer)! This recipe makes enough rolls for a small gathering.
Shrimp is a smart choice for all of you health-conscious Seafoodies out there! It has nearly 20 grams of protein and less than 2 grams of fat in a 3-ounce serving. In addition, it’s an excellent source of Vitamin D (which boosts bone and immune health), vitamin B-3 (which contributes to heart and brain health), selenium (which is critical to our metabolism and thyroid function) and a host of other important nutrients.
If you haven’t worked with rice wrappers before, you’ll be awed by how easy it is to make these impressive-looking rolls at home. Shrimp, rice vermicelli and a kaleidoscope of colorful, fresh-cut veggies combine to make this a nourishing taste treat. If you’re short on time, ready-to-eat shrimp (halved lengthwise) can be substituted. But take our advice and don’t skip the flavorful fresh mint and cilantro! Serve with store-bought hoisin, peanut sauce or chili sauce. And get ready for everyone to ask for more!
Vietnamese Shrimp Spring Rolls
Prep time: 45 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Total time: 55 minutes
Servings: 4 (makes 12 rolls)
- 4 ounces vermicelli or rice noodles
- 18 medium shrimp, peeled and deveined, tails on
- Pinch of salt
- ½ lemon
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint leaves
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 cup baby or butter lettuce leaves
- 1 medium Persian or English cucumber, halved lengthwise, seeded and thinly sliced into 4-inch-long strips
- 1 red bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced into 4-inch-long strips
- 1 large carrot, peeled and thinly sliced into 4-inch-long strips
- 12 (8-inch) rice wrappers
- 1 teaspoon finely chopped peanuts (optional)
- Store-bought or homemade nước chấm, hoisin or peanut dipping sauce(s)
- Set up prepared vegetables, herbs and peanuts, if using; set aside.
- Prepare noodles according to directions; set aside. In same pot, fill half full with water and bring to a boil. Add shrimp, salt and juice from lemon; remove pot from burner and let stand on unheated burner for about 5 minutes, or until shrimp are cooked through and a pinkish orange color. Drain, then let cool; remove tails and cut in half lengthwise.
- For rice paper wrappers: Fill a large shallow bowl with water. Dip one rice paper wrapper into water to soften; lay wrapper flat on prep surface.
- To assemble spring rolls: Place a lettuce on lower third of wrapper, top with a small mound of noodles, layer on a few carrots, cucumber strips, peppers and herbs. Fold lower edge of rice paper around fillings. (If not stretchy, let wrapper sit for another minute or two, and it will become more pliable.) At seam, add three shrimp halves, cut side up, then fold in sides of rice wrapper and finish rolling wrapper tightly to form a tight cylinder.
- Repeat to make 12 total rolls, and cover with damp paper towel until serving. Serve with small bowls of favorite dipping sauce(s) and chopped peanuts, if using.