Vaguely Vietnamese Summer Rolls

4 Aug

I know, I know…late for the train again. I seem to be a few steps behind at the moment when it comes to food fashion, but I get there in the end. And then, like the woman who still thinks shoulder pads should come with t-shirts (what…me with the sloping shoulders?!) I’ll keep trotting out my “new food discovery” for years to come!

Vietnamese Summer Rolls 005

Summer, even in England this year, makes us want lighter more refreshing foods and a trip round the local Caribbean/Asian store rummaging for new foodstuffs resulted in the purchase of some rice paper wrappers. Summer Rolls – enjoyed from time to time in restaurants but never made – it seemed like an obvious choice.

When I decide to make something, I behave in the same way as I do if I have made the purchase of a new gadget or a pair of shoes. I have to use/wear them straight away. All the recipes for Vietnamese Summer rolls seemed to call for minced pork or prawns. Which would have been lovely if I’d had them, but I had avocado so I went for an (almost) vegetarian/vegan version. They would have been properly veggie/vegan if I’d left out the fish sauce.

Most of the recipes did seem to agree that you can pretty much do what you like and were rather loose on quantities. I just boiled up some fine rice noodles, finely sliced an avocado and made up a batch of finely sliced vegetables then kept rolling until I ran out – 9 rolls later.


  • Rice paper wrappers
  • Finely sliced vegetables (I used a piece of red pepper, half a large carrot, one spring onion, 2 leaves of Chinese cabbage and about a third of a courgette) mixed with some finely chopped mint, coriander and basil and a splash of fish sauce and the juice of half a lime
  • Rice noodles soaked in hot water until soft (I used one block which gave me about a cup and a half)

For the peanut dipping sauce

  • 2 heaped teaspoons of smooth peanut butter
  • 2 teaspoons of warm water
  • 1 teaspoon of soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon of fish sauce
  • The juice of half a lime
  • A pinch of sugar

Get a little production line ready with a bowl of warm water big enough to hold your rice wrappers, a plate with a folded tea towel on top, your various filling ingredients, a clean plate to put the finished rolls onto and a few pieces of wet kitchen paper (or a damp cloth) to cover the rolls with to stop them drying out.

Dip a wrapper in the water and gently rub until it is transparent and soft (mine took less than 30 seconds). They are fragile but not overly so. Lay the wrapper on the plate with the clean tea towel.

Vietnamese Summer Rolls 001

Place your various fillings in the centre of the wrapper, piled on top of each other) then roll the top of the wrapper over the fillings, fold in the sides to seal and then roll the bottom half of the wrapper up. As the wrapper is still wet it will seal and keep the filling in. Place the completed roll on the serving plate and cover with a damp cloth or kitchen paper.

To make the dipping sauce, simply mix all the ingredients together. I also served the rolls with some sweet chilli dipping sauce.

Fiddly, but not too challenging, and fun to make. Healthy, delicious and surprisingly filling. Result all round!

50 Responses to “Vaguely Vietnamese Summer Rolls”

  1. Mad Dog August 4, 2014 at 13:59 #

    They look fantastic! Don’t worry about being late, it’s stylishness that counts and they’ve got it ;-)

  2. thecompletebook August 4, 2014 at 14:11 #

    I’m late for the train on a lot of things lately, not just food – I will hopefully also get there in the end. These vaguely Vietnamese summer rolls would definitely help me a long. Scrumptious Tanya – think I might even like the peanut sauce.
    Have a beautiful week ahead. :-) Mandy xo

    • Chica Andaluza August 4, 2014 at 20:56 #

      I wasn’t sure if I’d like the peanut sauce as I’m not crazy about peanuts. Bizarrely I quite like peanut butter and I did end up liking the sauce!

      • thecompletebook August 5, 2014 at 10:05 #

        Funny, I love peanuts and peanut butter but not so keen on them hot. Clearly I am full of nonsense. :-) xo

      • Chica Andaluza August 5, 2014 at 10:38 #

        We’re all a bit quirky – that’s what makes us interesting!

  3. Soup Guru August 4, 2014 at 14:22 #

    Hahaha I also have the urge to use anything new straight away, I used to leave the shoe store with my new shoes on when I was a child . These Vietnamese rolls look so yummy! I find the rice paper difficult to handle, but now after your picture I think I’ll need to give it another try! 😄

    • Chica Andaluza August 4, 2014 at 20:57 #

      If you work quickly with it and have everything lined up the rice paper isn’t so bad. Wearing new shoes out of the shop makes perfect sense to me ;)

  4. bitsandbreadcrumbs August 4, 2014 at 17:01 #

    I have to confess that I could eat at least half that plate of summer rolls. I do love them and they are well named in that they’re perfect this time of year. My husband would especially like yours as they don’t have shrimp in them. I’ve never made any, but maybe I need to give them a try!

    • Chica Andaluza August 4, 2014 at 20:58 #

      Now I’ve taken the plunge and made them, I’m a bit hooked – and I confess I did eat a lot of them ;)

  5. Tandy | Lavender and Lime August 4, 2014 at 17:43 #

    Oh yum. Something I still have to try making :)

  6. Rachel August 4, 2014 at 17:52 #

    Oh pretty! Push that plate over here, would you please? Mmmmmmm!

  7. A Famished Foodie August 4, 2014 at 18:17 #

    These do sound really perfect for summer! I haven’t eaten a ton of summer rolls, but every time I do, I enjoy them—I tend to prefer them to the heavily fried rolls and things.

    • Chica Andaluza August 4, 2014 at 20:59 #

      They felt very healthy but not dull and boring to eat!

  8. Celia @ Fig Jam and Lime Cordial August 4, 2014 at 21:17 #

    Sometimes I think you’re in my head, Tanya, as your posts are always so timely to what I want to eat! Kari posted photos of vegan rice paper rolls in her IMK post, and I’ve been craving them ever since and here you are with a recipe for me! Yours look delicious – avocado is a new and delicious twist! :)

    • Chica Andaluza August 5, 2014 at 10:37 #

      How funny – I find that sometimes too with other blogs – you should be eating warming stews though in the depths of your not so cold winter!

  9. restlessjo August 4, 2014 at 23:22 #

    Oh, don’t they look pretty! I bet I could make a right mess of these :)

    • Chica Andaluza August 5, 2014 at 10:37 #

      I think I made them a bit big so it was quite fun to eat them and keep the filling from escaping!

  10. alwaysamum August 4, 2014 at 23:34 #

    Have just made rice paper wraps for my son’s school lunch. He has them once a week though I leave out the dipping sauce and drizzle a sweet chilli sauce over the filling before wrapping. I use crushed peanuts as the crunch in the wraps to add another texture.

    • Chica Andaluza August 5, 2014 at 14:17 #

      What a great idea for a delicious school lunch – I bet all his pals want to swap with him!

  11. Eha August 5, 2014 at 05:21 #

    Why call these ‘vaguely Vietnamese’ when you could happily sell them on a Saigon street corner? Personally love the ‘dish’ and make’ the ‘dish’ summer and winter . . . healthy, tasty and fun!! Well, our official spring is but a month away . . . . and a glass of sauv blanc and a few of these would make a very happy ‘tweens lunch’ . . .

    • Chica Andaluza August 5, 2014 at 10:36 #

      Ah, thanks Eha – I thought as I’d left out the prawns they weren’t quite so authentic but it seems not! Cheers to the sauv blanc – my favourite J

  12. DianeT August 5, 2014 at 07:19 #

    I’m going to make some of those. They look decidedly “me”.

    I nearly bought some rice paper wrappers last week [for the first time].
    I must have been tuning in to this recipe coming up.

    • Chica Andaluza August 5, 2014 at 10:35 #

      We were thinking alike! Love from England to you all x

  13. Food,Photography & France August 5, 2014 at 08:02 #

    Great looking spring rolls…..very fluo:)

  14. Margot @ Gather and Graze August 5, 2014 at 12:27 #

    This is one of our favourite summer meals Tanya. A big plate full of sliced up veggies, herbs, noodles, shredded roast chicken and sauces go in the middle of the table and everyone makes up their own. Love the interactive, MYO dinner! :)

    • Chica Andaluza August 6, 2014 at 15:37 #

      I love meals like that where everyone joins in with making and eating!

  15. Michelle August 6, 2014 at 02:19 #

    I, too, remember the shoulder pads in t-shirts. I reckon they’ll be back soon, don’t you? ;) And the spring rolls look great. Some classics never go out of style.

    • Chica Andaluza August 6, 2014 at 15:44 #

      I’m keeping my fingers crossed for a shoulder pad revival ;) Glad you liked the rolls!

  16. ChgoJohn August 6, 2014 at 04:47 #

    Late? Ha! You’re way ahead of me, Tanya. I love spring rolls but have yet to make one and envision myself sitting at my kitchen table with a pile of mangled rice papers in front of me and a mess of ingredients sprawled about. Fiddly and this Bartolini do not play well together. Besides, late or early, all that really matters is how something tastes. I bet your spring rolls taste great.

    • Chica Andaluza August 6, 2014 at 15:45 #

      When I made them Big Man was watching from the sidelines – I tried to get him to join in but he has hands like shovels so he declined….I don’t think we’d have eaten if he had attempted them!

  17. Karen August 6, 2014 at 14:03 #

    I’ve got a package of rice papers in my pantry. I like your idea of using avocado in them…soft and tasty against the crisp veggies.

    • Chica Andaluza August 6, 2014 at 15:56 #

      It worked well with the avocado but really, I could eat avocado with avocado I love it so much!

      • Karen August 6, 2014 at 16:04 #

        We are so much alike…so could I. :D

  18. narf77 August 6, 2014 at 21:38 #

    “SCORE!” I have lots of recipes for vegan “fish” sauce and I have a packet of these rice paper wrappers in my pantry from when Adam wore short pants (we Aussies lerve our Asian tucker) and you sold me when I saw avocado included. I adore avocado’s :). I just got some Korean sweet potato noodles that I might try out in this recipe and I would probably fry some tofu sticks (or batter them…LOVE beer batter ;) ) and lay them reverently alongside the thin sliced veggie goodness. Still got some carrot and broccoli stem (broccoli stems…the claytons daikon ;) ) Japanese pickles kicking around in the fridge so might add some of them as well. This is an exciting way to resuscitate those limp veggies in the crisper Ms Chica. Excellent summery share :)

    • Chica Andaluza August 7, 2014 at 12:01 #

      Score indeed – when we get to meet one day in the future we can have an asian vegan feast with lots of wine!

  19. Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide August 7, 2014 at 02:13 #

    These look fantastic!

  20. dedy oktavianus pardede August 9, 2014 at 07:25 #

    Damn beautifull viet-rolls, dellicous!!!

  21. emmabarrett1508 August 11, 2014 at 11:26 #

    Wow. Now you are really making my mouth water. These look incredible. Emma.

    • Chica Andaluza August 11, 2014 at 13:44 #

      They were pretty to look at and great fun to make and eat!

  22. abdunnavi February 24, 2015 at 23:56 #

    whether there is a typical Indonesian food?
    like food padang?

  23. Burhan April 15, 2015 at 00:12 #

    The food seems healthy ..?

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