Vietnamese Spring Rolls

I love spring rolls but have yet to be adventurous enough to make them at home…until now. They were so easy, I can’t believe I thought it would elevate me to “adventurous” status to actually make them! I’m still quite boring, unfortunately.

These spring rolls are so bright and fresh and flavorful, they’ll have you singing from the rooftops about how many vegetables you are consuming without realizing it. And the dipping sauce? Like icing on the cake (or roll, if you will). The tender chewiness of the spring roll wrapper encloses the fantastic crunch of healthful vegetables and the delicious Thai-inspired marinaded chicken.

Vietnamese Spring Rolls

Understandably, some of you may be nervous about the Asian-style ingredients, but keep in mind that I live in Timbuktu (or nearly) and I was easily able to locate all of these ingredients, including the rice paper wrappers, at my local, larger grocery store. I’ve included step-by-step photos of the rolling process below the recipe.

P.S. Another gluten-free recipe – be sure to check the labels on the Asian ingredients to double check gluten-freeness (uh, is that a word?). The giveaway is still open, so don’t forget to enter! Winners will be announced tomorrow.

Vietnamese Spring Rolls

What To ServeGrilled Rosemary Buttermilk Chicken
Fresh fruit or a light fruit salad like this Honey Lime Fruit Salad
Hummus with chips or crackers

One Year Ago: Chicken Gyros
Two Years Ago: Chicken with Mushrooms and Zucchini

Vietnamese Spring Rolls {a How-To}

Yield: Serves 4-6

Vietnamese Spring Rolls {a How-To}

Note: this recipe requires marinating the meat, so plan ahead! Also, check the labels on the bottled Asian ingredients to double check that they are gluten-free.


    For the Rolls:
  • 2 pounds chicken breasts or boneless pork chops
  • about 30 10-inch diameter spring roll wrappers (rice, tapioca, etc.)
  • 1 pound fresh bean sprouts
  • 1 red bell pepper, cored and sliced thin
  • 1 large English cucumber, cut into thin strips
  • large bunch of fresh herbs, washed (I used basil and cilantro)
  • large bunch of fresh lettuce leaves, washed
  • warm water in a large shallow bowl or pie plate (large enough to accommodate a spring roll wrapper)
  • Meat Marinade:
  • juice of 2 limes
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon chile-garlic paste to taste
  • Hoisin Peanut Dipping Sauce:
  • 8 oz hoisin sauce (the Y&Y brand is gluten-free)
  • 1/4 cup smooth peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed or pressed through a garlic press
  • 1/2 teaspoon chile-garlic paste


  1. Whisk together all the marinade ingredients until sugar is dissolved. Pour into a ziploc bag. Place the meat in the bag and marinate, refrigerated, for an hour or two. Grill or broil the meat until it is cooked through. Set aside to cool. When cool, cut into 1/4 to 1/2-inch slices.
  2. For the sauce, mix all of the sauce ingredients together until combined. If the sauce is too thick, add hot water and mix in until you achieve a desired consistency. Set aside.
  3. Assemble the spring rolls (see step-by-step photos below) by dipping one spring roll sheet into a shallow bowl of warm water for a second or two and setting it flat on your plate. Layer lettuce, herbs, vegetables, and meat in a small strip about 1/3 of the way from the edge nearest you. Roll from the edge nearest you and tuck in the sides as you go if you wish. Roll tightly, but not so tightly that you tear the wrapper. Serve the rolls with the dipping sauce on the side.

Recipe Source: adapted from Use Real Butter

After dipping the rice paper wrapper in water, lay it flat on a large cutting board and layer the vegetables/ingredients on the lower third of the wrapper, leaving a small border on the sides and bottom and a large border on the top.
Rice Wrap

Take the bottom of the wrapper and gently bring it up and around the ingredients, gently pressing on the ingredients with your fingers to keep the filling in place. The wrappers have a bit of “stretch” to them but can tear easily so don’t pull too hard.
Rolling Spring Roll

Continue folding the wrapper up over the ingredients, tucking everything together.
Rolling Spring Roll

Holding the middle of the spring roll with your fingertips, start folding in the sides of the wrapper, kind of like a burrito.
Rolling Spring Roll

When the sides have been folded in, continue rolling the wrapper all the way to the top.
Rolling Spring Rolls

The rice paper will be sticky so when you get to the top, roll it all the way to seal itself and set it aside.
Rolling Spring Roll

22 Responses to Vietnamese Spring Rolls {a How-To}

  1. Sara H. says:

    I made these today and I don’t know what I was expecting but are the wrappers supposed to be so gummy? I had a hard time enjoying them. I love all the fresh ingredients and the chicken tasted wonderful. Did I do something wrong or is the wrap meant to be soggy?

  2. Carol says:

    I see that you can make these a day in advance but is it necessary to wrap them individually so they don’t stick together? And what do you use to keep the wrapper from either drying out or sticking? Thanks!

    • Mel says:

      Yes, they will stick if they are all lumped together. You could wrap them each in plastic wrap. They shouldn’t dry out if they are wrapped well.

  3. Danielle H. says:

    I don’t know why I haven’t tried these before now! They are so yummy, and fresh, and light! I think the marinade would even be great for chicken all by it’s lonesome. I have a couple who aren’t fans of the spring roll wrapper texture, so we’ve found them to be very yummy lettuce wraps as well.

  4. Wendy says:

    Hi Mel –
    I’m wondering if you’ve had any experience making these ahead and if so, how long can they be refridgerated for before serving?
    Thanks –

  5. Anna says:

    I have made these several times. They are a favorite with my kids. (And i think they are better than anything i had in Vietnam.) And living in Singapore, all the ingredients are so easy to get and cheap–except for the peanut butter!

  6. justin says:

    heyyyyy! mel this looks great when i saw it i wanted to throw my lemon at it but i added cheese sauce and a hint of lime with a beer reduction

  7. Joy says:

    I have loved ALL of your recipes so far and I am super excited to try this one! I noticed carrots were not listed as one of the ingredients? I think I can figure that out though. I love carrots in spring rolls. Thanks again!

  8. nicole says:

    Melanie I have been craving these for weeks now and have been meaning to look up a recipe. I knew you could help. I can not wait it looks so fresh and yummy! Thanks

  9. Zoe says:

    I’ve made them many times with many ingredients. Also very light and delicious as well. By using mint leaves brings out the fresh aroma to it. I recommend you to use “Lee Kum Kee brand for hoison or any type of sauces. ( not sure if its gluten-free) but its one of the best brand. Have you tried Sriracha? It goes well on everything. Love the photos!!

  10. Cammee says:

    I love spring rolls, I’ll definitely be trying these. On another note, your hands are beautiful!

  11. grace says:

    i just love the paper-thin, see-through wrappers. they make for some great presentation!

  12. Veronica M. says:

    P.S. on the printable recipe with pics, all the pics of the step-by-step are of the finished product–thought you should know!

  13. Veronica M. says:

    I still have some wrappers left from a vegan meal I made last year and I’m so going to make these with them! Droooooling here!

  14. juli says:

    These look so delish! Thanks so much! I will be making these. My hubby will be so glad!

  15. Katie says:

    I have had Spring rolls very similar to these, but the marinade for the chicken sounds amazing! I am going to give these a try! I love the step by step photos; takes the guesswork out! Thanks 🙂

  16. StephenC says:

    You’ve done a real service in hyping this type of spring roll. I’ve made them many times with many ingredients. Try them, people.

  17. G. says:

    These look amazing! I appreciate you posting this recipe. It is hard to find a good asian recipe that doesn’t have soy sauce in it. I’m definitely going to try these. Yum.

  18. Kim in MD says:

    Oh my gosh, Mel! These looks fantastic! I am hosting an Asian themed party in September, and these will be on the menu! Thanks! 🙂

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