Vietnamese Summer Rolls

by Sep 15, 2016

Get everybody involved in dinner with roll-your-own summer rolls.

Recently I was entertaining a group of friends who visit once a year. We have a tradition of doing a group activity like tie-dying shirts or painting stepping stones, and this year I decided we would all make Vietnamese Summer Rolls. It was a big hit!

I procured all the ingredients and laid them out and together we went through the motions of soaking the rice paper, filling them with goodies and rolling them. I had made the dipping sauce in advance to save time, but everyone really enjoyed making their own rolls.

There are many ways to make summer rolls. They can be fried or left cold, packed with fruits or vegetables or even meats. The plan is to pack the rice paper with whatever ingredients you want and tightly roll it up without ripping it. Rice paper wrappers can be tricky to work with at first, but once you get the hang of it you’ll find it’s a rewarding endeavor.

The recipe I have chosen to share with you is healthy and uses common vegetables available during the summer months. These Vietnamese Rolls also include local shrimp. They are light yet filling, and your guests will love them.

Feel free to change up the ingredients or add to them for a more unique roll — think cream cheese, crab meat, avocado or mango. The idea is to create a fun and healthy snack that gets everyone involved. Enjoy!

Print Recipe
Vietnamese Summer Rolls
Get everybody involved in dinner with roll-your-own summer rolls.
  1. In a bowl, whisk all the dipping sauce ingredients and set aside to marinate.
  2. To make the rolls, lay out all the ingredients in preparation. Divide the carrots, cucumber and cabbage in four equal portions collectively.
  3. Soak the first rice paper in water for about 30 to 45 seconds until soft. I usually use a shallow bowl or plate filled with warm water.
  4. Place a piece of waxed paper on the workspace and gently lay the softened rice paper on the wax paper to start building your roll.
  5. Lay four shrimp in a row in the center of the paper, top with one portion of the vegetables and align compactly.
  6. To fold the rice paper over the vegetables, fold the ends inward (the rice paper will stick to itself) and roll end over end so the line of shrimp is displayed on top and the roll is tightly rolled. Repeat this process until all ingredients are used. Sprinkle with basil and sesame seeds.
  7. Serve the rolls with bowls of the dipping sauce.