Fresh Vietnamese Spring Rolls with Zucchini Noodles

Fresh Vietnamese Spring Rolls, or gỏi cuốn, are also called salad rolls or summer rolls. They are light and refreshing, and much healthier than fried spring rolls. Over ten years ago my friend, Quentin, invited me over to dinner at his mother’s house. She is originally from Vietnam* and put out a spread of delicious ingredients for us to roll our own fresh spring rolls. I’ve never forgotten it. (*Similar to how I’ve learned a lot of Mexican sweets living in San Diego, we also benefit from a large Vietnamese population here.)

how to make fresh vietnamese spring rolls

I think “Salad Rolls” is a better description for fresh spring rolls, as they are light and fresh with lot’s of greens, herbs and lean proteins. Many restaurants also put in rice vermicelli noodles. I took it one step healthier and used raw zucchini “noodles” made from cutting an enormous garden zucchini with a julienne peeler. Handy gadget. The wrappers are made from rice. The rice paper comes in hard discs that are softened in a few seconds in warm water.

How To Make Fresh Vietnamese Spring Rolls

You can’t get more straightforward instructions than the back of the packaging!

fresh spring roll instructions

Here are my suggested fillings, feel free to only use what you like and to get creative:

  • Grilled Shrimp, Leftover Chicken, Steak or Tofu
  • Salad Greens
  • Fresh Herbs including Thai Basil, Mint, Cilantro , Scallions and Lemon Basil (use a LOT of herbs)
  • Cooked Rice Vermicelli or Raw Zucchini Noodles
  • Chopped Peanuts
  • Bean and Pea Sprouts and other raw veggies

Dipping Sauces for Salad Rolls:

  • The most common is a peanut sauce, easy recipe follows.
  • Another traditional is called nước mắm phawhich is a clear, sweet and sour with a little fish sauce. A girl I once worked with gave me her mom’s recipe, I’ll have to hunt around and see if I still have it.
  • You can’t go wrong with Sriracha!

fresh vietnamese spring rolls with zucchini noodles

Easy Peanut Dipping Sauce for Fresh Spring Rolls

That’s it! Warm in a sauce pan over low heat to mix easier. You can add a little water to thin, if needed.

True story: When I first made these rolls at home, I went to a Vietnamese market in search of peanut dipping sauce. I asked the young man stocking where it was. He didn’t think they had it and asked his grandmother. She laughed and (with her grandson translating) explained they always made it. She swore all you needed was these two ingredients. I usually can’t restrain myself from throwing in a little sriracha and nước mắm, but try it as is!

Shopping Notes:

The best prices are in Asian markets. These ingredients are pretty common, so you can usually find them on the “ethnic” aisle of big grocery stores. If you can’t find them easily, I’ve included some affiliate links to Amazon. Have fun and let me know if you have any questions!

11 responses to “Fresh Vietnamese Spring Rolls with Zucchini Noodles

  1. Guess what? I just bought my first ever bottle of sriracha today! I think it’s destiny! :D

    No, seriously. It’s a great recipe! I’m not a friend of the fried rolls. Too much oil. But these look so healthy and tasty at the same time! Love your ideas about “getting creative”, too. If I could I would put peanuts in all my food! :D

    • That’s awesome! Sriracha is a daily condiment around here. Please let me know what creative combos you come up with. It is hot here now and this recipe is perfect for hot weather. Are you home yet from your trip?

      • Yes, we got home on Sunday evening, but my tired body still remembers our adventures :D

        I’ll definitely let you know when I make the rolls. Today, I made Sam’s beef with broccoli, that’s why the sriracha. Will make an “official report” on it tomorrow :)

  2. My husband is infatuated with these types of rolls. So good with all of those fresh veggies!

    • Thanks Laura! I am, too. When I was pregnant with crazy morning sickness, I ate them almost everyday.

  3. I adore Vietnamese summer rolls and even my kids enjoy the whole process of putting them together. A real family affair. Lovely. Best Torie

  4. Love! I have never made anything like this at home! I will have to try this one. Thanks!

  5. Yum! I love vietnamese spring rolls, but there isn’t anywhere in our new town to get them. Thanks for the recipe :)
    -Heather

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