Shrimp Spring Rolls with Peanut Sauce
Published May 01, 2023
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These fresh shrimp spring rolls are filled with crisp vegetables, herbs, rice noodles and shrimp and served with a flavorful peanut dipping sauce. They’re perfect for an appetizer or light meal!
Happy Monday friends! I hope you all had a great weekend. Today I’m sharing an oldie (this one was originally posted in 2013!) that recently got a big upgrade… fresh shrimp spring rolls with a flavorful peanut dipping sauce.
Whenever we go to Vietnamese or Thai restaurants, I always order fresh Vietnamese spring rolls. They’re one of my favorite appetizers, so I wanted to learn how to make them myself so I could have fresh spring rolls without having to leave the house.
If you’re intimidated by this shrimp spring rolls recipe… don’t be! It’s actually quite simple and easy to follow. Once you make homemade spring rolls once, you’ll want to make them all the time! They’re healthy and perfect for a light lunch or appetizer.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- Fun to make: Assembling your own spring rolls is an enjoyable hands-on activity and perfect for involving family or friends in the kitchen.
- Versatile: Customize the filling with your favorite ingredients, or cater to different dietary preferences by swapping out the shrimp for other proteins or more veggies.
- Great for entertaining: These fresh spring rolls make an excellent appetizer or light meal for gatherings, and they’re sure to impress your guests with their vibrant colors and flavors.
- Healthy: Packed with nutrient-dense ingredients, lots of fresh veggies and served with a tasty peanut sauce, these shrimp spring rolls are a healthier choice that doesn’t skimp on flavor.
- rice paper wrappers – these delicate, translucent rice paper wrappers, also known as spring roll wrappers are the key to forming your spring rolls. They’re typically made from rice flour, water and salt and can usually be found in the Asian section of your grocery store. They soften when dipped in water and become pliable for wrapping.
- romaine lettuce – this adds a nice crunch and a refreshing base for the spring rolls.
- vermicelli noodles – also known as rice noodles, they provide a satisfying bite and help make the spring rolls more filling. I typically buy the Thai Kitchen thin rice noodles, which can usually be found in the Asian section of most grocery stores.
- cooked shrimp – choose high-quality, pre-cooked shrimp for ease and convenience. You can also use pre-cooked, frozen shrimp… just thaw your shrimp by placing them in the refrigerator overnight or by running them under cold water for about 10 minutes. You can also cook raw shrimp if that’s what you have on hand. Just remember to devein them and remove the shells and tails before using.
- fresh vegetables – we’re using thinly sliced cucumber and carrots to add color, texture, and some more crunch to these spring rolls.
- avocado – this is optional, but avocado slices add some creaminess and healthy fats and complement the other ingredients beautifully.
- fresh basil or mint – I love adding fresh herbs to my recipes, especially with fresh recipes like these spring rolls. I typically opt for fresh basil, but fresh mint leaves will work wonderfully as well. Fresh cilantro would also work in these spring rolls.
- peanut dipping sauce – the star of the recipe, IMO! This flavorful peanut sauce is made by blending together peanut butter, coconut milk, fresh garlic and ginger, rice vinegar, tamari (or soy sauce or coconut aminos), maple syrup and sambal oelek together until smooth and creamy.
Peanut Dipping Sauce
I must say… the peanut dipping sauce totally makes this recipe! It has a creamy texture and a nice nutty, umami flavor with a hint of spice. It’s seriously so good… I could eat it by the spoonful! That said, if you don’t have all the ingredients on hand to make this sauce, here are some substitutions:
- coconut milk – this adds a nice creaminess to the sauce, but you could try subbing it with another type of milk like almond milk, oat milk or cashew milk.
- peanut butter – spring rolls are typically served with a peanut sauce, but if you have an allergy you could easily sub in almond butter or another nut or seed butter of choice.
- tamari – you can use soy sauce or coconut aminos instead of tamari, but just a note that soy sauce isn’t gluten-free.
- rice vinegar – if you don’t have rice vinegar on hand you could use another vinegar like white wine vinegar, apple cider vinegar or even lemon juice if that’s all you have.
- maple syrup – feel free to use honey or another sweetener of choice if you don’t have maple syrup.
- sambal oelek – this spicy chili paste adds a touch of heat and a nice flavor to this sauce, but you can skip this if you’re serving it to kiddos or sub it for sriracha.
How to Make
While these shrimp spring rolls aren’t hard to make, they do take a little bit of attention and have a few steps. But don’t be intimidated, once you have the steps down spring rolls are actually quite simple to make!
Cook rice noodles: Cook vermicelli noodles according to package instructions. Drain and rinse with cold water. Set aside.
Make sauce: Make dipping sauce by adding ingredients to a blender and blending until combined and smooth. Start with just 1 Tablespoon of coconut milk, adding more as needed to reach desired consistency.
Soften rice papers: Add water to a saucepan or pot and warm it (don’t boil) on the stovetop. Once warm pour it into a bowl or plate that is large enough to fit the rice paper wrappers in. A pie pan works perfectly! Dip one rice paper wrapper in warm water until it softens slightly, about 15-20 seconds.
Fill: Place rice wrapper on a hard surface, like a plate then add lettuce leaf to the far left edge of wrapper. Place a little of each ingredient into the wrap – about 3-4 pieces of shrimp, carrots, cucumbers and noodles into the lettuce leaf. Top with 1 slice of avocado (if using) and fresh herbs.
Roll: Roll spring roll from left to right and fold in the top and the bottom sides of wrapper toward the middle (like an envelope) about halfway through wrapping.
Repeat and enjoy: Repeat dipping, filling and rolling for each wrapper. Serve with the peanut sauce and enjoy!
I love this recipe as is, but you can easily make some substitutions based on your dietary needs or what you have on hand in your kitchen. Here are some ideas:
- Shrimp: For a vegan option, swap out the shrimp for tofu or skip the protein altogether and just do fresh vegetable spring rolls!
- Vegetables: Feel free to add or substitute other veggies such as bell peppers, cabbage or bean sprouts.
- Rice noodles: I don’t recommend swapping the rice noodles with a different type of noodle or grain, but you can skip the rice noodles altogether if you don’t have them on hand. The spring rolls will still be delicious without them!
Tips For Success
- Don’t overfill the rolls: Resist the temptation to stuff your shrimp spring rolls with too much filling, as this can make them difficult to roll and may cause them to tear.
- Keep the filling ingredients dry: Make sure your filling ingredients are relatively dry to prevent the rice paper from becoming too soggy. You can always use a paper towel to pat dry your veggies after rinsing them.
- Work quickly: Rice papers can dry out and become less pliable as you work with them, so it’s essential to work quickly when assembling your spring rolls.
- Wet your hands: Dampening your hands slightly can help prevent the rice paper from sticking to your fingers while assembling the rolls.
- Make ahead: If you’re preparing these spring rolls for a party or event, you can make them a few hours ahead and store them in the refrigerator, covered with a damp cloth to prevent them from drying out.
How to Store Leftover Spring Rolls
To store leftover shrimp spring rolls, wrap them individually in plastic wrap or place them in an airtight container with a sheet of parchment paper between each roll to prevent them from sticking together. Store them in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.
It’s important to note that spring rolls are best enjoyed fresh, as the rice paper wrappers can become chewy and less enjoyable after refrigeration. If possible, make and enjoy them on the same day for the best texture and flavor.
More Shrimp Recipes
- Green Curry with Shrimp
- Easy Shrimp Cocktail
- Air Fryer Coconut Shrimp
- Shrimp Scampi Sheet Pan Meal
- Grilled Shrimp Salad
- Sheet Pan Shrimp Fajitas
- Caribbean Jerk Shrimp Bowls
More Appetizers to Try
- Creamy Hummus
- Healthy Buffalo Chicken Dip
- Healthy Spinach Artichoke Dip
- Easy Black Bean Dip
- Whipped Feta Dip
- Healthy Deviled Eggs
- Buffalo Cauliflower Wings
- Stuffed Dates
Shrimp Spring Rolls
- 12– 15 rice paper wrappers
- 1 head romaine lettuce, leaves separated and largest leaves cut in 1/2*
- Cooked vermicelli noodles, I used about 4oz uncooked
- 1 lb cooked shrimp, shells and tails removed (full or sliced in half)
- ½ cucumber, chopped into matchsticks
- 1 large carrot, chopped into matchsticks
- 1 avocado, sliced (optional)
- fresh basil or mint
- ¼ cup peanut butter
- 1-2 Tablespoons regular or light coconut milk
- 1 clove garlic, chopped
- 2 teaspoons fresh ginger, chopped
- 2 Tablespoons rice vinegar
- 2 Tablespoons low sodium tamari, soy sauce or coconut aminos
- 2 Tablespoons maple syrup
- 1-2 teaspoons sambal oelek
- Cook vermicelli noodles according to package instructions. Drain and rinse with cold water. Set aside.
- Make dipping sauce by adding ingredients to a blender and blending until combined, starting with just 1 Tablespoon of coconut milk, adding more as needed to reach desired consistency.
- Add water to a saucepan and warm it on the stove top. Don’t let it boil, you just want warm water. Once it’s warm pour water into a bowl or plate that is large enough to fit the rice paper wrappers in. A pie pan works perfectly! Dip rice paper wrappers in warm water until it softens slightly, about 15-20 seconds. Don’t let papers sit in water too long otherwise they’ll become too soft and floppy and tear as you roll.
- Place wrapper on a hard surface, like a plate. Put lettuce leaf on far left edge of wrapper. Place a little of each ingredient into the wrap – about 3-4 pieces of shrimp, carrots, cucumbers and noodles into the lettuce leaf. Top with 1 slice of avocado (if using) and fresh herbs.
- Roll wrapper from left to right, folding in the top and the bottom sides of wrapper toward the middle (like an envelope) about halfway through wrapping.
- Complete steps 1 to 4 for each wrapper. Serve with the peanut sauce.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.