Roll into Spring

I have to admit that for the longest time I thought egg rolls and spring rolls were the same things. I think one of my local Chinese restaurants used them interchangeably as well. In my mind, they were both typically chicken/pork/shrimp and vegetables wrapped in an edible wrapper and deep fried to a golden brown. At some point in my culinary experience I must have wondered the difference and adapted my perception to one where the spring roll was a vegetarian egg roll.

Then I had a rice paper spring roll filled with fresh vegetables and I never confused them again. Egg rolls are in an egg based wrapper (it seems so obvious now). Spring rolls, are in a flour based wrapper (rice is an option). I love this combination.

A nice cool Asian treat.

The rice paper, if not with your chinese food, may have to be found at an Asian food store. I like the broccoli slaw as it gives it some heft. I’ll normally buy a small package of chopped peanuts, but had some peanuts already, so I just chopped them.

Chicken and sauce.

The mixture.

This is a rice paper sheet. Very thin and fragile.

To soften the rice paper, you should place in hot/warm water. I like this set up. I put a cookie sheet large enough to fit the rice paper over the sink with a slight tilt. I then have a slow stream of warm/hot water at the top end. This way I maintain the temperature and the water runs off into the sink. The rice paper slips into the water and you need to make sure it is fully submerged for 30 seconds or so.

It should be limp.

If you have a minor tear, place that tear closest to you. Place the contents about 1/4 of the way in (close to you). Keep in mind, the rice paper will tear easily. These papers also tend to stick, so best to do this on a non-stick surface.

Fold over the side closest to you over the contents, tucking the paper. Then fold in one side, then the other and roll.

I typically roll one while another is in the water, and keep the process moving.

I usually mix a little thai chili paste in with the peanut sauce to give it some kick.

Vietnamese Spring Rolls

Prep Time: 20 mins |  Cook Time: 0 hr 0 min  | Servings: 2 | Difficulty: Easy


  • 1 large can of cooked chicken, shredded
  • 1/4 cup Asian sesame dressing
  • 1/2 package of broccoli slaw (about 5-6 ounces)
  • 1/2 package of shredded cabbage (Cole slaw style)(about 5-6 ounces)
  • 4 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 stalk celery, thinly sliced
  • 1 small package of chopped nuts
  • 8-10 rice paper wrappers
  • Peanut dipping sauce (and thai chili sauce if you want some heat)


Empty can of chicken into bowl and shred with a fork. Add dressing and mix to coat chicken.

Place broccoli slaw and cabbage in steamer and steam for 3 minutes (do not overcook as you still want some crispness).

Add broccoli slaw and cabbage to chicken. Add onions, celery and nuts and mix well.

Fill 1 cookie sheet with hot water. Add one wrapper to water and submerge for 15-20 seconds. Remove wrapper and submerge the next.

Take wet wrapper and on a flat surface scoop 1/8 mixture on the wrapper (not quite in the center). Do not overfilled. Fold the wrapper over the mixture and roll away from you, fold in each end before completing the roll.


Serve with peanut sauce.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Categories: appetizer, Chicken, kosher, Low Carb, Lunch, Main Dish, Recipes, snack, Vegetable, Vietnamese

Author:The Ranting Chef

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76 Comments on “Roll into Spring”

  1. April 10, 2012 at 11:04 am #

    Yikes, I had no idea an egg roll and a spring roll were two different creatures!


  2. Somer
    April 10, 2012 at 11:05 am #

    That makes me want lunch now and it’s only 9am! I will have to try it with tofu instead of chicken. I used to love these at my local Pei Wei, but they won’t veganize them so I will have to learn to make my own! Thanks!


    • biggsis
      April 12, 2012 at 10:26 pm #

      I was thinking the same thing about using tofu. I’m getting hungry now and it’s after 9pm!


      • Somer
        April 12, 2012 at 11:49 pm #

        Radical. Just need to get the rice paper and I’m set!


  3. April 10, 2012 at 11:13 am #

    Sounds wonderful and perfectly light after the food filled festivities of the weekend. Can’t wait to try this!


  4. April 10, 2012 at 11:16 am #

    i adore fresh spring rolls (though often these are called summer rolls, too, so be careful when ordering spring rolls, since they may be fried).. here’s a good tip to make rolling a bit easier. layer a smaller-sized round rice paper wrapper inside the larger one and then fill. that way the middle is buttressed by having two layers of wrapper, which are so thin that it doesn’t make much difference in taste, which makes it easier for novices to roll without tearing..


  5. April 10, 2012 at 11:23 am #

    Can’t wait to try these!


  6. April 10, 2012 at 11:27 am #

    I usually eat one while I am making the other soften in the warm water! hahaha!


  7. April 10, 2012 at 11:27 am #

    A must try!


  8. April 10, 2012 at 11:34 am #

    In chinese cooking, the spring roll is a deep fried item. The difference is that spring rolls are normally an all veggie roll and egg rolls usually have meat. Properly done, they would only use seasonal veggies. The spring rolls made with the rice wraps are typical of Thai and Vietnamese cooking and while they would typically use fresh spring veggies, it’s an almost anything goes type of roll except that it is uncooked. Left over cooked meat can go in and quickly steamed shrimp in order to add a protein boost. The most common base ingredient is either lettuce, rice, or rice noodles.

    I like to think of them as an asian equivalent to the soft taco. A rice wrapper with whatever is handy to easily take on the go. I like to use a tin of chicken breast with a spicy ‘sauce’ to hold it together and put lettuce and mandarine oranges on it. Soaking the rice wrapper is probably the most time consuming part of the prep work and that only takes a minute or so.

    It’s gotten harder to find the rice wrappers lately. Not because so few places carry them but because they are always selling out as more and more people are getting diagnosed with the gluten allergy.


  9. April 10, 2012 at 11:35 am #

    Nice rolls and sauce!


  10. April 10, 2012 at 11:51 am #

    These look absolutely amazing. Great job! I’m definitely paying a visit to a local Asian food store very, very soon.


  11. April 10, 2012 at 12:03 pm #

    I love these fresh spring rolls. Thanks for posting a recipe 🙂


  12. April 10, 2012 at 12:06 pm #

    Came over when I saw your ‘Like’ on my blog! I’ve been meaning to try our rice papers as part of a recipe, so your post is right on time. Good stuff! 😉


  13. April 10, 2012 at 12:24 pm #

    I love rice paper but I cannot find it out here, i need to the big city for things like that, I can do the OTHER wraps though.. these look fantastic.. c


  14. April 10, 2012 at 1:22 pm #

    i’ve tried making them once.. and like yours, mine ended up looking “loosly” wrapped… i wonder what the restaurants do to make their spring rolls so tightly wrapped..?


  15. Mary
    April 10, 2012 at 1:44 pm #

    In the summer, when it’s hot and I don’t feel like cooking, I’ll sometimes have a spring roll party. I set out plates and bowls with a variety of fillings: chicken, tofu, shrimp, lettuce, carrots, peanuts, cashews, etc. I let people assemble their own, and set the table with a bunch of different sauce.


  16. April 10, 2012 at 1:47 pm #

    i have never had one in this new covering. i will have to try it


  17. April 10, 2012 at 2:15 pm #

    I can absolutely live on these 🙂 I am so hungry now…thank you!


  18. April 10, 2012 at 2:19 pm #

    Well I didn’t know there was a difference either, good thing I read your post then today! This looks so fresh and yummy. This is going on my food bucket list, I will have to make this sometime.


  19. April 10, 2012 at 2:35 pm #

    that’s so useful – thank you! I always wanted to do spring rolls at home but never dared, ending up every time with the frozen ones…now I don’t have any excuse anymore!


  20. Alli
    April 10, 2012 at 2:37 pm #

    Wait a minute, are you telling me that the food we get in Asian restaurants in the US isn’t 100% authentic. No way! Next thing you’ll tell me they don’t eat Thomas’s English Muffins in England.

    (Btw, when I lived in Denmark one of the questions I got asked most frequently was “What exactly is a Danis?”)


    • Alli
      April 10, 2012 at 2:38 pm #

      I meant Danish 😉


  21. April 10, 2012 at 3:08 pm #

    Spring rolls are so easy and you can easily vary the ingredients to your taste. Once you place your ingredients near the edge of the wrapper, fold over the edge, start to roll but pull the bottom towards you to tighten. Then fold in the sides and continue rolling. That should snug things up. All it takes is a little practice to get the pressure right. I think they are as much fun to make as they are to eat!


  22. April 10, 2012 at 3:48 pm #

    I have made this with vegetables only, but i’d love to try this. I love rolls


  23. April 10, 2012 at 3:57 pm #

    Never knew it was so easy to do. Great tip on softening the wrapper.


  24. April 10, 2012 at 5:11 pm #

    Spring rolls are so much better! These look amazing.


  25. April 10, 2012 at 5:40 pm #

    Haha the rice paper by itself doesn’t look edible at all! These would be especially awesome with avocado…


  26. April 10, 2012 at 7:00 pm #

    One of my favorite meals from the homeland of my mother. Yours look every bit as good as hers!


  27. thisisjacked
    April 10, 2012 at 7:52 pm #

    I am an angry chef: as in, I love to cook when I am upset or angry. I just started my new job, and I cannot wait to get my budget set so I can start buying REAL food ingredients — your blog has a LOT of things I have never tried, and a lot of things I’ve made before with a new spin. And I thought alfredo sauce was the beginning of all meals…HEHEHE. Thanks for sharing! 🙂


  28. Teresa Cleveland Wendel
    April 10, 2012 at 8:09 pm #

    great photos to illustrate the steps


  29. thebeadden
    April 10, 2012 at 9:11 pm #

    I like the idea of using peanut sauce. Looks good!


  30. April 10, 2012 at 9:21 pm #

    A must try. Thank you.


  31. April 11, 2012 at 12:32 am #

    I adore spring rolls! Great idea to use broccoli slaw. Thanks for the tips how to use rice paper, I always wondered how that was handled. My stomach is growling for one of those as I write this comment.


  32. April 11, 2012 at 12:41 am #

    Looks yums. And much less carby than the original vietnamese version, which is stuffed with a lot of vermicelli.


  33. April 11, 2012 at 12:58 am #

    Oh I love this Vietnamese rolls. I always have some paper rolls stash away in case of healthy days and when I have no ideas what to cook for dinner. You can virtually put in anything inside.


  34. April 11, 2012 at 2:29 am #

    I usually buy them as take out but I’ll give it a go. They are great with tiger prawns or salmon (sashimi style)


  35. April 11, 2012 at 4:23 am #

    Nice work! Please note that there are 2 kinds of rice paper: the ones that you have and thin ones described as “mong” on the packaging. The former that you show is thicker and can be submerged for that length of time and can be done in a batch just as you’ve demonstrated. These are especially good for when you are hosting a bigger get-together and want to have a whole tray of them ready-to-serve. The thin kind cannot be submerged and will disintegrate when it’s in warm water for any length of time. They are made and eaten one-by-one in a family-style dinner. You would have a bowl of slightly warm water on the dinner table along with all the pre-cut veggies and meat. Dip one at a time to soften, put it immediately onto your plate then proceed to roll. Either rice paper type that you use, they are delicious and great way to get a whole lot of fresh veggies and grilled meat or fish. I also skip the rice paper altogether and just roll my grilled fish and veggies in romaine lettuce (cut down the middle and leave out the hard white part and use only the pliable green leaf). Enjoyed your post! 🙂


  36. April 11, 2012 at 7:25 am #

    My stomach started grumbling as soon as I saw the yummy recipe. Can’t wait to try this back home.


  37. April 11, 2012 at 7:38 am #

    Our local Vietnamese restaurant makes the best Spring and Summer rolls – my family can’t get enough! I don’t know if I’m brave enough to work with the rice paper, but it looks like fun. Thanks for the tips 🙂


  38. salsachica
    April 11, 2012 at 7:43 am #

    Hi! I’ve nominated you for “The Versatile Blogger Award” -Faridah


  39. April 11, 2012 at 10:35 am #

    Remember making these in class many moons back…the rice paper tears so easily:) We used patches of extra rice paper and water to stick it together!

    Delicious combination…and the Thai chili paste addition to the peanut sauce is right up my alley! great idea.

    Thanks for posting this recipe.


  40. lmwills1
    April 11, 2012 at 10:52 am #

    Looks amazing! I can’t wait to try and make these.


  41. April 11, 2012 at 11:13 am #

    It looks delicious!


  42. April 11, 2012 at 12:09 pm #

    Getting hungry while reading, looks amazing. Will definately try this recipe one day.


  43. April 11, 2012 at 12:19 pm #



  44. heavenlykerby
    April 11, 2012 at 1:11 pm #

    I am Asian and defended from not only a Cambodian bloodline but Japanese as well as Chinese. In my family we are super lazy when it comes to making egg and spring rolls.

    We have found the easiest thing to do when making an egg roll is to make it using veggie patties. We defrost veggie patties, tear them up, and put them in the skin then roll. Serve with your favorite sauce.

    Course we pump out minimum 200 egg rolls at a time which is probably why we take that shortcut in the first place. Most people can’t tell the difference anyway.


    • heavenlykerby
      April 11, 2012 at 1:12 pm #

      *descended (yet another one of my famous touch screen typos)


  45. April 11, 2012 at 1:42 pm #

    mmmm. I love spring rolls. I like your simple dipping sauce, I think I’ll have to try that next time I make spring rolls (which will be happening soon, I have a ton of rice paper in my cupboard.)


  46. April 11, 2012 at 7:07 pm #



  47. madamecroquette
    April 11, 2012 at 7:10 pm #

    Yum! I have to try this recipe! I love asian cuisine!


  48. April 11, 2012 at 7:15 pm #

    spring rolls are so fun to make and fun to eat ~ great instructions! i always get a few tears but thankfully their stickiness comes in handy ~ they can glue themselves back together


  49. Jean-François
    April 11, 2012 at 7:43 pm #

    Love these … usually with a little fresh cilantro or basil thrown in. The perfect summer snack.


  50. April 11, 2012 at 10:01 pm #

    I will have to try this. Something light and easy for the hot months ahead. Thanks for stopping by my site.


  51. April 12, 2012 at 3:58 am #

    What perfect timing – have just biought some of these wrappers and have never used them before, so am feeling very inspired bu your gorgeous recipe. Thanks!


  52. April 12, 2012 at 7:54 am #

    Thank you for your “like” notification on my post!
    …I’ll try making these! I like spring rolls!


  53. April 12, 2012 at 8:07 am #

    just 8 AM here, but i’m ready for a spring roll!


  54. April 12, 2012 at 9:20 am #

    Wow.. one of my favourite meals..


  55. DeeJ
    April 12, 2012 at 6:40 pm #

    This looks so yummy.. I love Asian food


  56. April 13, 2012 at 8:51 am #

    Can’t wait to try these – they look delicious! I recently have gone gluten-free just cuz I feel better, so these are a perfect substitute for egg rolls! Thanks for liking my blog.


  57. Looks delicious! Check out our spring rolls with lettuce, carrots, cilantro, olives and salmon


  58. thiacassidy
    April 13, 2012 at 8:19 pm #

    Huh. Here we call what you’ve posted rice paper rolls, I think, and somehow I have the idea that they are more of a Korean thing than a Chinese, although I can’t guarantee the accuracy of that. What we call spring rolls are definitely the deep fried crispy rolls, and they can be meat (often shrimp) or vegetable, it doesn’t matter. We never use the term egg rolls.

    They are all delicious, of course. Thinly sliced – or grated – carrot and coriander also make good additions to the filling mixes.


  59. April 14, 2012 at 11:11 am #

    I like the look of these, I really enjoy making asian food, but have so far stayed clear of spring rolls / wontons etc, however I think I’m going to have to give them a go soon. Yours look delicious!


  60. April 16, 2012 at 1:20 pm #

    I gotta tell you, summer rolls (as they are called here in Hawaii, with spring rolls being the fried egg paper one) are my absolute FAVE. I walk a mile to the closest Thai food place near my work just to get these. Awesome recipe!!


  61. Choose Carbs
    April 17, 2012 at 10:42 pm #

    Assuming I can track down some rice paper ’round these parts, I’ll absolutely give these a try. Thanks for stopping by my blog!


  62. April 25, 2012 at 11:33 am #

    The first time I had a Spring Roll it was in Korea and while I enjoyed it my buddy could not eat his. He thought it looked like a fat tape worm or perhaps intestines. I agree but still delicious.



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