Summer Rolls

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5 from 10 votes
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These summer rolls are stuffed with fresh, colorful veggies and served with an addictive creamy peanut sauce. They’re the perfect light meal or appetizer, and I love how customizable they are!

Craving light and fresh Asian recipes? Try my tuna tartare, harumaki, or chicken lettuce wraps next.

summer rolls.

When I need a foolproof appetizer that’s fresh and not too heavy, I make my Vietnamese spring rolls. They’re so colorful on the plate, and, more importantly, they’re easy to make and taste great. 

Spring rolls VS summer rolls

While both originate in Asia, spring rolls are from China, while summer rolls are from Vietnam, where they may also be referred to as fresh spring rolls. Chinese spring rolls are wrapped in a flour-based dough and fried, while fresh spring rolls are wrapped in rice paper and remain uncooked. 

Table of Contents
  1. Why I love this recipe
  2. Ingredients needed
  3. How to make summer rolls
  4. Arman’s recipe tips
  5. Storage instructions
  6. Frequently asked questions
  7. More Asian-inspired appetizers to try
  8. 10-Minute Summer Rolls (Recipe Card)

Why I love this recipe

  • Minimal prep time. The most arduous task in this recipe is cooking the vermicelli noodles, which takes a grand total of 5 minutes. 
  • That peanut sauce! Let’s be honest: these fresh rolls are really just a vessel for peanut sauce–and I’m okay with it!
  • Seasonal. This is a veggie-heavy recipe, so go ham with whatever’s in season.
  • Customizable. Swap the dipping sauce, add fresh herbs, or squeeze in some protein to make these rolls heartier.
summer roll.

Ingredients needed

  • Vermicelli noodles. These thin rice noodles not only provide flavor but also give the rolls some structure and make them easy to roll. 
  • Cabbage. I prefer using purple cabbage as its bright color makes the rolls look more fun and appetizing. You can also use green cabbage. 
  • Carrots. Peel the carrots and cut them into matchsticks. 
  • Bell pepper. I used red and yellow bell peppers to add as much color as possible.
  • Avocado. The creaminess of the avocado contrasts nicely with the crunchy vegetables. 
  • Greens. Use mixed greens (a blend of spinach, romaine, and lettuce) for maximum flavor. 
  • Sesame seed oil. To toss the vermicelli noodles after cooking them. 
  • Lemon juice. To drizzle over the avocado to prevent it from browning. 
  • Rice paper. I can usually find these in the Asian aisle of my grocery store, but any Asian market will have them.
  • Salt and black pepper. To season the avocado. 
  • Peanut sauce. Skip the expensive and sugar-laden store-bought kind and make my foolproof homemade peanut sauce.

How to make summer rolls

I’ve included step-by-step photos below to make this recipe easy to follow at home. For the full printable recipe instructions and ingredient quantities, scroll to the recipe card at the bottom of this post.

Step 1- Cook the noodles according to the package directions. Drain them, rinse under cold water, and drain well. Toss the noodles with sesame oil. 

Step 2- Prep the avocado. Season it with lemon juice, salt, and pepper. 

sliced avocado.

Step 3- Soften the rice paper. Fill a shallow pan with an inch of water. Dip the rice paper in the water and let it sit for 30 seconds. Place the paper onto a clean kitchen towel. 

rice papers soaking.

Step 4- Assemble. Cover the lower third of the rice paper with the noodles and fresh veggies. Lift the lower part of the rice sheet and fold over the filling. Bring the sides of the sheet toward the center and roll upwards. Repeat with the remaining rice paper. 

how to roll summer rolls.

Step 5- Serve. Serve the spring rolls with the peanut sauce.

wrapped fresh spring rolls.

Arman’s recipe tips

  • Get everything set up first. Think of this as your ‘mise en place,’ and have all your veggies cut and ready to go so you’re better prepared. 
  • Use room temperature water to soak the rice paper. Hot water hydrates the rice paper very quickly and makes it too sticky to work with. 
  • Lightly wet your kitchen towel. This is a great hack for newbies because it keeps the rice paper moist while you build the filling.
  • Place the bigger ingredients first. If I’m using lettuce, I like to put a big leaf on the rice paper first, then add the other ingredients. The lettuce keeps everything in place, making it easier to wrap.

Variations

  • Add protein, like cooked shrimp, tofu, pork, or chicken breast. 
  • Change up the veggies. This refreshing appetizer will only get better if you add more crunchy vegetables. Radishes, cucumbers, asparagus, and bean sprouts are my favorites.
  • Add crushed peanuts for a crunch factor and extra flavor. 
  • Freshen up your rolls with fresh Thai basil, fresh cilantro, or fresh mint leaves. 
  • Experiment! Once you’ve mastered the art of making fresh spring rolls, change things up! I love adding fun ingredients like fresh berries, pickled veggies, and even fresh mango. 
  • Swap the dipping sauce. As much as I love this peanut sauce, sometimes I’ll swap it for my potsticker sauce or spicy mayo.

Storage instructions

To store: Wrap each leftover roll in parchment paper (so they don’t stick together) and store them in an airtight container. Stored this way, they’ll stay fresh for up to three days. 

To freeze: I don’t recommend freezing these rolls as the rice paper is too thin and will lose its texture.

Vietnamese summer rolls.

Frequently asked questions

Are summer rolls healthy?

Summer rolls are healthier than fried spring rolls. Packed with fresh vegetables and greens, they are full of fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Compared to their deep-fried counterparts, summer rolls contain a fraction of the fat.

What is the difference between summer rolls and egg rolls?

Egg rolls are a variation of spring rolls. They are the Americanized version of spring rolls where eggs are added to the batter to make the wrapper thicker. 

More Asian-inspired appetizers to try

summer rolls recipe.

10-Minute Summer Rolls

5 from 10 votes
These summer rolls are stuffed with fresh, colorful veggies and served with an addictive creamy peanut sauce. They’re the perfect appetizer or light entree.
Servings: 8 servings
Prep: 10 minutes
Total: 10 minutes

Ingredients  

  • 2 ounces rice vermicelli
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 cup purple cabbage shredded
  • 1 cup mixed greens
  • 2 large carrots peeled and chopped into matchsticks
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt to taste
  • 1/2 cup parsley finely chopped
  • 8 sheets rice paper

Peanut sauce for spring rolls

Instructions 

  • Make the sauce: in a small bowl, whisk together peanut butter, soy sauce, vinegar, and garlic paste. it will look curdled, but as soon as you add water, the sauce will become smooth. Add water as desired, but do not make your sauce too thin.
  • Cook the noodles according to the package directions. Drain the noodles, rinse them under cold water, and drain well. Toss the noodles with sesame oil. 
  • Peel and slice the avocado, and season it with lemon juice and salt to taste. 
  • Fill a shallow pan with an inch of water. Place one piece of rice paper in the water and let it rest for 30 seconds. Place the rice paper onto the clean kitchen towel.
  • Cover the lower third of the rice paper with filling ingredients: noodles, carrots, bell pepper, avocado, and parsley or desired herbs. 
  • Lift the lower part of the rice sheet and fold it over the filling. Bring the side parts of the rice sheet toward the center and start rolling upwards, just as you would make a burrito. Repeat with the remaining ingredients. 
  • Serve the spring rolls with the peanut sauce.

Notes

TO STORE. Leftover rolls can last up to 3 days in the fridge so long as all ingredients you have used are fresh. Wrap each roll with parchment paper or food wrap before putting them in an airtight container. This will prevent the rolls from sticking to each other and drying out. 
TO FREEZE. We don’t recommend you freeze summer rolls as the rice paper is too thin and delicate the withstand the freezing and defrosting processes. 

Nutrition

Serving: 1servingCalories: 122kcalCarbohydrates: 19gProtein: 3gFat: 5gSodium: 253mgPotassium: 251mgFiber: 3gVitamin A: 3543IUVitamin C: 17mgCalcium: 27mgIron: 1mgNET CARBS: 16g
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Asian
Author: Arman Liew
Tried this recipe?Give us a shout at @thebigmansworld or tag #thebigmansworld!

Originally published June 2023, updated and republished June 2024

Arman Liew

I’m a two time cookbook author, photographer, and writer, and passionate about creating easy and healthier recipes. I believe you don’t need to be experienced in the kitchen to make good food using simple ingredients that most importantly, taste delicious.

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