Vegetarian spring rolls with cucumber, carrot and rice vermicelli noodles in a rice paper wrapper. Photo by Lauri Patterson | IST.



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June 2011

Product Reviews / Main Nibbles / Hors D’Oeuvres

Summer Rolls ~ Recipes

Make Vietnamese Summer Rolls At Home


Summer Rolls: An Overview

Celebrate summer by make summer rolls! Here’s a recipe from Chef Alex Aratake of Haru restaurant in New York City.

Summer rolls are called gòi cuðn in Vietnamese (pronounced GUY kwun—southern and northern accents differ). They are often confused with spring rolls. The confusion starts at the restaurant level, where the listing on the menu can be mistranslated (summer rolls are called spring rolls, for example); and continues online with many misattributions of photos and recipes by individuals.

The Difference Between Summer Rolls And Spring Rolls

  • Summer rolls are always unfried. Spring rolls, on the other hand, are always fried (see photo below).
  • Summer rolls are filled with pork and/or shrimp, rice vermicelli (noodles) and fresh herbs such as basil, cilantro or mint. Spring rolls are also filled with pork and/or shrimp, plus bean thread vermicelli and shredded cabbage. In the U.S., you’ll also find vegetarian summer rolls, filled with mango and cucumber or other choices. Take a look at this “deconstructed” spring rolls recipe.
  • Summer rolls are served with a dipping sauce made of hoisin sauce and peanut butter, flavored with garlic; or a sweet and hot red chili sauce; or a ginger shallot sauce as in the recipe below. The dipping sauce for spring rolls is typically a blend of rice wine vinegar and soy sauce (or tamari) with minced scallions and a splash of toasted sesame oil.

How Do Egg Rolls Fit In?

  • Egg rolls are fried, like spring rolls. The wrappers are thicker and made from wheat flour with egg. The finished product is more of a filled pastry. Spring roll wrappers are thinner and made from rice flour; and the fried spring rolls are finger-like.


Summer Rolls: Recipe

Makes 16 rolls. Allow two rolls per person as a first course.

Ingredients For The Rolls

  • 16 medium-sized shrimp
  • 4 ounces of rice vermicelli noodles
  • ½ English seedless cucumber,
  • 1 small carrot, julienned
  • 1 small handful chopped cilantro leaves
    (substitute basil or mint if you prefer)
  • 2 ounces mesclun salad mix
  • ½ green mango, julienned (optional)
  • 16 sheets of rice paper wrappers*

*Rice paper is available in both 22 cm (8.7-inch) and 16 cm (6.3-inch) sizes.

Ingredients For The Dipping Sauce

  • 7 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 5 tablespoons ponzu sauce
  • 4 tablespoons mirin
  • 1 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon sriracha
  • 2 tablespoons finely diced shallots
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
  • 5 tablespoons grapeseed oil
  Spring Rolls
Nope, you’re not making these: These are spring rolls. How can you tell? For starters, they’re fried. Photo courtesy Kabobs, a NIBBLE Top Pick Of The Week.


  1. Make dipping sauce: Combine all ingredients in a bowl and blend or mix well.
  2. Cook vermicelli in salted, boiling water for 3-4 minutes, or per package instructions. Rinse under cold water and drain well in a colander.
  3. De-vein and boil the shrimp in salted water for 2-3 minutes. Rinse under cold water and let cool. Remove shells and tail and slice in half lengthwise.
  4. Lay one rice paper wrap in a large, shallow platter or dish filled with warm water. Leave for several seconds or until softened. Drain and transfer to a dry, flat work surface.
  5. To the center of the wrap, add 2 halves of shrimp in a row (cut side up) and a small portion of the noodles, cilantro, carrot, cucumber, green mango and mesclun salad
  6. Fold the right and left sides of the wrap over the filling, then fold up the bottom of the wrap to create an envelope. Continuing rolling upwards until there’s nothing left to roll. Place finished roll on a large platter, seam-side down.
  7. Repeat for remaining wrappers and lay batch in a single layer, leaving a bit of space between each so that they do not stick together. Serve with dipping sauce.


Recipe © 2011, Chef Alex Aratake. All rights reserved. All other material

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