How to make: Vietnamese spring rolls

How to make: Vietnamese spring rolls |

We never go to a Vietnamese restaurant without ordering spring rolls. Between Pho Hoa and Pho Bac, I prefer the latter’s spring rolls. Apart from that though, my vote goes to Pho Hoa all the way. It’s always been my dream to make Vietnamese spring rolls at home but it wasn’t easy getting hold of rice spring roll wrappers. Quite recently, they started making an appearance in bigger supermarkets. I suppose that signals how popular Vietnamese cooking has become in the Philippines. The Landmark at TriNoma and Shopwise Libis both sell rice spring roll wrappers. The rest of the ingredients — mung bean sprouts, carrot, beef, rice noodles and onion leaves — are easily available in any supermarket or wet market.

To make Vietnamese spring rolls you will need:

75 g. of glass noodles (vermicelli)
200 to 250 g. of cooked beef
2 c. of mung bean sprouts (togue)
a bunch of onion leaves
10 rice spring roll wrappers (rice paper)
10 pieces each of fresh lemon basil leaves, cilantro (coriander leaves) and mint leaves (optional but highly recommended) Vietnamese spring rolls

Soak the noodles in hot water until soft. Depending on the quality of the noodles, boiling for a few minutes may be required. Just rinse afterwards then dump in ice water to prevent them from turning soggy. Cut into two-inch lengths.

Cut the beef as thinly as you can. Vietnamese spring rolls

Use a vegetable peeler to shred the carrot into very thin strips.

Cut the onion leaves (finely or into one or two-in strips, your choice).

Wash and pat dry the lemon basil, cilantro and mint leaves.

Blanch the carrot strips and the bean sprouts (separately) in boiling water for about a minute, drain, rinse, dump in a bowl of ice water, toss until cool and drain well.

To simplify the procedure, I prefer to place the noodles, bean sprouts and onion leaves in a bowl, and season them lightly with patis (fish sauce).

Soak the rice spring roll wrapper in water until soft; it only take about ten seconds. Vietnamese spring rolls

Take the spring roll wrapper, shake off excess water and lay flat on a dry surface. A wooden chopping board works great for this purpose.

Place about two tablespoonfuls of the noodle-bean sprout mixture across the middle of the wrapper. Top with a few slices of carrot and beef. Vietnamese spring rolls

Take the edge nearest you and fold to cover the filling. Arrange the lemon basil, cilantro and mint leaves on the folded portion of the wrapper. Take the side edges and fold in. Roll outward to seal. Vietnamese spring rolls

Arrange the spring rolls on a plate, top with more onion leaves and serve with fish sauce (nuoc cham) and peanut sauce.

To make the peanut sauce, mix together 2 tablespoonfuls of patis, 1/4 cup of hoisin sauce, 1 tablespoonful of tamarind paste (you can substitute mild vinegar), 1/2 cup of creamy peanut butter and 1/2 cup of hot water. Add more hot water for a thinner sauce.


  1. Ebba Myra says

    A vietnamese friend taught me how to do this and it was a hit with friends and family. I do “cook” my peanut sauce though adding chopped ginger and garlic. And a little pepper flakes. For the meat, I have chicken and shrimp (boiled). Ummm, sarap.

  2. evelyn santos says

    hello Ms. Connie I’ve been wanting to try this recipe for the longest time and it’s just today that I had the guts to try doing it. I used shrimp and the first roll I made derecho sa tummy ko for taste test hahaha kaya Imade the sauce first. If the other Evelyn doesn’t want sugar, and you didn’t mention sugar, for me I want the sauce slightly sweet so I put a little, so yummy. Thank you again for sharing this site and your superb cooking.

  3. Sheila Basbas says

    Just got my rice paper, pasalubong from my best-friend – there’s no rice paper available here in Naga City. Can I subsitute balsamic vinegar for the tamarind paste? :) Every recipe I cooked from your website is always a success. Thank you for making my family happy with the food I cook from your website. :)

  4. TaRits says

    Connie, where have you (and your website) been all my life (or since www. came into existence)! I chanced upon your website while googling mung beans (mongo) and bitter gourd (ampalaya). I am so homesick for Filipino food, the way I remember it cooked with all fresh, raw ingredients, each meal, on our table, growing up, when there was no calorie-counting, we indulged but never got fat. And my Ma (or our maid) went to the market daily to buy fresh vegetables from the local open market (palengke, mercado) daily, sometimes twice daily (pag maynakalimutan, dali takbo lang – no carbon footprints then!). Like everyone, I got into eating fast and processed food as part of a busy (?modern, affluent daw?) lifestyle. But thank goodness for so much information out now on health and healthy eating, we are all gradually returning to our indigenous diets and viewing eating not just a health matter, but of safety, survival, economic intelligence, and social justice. And we have almost forgotten the authentic pleasure eating at home gave us (before a rich tia or tio took us out to a restaurant and for a while, I preferred eating out, than at home – what kind of backward thinking was that!) Didn’t we all use to ask Ma, after a feast of a lunch, “Ma, anong lulutuin mo mamaya (for supper)? And since menu was always open, Ma would grant any wish we made, “Ma, pork chop with pineapple, ha?”
    I was watching Michael Pollan on Democracy Now, discuss his latest book, “Cooked: a Natural History of Transformation”, when I waxed nostalgic for home cooking. Pollan was right. Once you cook everyday, you don’t even need a recipe book. My Ma never needed one, just placed a pinch of a spice here and there, even made her own peanut sauce from raw peanuts (which we boiled, cracked or peeled, ground with a heavy duty molino). For now, I will rely on your website to get authentic recipes, until I become as good in cooking as my Ma and our maid – since I am one and the same in our present modern life :).
    So, I will be visiting your very, very informative website and rediscover Filipino cooking, and also learn from other cultures on how they prepare their foods. I am also enjoying everyone’s comment, tips.
    I will start with your Tinolang Manok with green papaya and chile leaves, ginger, and try out these Vietnamese spring rolls(which I can take to lunch without having to line up in the office microwave!).
    Sorry for the sentimental journey outburst. I was just so exuberant to find you!

    • says

      Hi TaRits, glad you found your way here.

      But as for “authentic” dishes, that’s not a claim I’d make. I just have my own versions, that’s all.

      Actually, I am convinced that authenticity is both a personal and a regional thing. :)

  5. Shawie says

    Perfect timing! I was just craving this the other day. I asked hubby to search online for the ingredients while I was already out to buy ingredients for lumpiang sariwa. I got everything I needed for this spring roll, however, he did not save the site where he got the recipe. It must have been ESP, you have it featured on yours.

  6. Patricia M. says

    Hi Connie,

    Looks like this will be a good thing to try. Any good substitute for beef? Would chicken or any seafood be okay? I would rather not have beef (or pork) if I can help it.


  7. evelyn says

    Re the peanut sauce, is there one with no sugar in it? The ones available in the supermarkets all have sugar in it.