Spring rolls

Vietnamese Shrimp Spring Rolls

Perfect party food: Simple ingredients and spectacular presentation.


  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 16 uncooked medium shrimp, peeled, deveined, halved lengthwise
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon grass
  • fresh ground pepper
  • 4 cups hot water
  • 8 6-inch-diameter Vietnamese spring-roll sheets
  • 4 large romaine leaves, cut in half vertically
  • 1 package prepared thin rice noodles (boil 1 to 3 minutes, then run under cold water)
  • 1/2 cup bean sprouts
  • 1/4 cup Thai basil
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint leaves
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 cup crushed roasted peanuts
Dipping Sauce
  • 1/4 cup fish sauce (nam pla)
  • 2 tablespoons thinly sliced green onion
  • 11/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • Pinch of dried crushed red pepper


Heat oil in medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add lemon grass and shrimp and sauté until shrimp are just cooked through, about 1 minute. Remove from heat. Season with fresh ground pepper. Submerge each spring roll wrapper, one at a time, in the hot water, moving it around in the water until soft and pliable, 10 to 15 seconds. Remove and lay on the parchment paper or plate. Lay a half leaf of romaine in the center of each wrapper. On top of each half leaf, put 1 tablespoon of the noodles, spread evenly. On top of the noodles, sprinkle a few sprouts and a bit of the basil, mint, cilantro and crushed peanuts. Lay 4 halves of shrimp next to each other on top of mixture. Fold two sides of the wrapper toward the center about 1/4-inch, then roll each like a jelly roll, pressing the edges together to seal. Repeat until all eight rolls are done. Either serve the roll whole or slice each roll in half diagonally. Serve the rolls with the dipping sauce. Serves 8–16 as an appetizer. Mix all ingredients in small bowl. Set dipping sauce aside.

Photo(s) by Todd Zawistowski