12 Summer Rolls to Cool Down Dinner
If you're looking for a dish that will help you beat the heat this summer, look no further than summer rolls. These colorful rolls are served cool, unlike their spring roll cousins. Summer rolls, also known as "fresh spring rolls" or "salad rolls," are made from crunchy vegetables, cold proteins, fresh herbs, and noodles wrapped in a rice paper wrapper. You can find rice paper wrappers at most grocery stores or specialty Asian markets. If you're new to the world of summer rolls, be sure to refer to the rolling instructions on the rice wrapper package. Summer rolls are of Vietnamese origin, although you'll find a wide variety of variations on this list (and around the world). Here are 12 summer rolls to help you stay cool all summer long.
Vietnamese Fresh Spring Rolls
"These fresh spring rolls are delicious! Don't be intimidated by the rice paper wrappers. Soak them one at a time in warm water until they are JUST soft then remove it to a paper towel and fill," says reviewer CAKEBAKER61. "The wrap will continue to soften. By the time you are finished adding the ingredients, it will be ready to roll."
Fresh Spring Rolls With Thai Dipping Sauce
Reviewer MOLLE888 says, "I have never worked with rice wrappers before. I was surprised at how pliable they were. I completely soaked the wrappers to make them soft but they never ripped. Once I got the hang of wrapping the filling it was easy...Really scrumptious and so healthy. Not to mention one of the most fun recipes I have ever made!"
Vietnamese Salad Rolls
Recipe creator Claudine describes this recipe as, "A nice light appetizer. Delicate rice wrappers are filled with noodles, shrimp, carrots, lettuce and basil. Cooked chicken or beef may be substituted for shrimp."
Thai Basil Rolls with Hoisin-Peanut Sauce
Shrimp and pork are layered with rice noodles, bean sprouts, and herbs and rolled together in a fresh rice wrapper and served with a hoisin-peanut sauce. "Fresh Spring Rolls are so tasty on a hot summer's day. I think I will try them on a cold winter's day as well," says reviewer Tera Sandon. "Thank you for a new twist on my favorite way to make these. The cilantro and bean sprouts and a crunchy and tangy flair."
Thai Chicken Spring Rolls
"This Vietnamese dish is adapted with Thai flavors. These spring rolls make an excellent appetizer or light entree. Colorful, crunchy vegetables contrast nicely with the soft, translucent wrapper," says recipe creator Rebecca V.
Vietnamese Spring Rolls With Dipping Sauce
Reviewer merlion says, "Very refreshing and the dipping sauce is tasty!" These rolls are perfect for beating the heat — poached shrimp, rice noodles, herbs, and lettuce are rolled into a thin rice wrapper.
Vietnamese Spring Rolls
"Easy and oh so good," says reviewer Love2Cook. "I'll be making a lot of these. Can't wait to try other combinations of ingredients." Rice noodles, fresh mint, shrimp, bean sprouts, and cilantro make up the filling of these rolls.
Lemon Grass and Chicken Summer Rolls
"These are like little bundles of delicious chicken salad wrapped in rice paper. They are deliciously perfect for warm weather treats," says recipe creator Seattle Dad. This twist on classic Vietnamese summer rolls is perfect for hot months of the year.
Spring Rolls with Coconut Peanut Sauce
Carrot, bell pepper, cucumber, and shredded red cabbage are rolled into rice wrappers and served with a peanut sauce. Reviewer tawnyaluna says, "Made these and they were wonderful! The sauce is super yummy!"
Chef John's Fresh Spring Rolls
Learn Chef John's technique for making summer rolls or fresh spring rolls: "I love the 'authentic' spring rolls I so often order at my friendly, neighborhood Vietnamese restaurant. But in this recipe, I'm showing a technique, and you can fill the rolls with whatever you have on hand. You should be able to get rice paper wrappers at any large grocery store with an Asian food section but if not, they're easily found online."
Spicy Crab Spring Rolls
"This is a cross between a spicy sushi crab roll and a spring roll," says recipe creator Christy Blaker. "Quick and easy to make with fresh ingredients. Also good with shrimp instead of crab. Serve with ponzu or sweet chile sauce for dipping."
Steak Summer Rolls
If you have a hankering for a heartier protein in your summer rolls, these rolls are made with flat-iron steak. Recipe creator RuthE says, "It's worth seeking out flat-iron steak for this. Butchers used to set it aside for their own enjoyment, but it's now gained popularity with smart home cooks, too. Like most chuck steaks, it's full of flavor and reasonably priced."