I absolutely love making fresh spring rolls – they’re so delicious and a perfect light lunch for a hot day. My family used to go to a restaurant called Pei-Wei every time we took a trip to Phoenix. It is actually a fast food version of P.F. Changs and our favorite Asain place to eat. The one thing we would order every single time was the fresh spring rolls, shrimp and veggies rolled in rice paper with a peanut sauce for dipping.
My family doesn’t get to Phoenix as often anymore, and plus the Pei Wei location closed down. So my mom and sister decided to create their own spring roll wraps at home and several years ago (like 4-5 years ago) they showed me how to make them. Since then, I make them every so often and enjoy every moment of it! They require just a few important ingredients and the rest can be whatever you like or whatever you have on hand.
First and foremost, you need rice paper wraps. You can usually find these in the Asain section at any grocery store. They come in packages of 10 or 12 wraps and they look like round tortilla shells, only they’re rice paper. They’re very fragile so make sure you’re careful because you don’t want them breaking.
You also need a dipping sauce. I end up using 2 or more sauces just because I can never decide what I want. This time I chose a peanut sauce, which is just creamy peanut butter mixed with a sesame/ginger dressing. You can also use hoisin sauce, plum sauce or soy sauce; plum sauce is my favorite.
Here’s all the ingredients I used:
Shredded chicken, water chestnuts, cilantro, cucumber, avocado, carrots, rice paper and peanut sauce.
I typically use shredded chicken or will do a vegetarian version with no meat or tofu, which I really like. The common way is using shrimp but I don’t like shrimp and never have it on hand, so chicken seems to be more convenient.
When everything is chopped, diced, shredded or julienned and ready to go, grab a large skillet or baking dish. It just needs to be large enough to fit the wraps in it. Fill it just 1/2″ with warm water and gently slide in 1 or 2 wraps at a time. You won’t want to do more than that because they’ll stick together. They only need to sit in the water for about 30 seconds and then grab it with both hands at the edge and gently lay it flat across a large plate.
Fill the wrap up with all the toppings you want and then carefully roll it up, folding in the sides to make sure everything stays in. The wrap will stick together so you can seal it at the end. The goal is to get the wrap as tight as possible without ripping it.
I usually don’t put any sauce in the wrap, rather dip the wrap in the sauce for each bite.
Now all that’s left is to gobble them up! These are so delicious, and the peanut sauce just tops them off. These are great for a light lunch or omit any meat, cut them in half and use them as appetizers. Create an assembly line of ingredients and make them with a group of friends for a yummy bite to eat and a fun activity to do.
My recipe below will be less of a recipe and more of a list of ingredients.
- Rice Paper
- Shredded chicken, tofu, shrimp or no meat
- Sliced Avocado
- Shredded carrots
- Sliced Cucumbers
- Chopped Cilantro
- Chopped Water Chestnuts
- Peanut sauce
- Hoisin Sauce
- Plum Sauce
- Sweet Chili Sauce