Fresh Spring Rolls With Peanut & Brown Sauces

April 15, 2021

Fresh Spring Rolls With Peanut & Brown Sauces

These Fresh Spring Rolls are easy to make, and make a light healthy lunch or appetizer. There is no cooking, or frying. You will want to serve them with both the Peanut Sauce and the Brown Sauce, because they elevate this recipe to the “must make again status!”

Author: Kathryn Taylor from

Prep Time: 40 minutes

Cook Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Yields: 8 spring rolls

Category: Appetizer

Method: By hand

Cuisine: Vietnamese


Spring Rolls:

  • 2 ounces rice vermicelli or maifun brown rice noodles, I used precooked brown rice
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 cup torn butter lettuce, ribs removed
  • 1 cup very thinly sliced red cabbage
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and cut into matchsticks or sliced into strips with a julienne peeler
  • 2 Persian (mini) cucumbers or 1 small cucumber, thinly sliced or sliced into strips with a julienne peeler, I used zucchini
  • 2 cups Trader Joe’s Steamed Lentils
  • 2 medium jalapeños, ribs and seeds removed, thinly sliced, optional
  • ¼ cup thinly sliced green onions
  • ¼ cup roughly chopped fresh cilantro
  • ¼ cup roughly chopped fresh mint, or I used spinach
  • 8 sheets rice paper (spring roll wrappers)

Ingredients for the Peanut Sauce:

  • ⅓ cup creamy peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons reduced-sodium tamari or soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons honey or maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons water, as needed

Directions for the Peanut Sauce:

  • Add all the ingredients to a medium bowl, and whisk together until smooth.

Ingredients to make Brown Sauce:

  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 4 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon corn starch
  • 1/4 teaspoon of water, to dilute corn starch

Directions for making Brown Sauce:

  • Blend water and cornstarch in a small bowl.
  • Simmer all the ingredients in a medium saucepan for 5 minutes. Mix together until well incorporated.
  • Add the mixed cornstarch, to the saucepan ingredients until the sauce thickens slightly.


To make the spring rolls: Bring a pot of water to boil and cook the noodles just until al dente, according to package directions. Drain, rinse them under cool water, and return them to the pot. Off the heat, toss the noodles with the sesame oil and salt, and set aside. I did not have any noodles so I made brown lentils. I am also using some brown rice that I had precooked.

Prepare the vegetables: Peel and chiffonade the carrots, green onions, cabbage, lettuce, spinach, and zucchini.

Make herb mix: Combine the green onion, cilantro and mint in a small bowl, and stir. I included the green onion in the roll, and omitted the cilantro & mint.

Fill a shallow pan (a pie pan or 9″ round cake pan works great) with an inch of water. Fold a lint-free tea towel in half and place it next to the dish. Make sure your prepared fillings are within reach.

Place one rice paper in the water and let it rest for about 20 seconds, give or take. You’ll learn to go by feel here—wait until the sheet is pliable but not super floppy. Carefully lay it flat on the towel. I placed mine on a plate.

Leaving about 1 inch of open rice paper around the edges, cover the lower third of the paper with a few pieces of butter lettuce, followed by a small handful of rice noodles/brown rice, green onions, some cabbage, and a few strips of carrot, cucumber/zucchini, lentils, and jalapeño. Sprinkle generously with the herb mix. Note: The order in which you layer the ingredients is not important.

Fold the lower edge up over the fillings, rolling upward just until the filling is compactly enclosed. Fold over the short sides like you would to make a burrito. Lastly, roll it up. Repeat with the remaining ingredients.

To make the peanut sauce: In a small bowl, whisk together the peanut butter, rice vinegar, tamari, honey, sesame oil, and garlic. Whisk in 2 to 3 tablespoons water, as needed to make a super creamy but dip-able sauce.

• To make the Brown Sauce: Blend water and cornstarch in a small bowl. Simmer all the ingredients in a medium saucepan for 5 minutes. Mix together until well incorporated. Add the mixed cornstarch, to the saucepan ingredients until the sauce thickens slightly.

  • Serve the spring rolls with peanut sauce on the side. You can serve them whole, or sliced in half on the diagonal with a sharp chef’s knife.


Tips on how to roll the Spring Rolls:

  • Make the base: Start by placing a few pieces of lettuce about one-third from the bottom of the circular wrapper. The width of your fillings will determine the width of the spring roll. You want to leave a couple inches open on the two sides for wrapping purposes.
  • Pile on the ingredients: Then, add the remaining ingredients. The exact order doesn’t matter much. Just pile them on top, making sure to take up the proper width. It’s ok if the fillings spill upward. I try to leave the top one-third of the wrapper open for wrapping.
  • Roll the filling: Gently pull the bottom of the wrapper up and over the lower portion of the filling. Try to keep the fillings compact as you roll upwards, just until the fillings are enveloped.
  • Envelope the sides and roll it up: Pull each side over to enclose the filling. Continue wrapping upward until your spring roll is fully wrapped!
  • PREPARE IN ADVANCE: You can definitely mix together the peanut sauce in advance. You can also prepare the veggies several hours or up to 1 day in advance, and store them in an air-tight container (they will lose freshness with time). The spring roll wrappers tend to dry out with time or once chilled, so spring rolls are best assembled shortly before serving. If you’d like to keep them fresh for an hour or two, store them under a lightly damp, lint-free tea towel at room temperature (the skin tends to harden in the refrigerator).

Other filling ingredient ideas:

  • bean sprouts
  • sliced avocado
  • cooked, chopped chicken
  • romaine lettuce leaf
  • sliced bell peppers
  • Storing: The rolls taste best the day they are made, but they can be stored in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. Wrap each roll individually in plastic wrap (to keep the wrapper soft and to keep them from sticking together) and store in an air-tight container in the fridge.


Calories: 80kcal | Carbohydrates: 18g | Protein: 1g | Sodium: 36mg | Potassium: 146mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 1905IU | Vitamin C: 11.7mg | Calcium: 15mg | Iron: 0.4mg

How did you modify this recipe? Please share in the comments. Thank you for sharing!

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