I love these fresh Vietnamese spring rolls. Sure, I also love them fried but a fresh one is healthier and quicker to make.
If you go to a Dutch market you will definitely find a food truck that sells fried Vietnamese spring rolls. It was always a treat if my mom bought these for us on the market on Wednesdays. On Wednesdays you have the afternoon off at elementary school, so when we came home at 12.30pm my mom sometimes bought us fried spring rolls and fresh steamed baozi for lunch.
And still, every time I eat a fried spring roll I remember how happy I felt when we got this treat on a Wednesday afternoon. The crispy spring roll with the soft vegetables and tender meat, dipped in some sweet & sour chili sauce.
A few years ago I discovered these fresh Vietnamese spring rolls at a Vietnamese restaurant. We got a bowl with hot water, some spring roll wrappers and lots of vegetables, herbs and meat to fill the wrappers with.
The secret is not to use too much filling. But shhht, don’t tell anyone! 😉
I love to fill my spring roll wrapper with a fresh sprig of mint and cilantro. Of course you can choose the filling yourself, think of shredded carrots, shredded (red) cabbage, bean sprouts or paksoi. Everything is possible!
It’s so fun to serve all the ingrediënts with a big bowl of warm water and the spring roll wrappers at the table so everybody can make their own Vietnamese spring rolls!
Here is how you fold them, click on the image for a larger version:
I really like to give the meat, shrimp or tofu a spicy taste. That really combines well with the wrapper, vegetables and rice noodles.
This tofu came out really pepper-y. I liked it! It was spicy enough but not too spicy for me. Feel free to use less black pepper in this recipe.
Try it out yourself and let me know what your favorite filling is!
Fresh Vietnamese spring rolls are the best! You fill them with rice noodles, vegetables and any type of meat/fish/tofu you want, delicious!
- 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 big glove of garlic, finely chopped
- 16 oz (super firm) tofu, cubed in 0.5" pieces
- 1/4 cup oyster sauce
- 1 Tbsp fish sauce
- 1 Tbsp brown sugar
- 1 Tbsp black pepper
- 12 spring roll wrappers
- 3 oz thin rice noodles
- spinach leaves
- shredded carrots
- pea sprouts
- 12 sprigs of mint
- 12 sprigs of cilantro
- hoisin sauce with chopped peanuts and/or some chili sauce for serving
- First, boil some water to soak the rice noodles and later the spring roll wrappers.
- Heat the oil in a skillet over high heat.
- Fry the chopped garlic in one minute, keep stirring to prevent browning.
- Add the tofu and fry for 3 minutes.
- Add the oyster sauce, fish sauce, brown sugar and black pepper. Combine well and turn the heat to medium low.
- Let it cook down for 2 minutes and transfer the black pepper tofu to a bowl.
- In the meantime: soak the rice noodles, according to the instructions on the package. Soak them and run onder cold water.
- Ready for rolling? Move the spring roll wrappers one by one in some hot water until they become soft.
- Transfer the wrapper to a plate, spread it out and lay some spinach, carrots and pea sprouts in the middle. Leave the edges free.
- Lay the rice noodles on top, followed by black pepper tofu and top off with mint and cilantro.
- Fold the sides and then roll it up, see the step-by-step pictures above!
- Serve with hoisin soice topped with chopped peanuts and/or some chili sauce
It's hard to say how many spring rolls and filling you need. I myself eat 3 for lunch and 4-5 for dinner. I fill them with whatever I have in the fridge, always carrots and spinach.