A bowl of spring rolls (summer rolls) next to a bowl of peanut dipping sauce.
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Salads aren’t my favorite. If someone makes one for me, I’ll eat it and probably enjoy it, but I definitely don’t seek them out on my own. There’s something about a plate of lettuce that just doesn’t excite me, so I have to come up with other creative ways to pack veggies into my diet, and these summer rolls are one of them. They’re basically a portable salad in burrito form, and that’s something I can get behind, PLUS they come with a delicious homemade peanut sauce.

I was invited to a birthday celebration at a great outdoor brewery this weekend, and they let you BYO snacks! They have some food on the menu, so I think it’s awesome that they have this policy. It was a nice day, so I volunteered to make these summer rolls for the crowd – and they were a hit! There were even a couple of people there who were vegan, so this was perfect for them.

Making summer rolls requires a bit of prep and some patience, so I’m going to walk you through this recipe with pictures! Scroll down towards the bottom to get straight to the recipe!

Prep the ingredients and portion into bowls to make for easy assembly!

I chopped up all of my ingredients and put them into different bowls so I could easily grab each one while I was assembling the summer rolls. You have to work kind of quickly because the rice paper will become sticky when it starts to dry (that’s what helps the summer rolls stick together, but it can also make the wrapper stick to your work station).

Use warm (almost hot) water to soften your rice paper.

Rice paper comes in dry form (it’d be pretty impossible to work with otherwise), so you need to soak it for about 15 seconds in warm water to soften it. I worked out of a large bowl and continuously spun the wrapper to make sure all parts of it were getting submerged into the water. When dry, there’s an audible sound that the wrapper makes while you move it. When it’s ready to be worked with, you’ll stop hearing that sound, and the wrapper will be very flexible.

Make sure you’ve set up a workstation where the summer roll can be front and center, and all of your ingredients are within easy reach. It helps to work quickly to avoid having the rice paper stick to your surface!

Once the rice paper is softened, set it down on your workstation and begin to fill with ingredients! You can fit a good amount of fillings inside, but it will become pretty obvious if you’ve overstuffed it, because it will be hard to roll and keep everything in! After doing one or two, you’ll get a pretty good understanding of how much filling to use.

The art of wrapping – step 1: fold up the bottom flap to cover the filling.
Step 2: fold down the top half.
Step 3: fold the side over and roll like a burrito.
Step 4: there is no step four! This is your finished summer roll. Even if you mess up at first, they’ll still be beautiful because of all the colorful ingredients inside!
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Veggie summer rolls with peanut dipping sauce

You may know these as spring rolls (depending on where you’re from), but spring rolls can be fried, and these definitely are not!
Course Side Dish, Snack
Keyword Vegan
Servings 12 rolls

Ingredients

Summer Rolls

  • 12 pieces rice paper
  • 1/4 head red cabbage
  • 2 carrots peeled and ends removed
  • 2 green onions
  • 2 persian cucumbers
  • 1 bell pepper
  • 1 avocado
  • handful each of mint, cilantro, and basil
  • tofu optional
  • butter lettuce optional

Peanut Sauce

  • 6 tbsp powdered peanut butter
  • 3 tbsp water
  • 1.5 tsp rice vinegar
  • 1.5 tsp sesame oil
  • 1.5 tsp soy sauce
  • 1.5 tsp sriracha
  • 3/4 tsp minced ginger
  • 3/4 tsp minced garlic

Instructions

Summer Rolls

  • If you have a food processor, use it to shred the cabbage and carrot. Otherwise, slice the cabbage thinly and slice the carrot into sticks as small as you can get them.
  • Cut the bell pepper and avocado into thin slices.
  • Thinly slice the green onion.
  • Coarsely chop the cilantro, basil, and mint, and mix together.
  • Cut the cucumbers into thin slices, lengthwise.
  • Cut the tofu into thin slices, and rip the butter lettuce into pieces about the size of half of the palm of your hand, if using.
  • At this point, I’d recommend putting each ingredient into a bowl to make assembly easier.
  • Fill a large bowl with warm (almost hot) water.
  • Soak a piece of rice paper in the water for 10-15 seconds, until it turns from feeling like a starchy paper to feeling like a piece of fabric.
  • Lay the rice paper out on your work station and fill with toppings.
  • Fold the bottom of the rice paper up to cover some of your ingredients. Fold the top flap down, and then roll the side over like a burrito (see the images above for a visual).
  • Repeat for the rest of the summer rolls!

Peanut Sauce

  • Combine all ingredients and mix well. Add more or less water as needed to reach desired consistency.

These summer rolls should be made day of, and you should keep them covered with a damp towel until serving so the wrappers don’t dry out. I recommend storing them so that they’re not touching, otherwise they may stick together and rip when you pull them apart (but hey, they’ll still taste good)!