Spring Rolls with Spicy Peanut Sauce

Summer is here! And with Summer come the moments when I don't want to cook and stand in front of the stove because it is way too hot.

When I was a teenager, my sister made spring rolls almost every other week during the Summer. I will always remember when I would stand around and chat with her secretly waiting for a funky looking spring roll that wasn't good enough to make it to the finished platter (but good enough to be gobbled up). Quality control, you know. I did help sometimes, which would then result with a few more funky ones, only to be eaten within minutes. I love food. I am not gonna lie.

Growing up, my mom taught my sisters and me how to cook a few of the family's favorite dishes and spring rolls is one of them. My mom taught me how to make spring rolls using cooked and seasoned ground pork with a variety of fresh veggies and rice vermicelli noodles. When I got married, my mother in law taught me how to make her version of spring rolls, which uses deli meat, a variety of fresh veggies and Somen (Japanese wheat noodles). I have since adapted my spring roll recipe using different ingredients from both my mom's recipe and my mother in law's recipe; all the while keeping my favorites from the spring rolls that I grew up with as well as my husband's favorites from the spring rolls that he grew up with.

I love the spicy peanut sauce that comes with my spring roll whenever I order it at our local Vietnamese restaurant, so I decided to try replicating it. It comes pretty close, if not better. Top it with some crushed peanuts and you have an amazing dipping sauce to pair with the spring rolls. 

Spring Rolls with Spicy Peanut Sauce

Yield: Makes 20 spring rolls


For the spring rolls:

20 spring roll wrappers
80 pieces of cooked shrimp, shelled and deveined
16 oz. roasted turkey breast, thinly sliced
10.5 oz. rice vermicelli noodles
1 medium cucumber
1 medium carrot
1 romaine lettuce heart, rinsed and root end cut off
small bunch of cilantro

For the spicy peanut sauce:

4 tablespoons peanut butter
3 tablespoons hoisin sauce
3 tablespoons sriracha
7 tablespoons hot water
1 tablespoon crushed peanuts


For the spring rolls:

Soak the rice vermicelli in a bowl of warm water; set aside.

Place cooked shrimp on a platter; set aside.

Slice turkey breast into thin ribbon like strips; set aside.

Cut off the ends of the cucumber and discard. Peel off the skin and cut the cucumber in half lengthwise and in half across. Slice the cucumber into thin even strips; set aside.

Cut off the ends of the carrot and discard. Peel off the skin and slice the carrot into small thin even strips; set aside.

Cut the romaine lettuce into thin ribbon like strips; set aside.

Roughly chop the cilantro; set aside.

Fill a medium sized pot with water. Set it on the stove on high heat and let it come to a boil. Drain the noodles and place it in the pot of boiling water. Turn the heat down to medium high heat and let the rice vermicelli cook for 15-20 minutes or until the noodles are thoroughly cooked. Stir every now and then while cooking so the noodles don't stick to the bottom of the pot. Pour the noodles into a strainer and drain out all the hot water. Rinse with cold water until the noodles are cool to the touch. Drain and place on a platter; set aside.

Fill a large bowl with warm water and place it in your work area. Take a spring roll wrapper, submerge it in the bowl of warm water for 2-3 seconds, remove it from the water and place it on your work surface. Place 4 shrimps in a row in the center of the rice paper. Place a small handful of rice vermicelli on top of the shrimp. Place a small handful of the sliced romaine lettuce on top of the rice vermicelli. Place a few pieces of julienned cucumbers and carrots on top of the romaine lettuce. Place a few strips of the sliced roasted turkey breast on top of the cucumber and carrots and finish if with a small amount of cilantro, sprinkled on top.

Take the closest edge of the spring roll wrapper and fold it over the filling, roll it half way, then fold in both sides and finish rolling. Repeat this process until you have used up all the ingredients.

For the spicy peanut sauce:

In a small microwavable bowl, microwave the 4 tablespoons of peanut butter until it is melted and you are able to stir it. Add in the 3 tablespoons of hoisin sauce, the 3 tablespoons of sriracha sauce and 7 tablespoons of hot water. Stir until everything is combined and well incorporated. Garnish with crushed peanuts and serve.