Fresh Spring Rolls + Spicy Peanut Sauce

Fresh spring rolls with spicy peanut sauce (click through for recipe)Do you have foods in your life that just make you think of someone? German chocolate cake makes me think of my dad (because it’s his favorite, and he requests it almost every birthday). And fresh spring rolls make me think of Elsie. She is a fresh spring roll kind of gal. 

So, these are really for her. 

Best fresh springrolls I’ve gotta hand it to her, she has good taste. Fresh spring rolls are delicious, easy to make, and super healthy. They also look really pretty, so they are a fantastic appetizer (or meal, if you make a lot) to serve to friends or family. It’s a dish that will impress, it’s just so colorful.

Fresh spring rolls with spicy peanut sauce (click through for recipe) And don’t even get me started on spicy peanut sauce (also called satay sauce). It’s just THE BEST. It’s perfect with fresh spring rolls, but it’s also awesome as a dressing or on a sandwich, although less traditional, I’m sure.

I can’t claim any kind of credit for this version of spicy peanut sauce. I’ve been making it a goal to learn to cook a few more traditional-style Thai dishes, as I love Thai food. And I’m happy to recommend Simple Thai Food. This book rocks. And that’s where this version comes from (slightly changed for a smaller portion, as the original recipe makes a ton!).

Veggie options for spring rollsBut first, let’s talk about the spring rolls. You can use all manner of vegetables that you like, but here are a few of my favorites for this: lettuce, cabbage, carrots, bell pepper, and cucumber. Anything that can be chopped up into small matchsticks, do so. You’ll also want some bold flavors like cilantro and chives. 

Protein options for spring rollsI love fresh spring rolls packed with only vegetables. But, if you’re looking to make this into more of a meal, you may want to add some kind of protein. I like to use either cooked shrimped (cut in half) or cooked chickpeas (also called garbanzo beans). 

Best fresh springrolls You’ll also need spring roll papers, which can usually be found in Asian markets or if your local grocery store has an Asian section. 

Once you’ve made fresh spring rolls once, you’ll already feel like a pro because they are so easy. But, in case you’ve never made them before, here’s a quick photo tutorial for you.

How to roll fresh spring rollsSubmerge the spring roll paper in warm water for 20-30 seconds. A pie pan filled with warm water works well here. You’ll be able to feel the paper softening under your finger tips, so don’t let it soak for too long or it can more easily tear.

Fill with protein (if using), then the bold flavors (cilantro and chives), some veggies, some lettuce, then roll it up. Easy as pie.

Actually, it’s WAY easier than pie.

Best spicy peanut sauce recipeSpicy Peanut Sauce, makes about 1 3/4 to 2 cups.
Recipe from Simple Thai Food by Leela Punyaratabandhu

3/4 cup coconut milk (about half a can)
2 tablespoons red curry paste (I used Mae Ploy brand)
1/3 heaping cup natural peanut butter (or make your own)
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup packed brown sugar

Combine all the ingredients in a saucepan and heat over medium heat. Whisk as it heats to combine all the ingredients and dissolve the sugar. Bring to a low boil and cook for another couple of minutes.

Fresh spring rolls with spicy peanut sauce (click through for recipe) You can serve the sauce hot or cold, but I prefer it just slightly warm with the fresh spring rolls chilled (just pop them in the refrigerator for a few minutes after rolling them). Enjoy! xo. Emma

P.S. Looks like Shutterbean and I had a similar hankering this week. I love her use of miso in the sauce she made. Yum! I’m gonna try that next time for sure. 

Credits // Author and Photography: Emma Chapman. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess actions

Fresh Spring Rolls and Spicy Peanut Sauce

Ingredients

  • ettuce
  • cabbage
  • carrots
  • bell pepper
  • cucumber
  • cilantro
  • mint
  • chives
  • springroll papers

Spicy Peanut Sauce

  • 3/4 cup coconut milk about half a can
  • 2 tablespoons red curry paste I used Mae Ploy brand
  • 1/3 heaping cup natural peanut butter or make your own
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar

Instructions

  1. Cut the vegetables into matchsticks. Submerge the spring roll paper in warm water for 20-30 seconds. A pie pan filled with warm water works well here. You'll be able to feel the paper softening under your finger tips, so don't let it soak for too long or it can more easily tear.
  2. Fill with veggies and fresh herbs, then roll up.
  3. Combine all the ingredients in a saucepan and heat over medium heat. Whisk as it heats to combine all the ingredients and dissolve the sugar. Bring to a low boil and cook for another couple of minutes.
  • This looks so tasty! I’ve never made spring rolls before and I had no idea they were so easy/simple to make. Definitely going on the, “to cook” list! Thanks Emma!

  • I love love love spring rolls too. My favorite peanut sauce to make is Pantry Peanut Sauce from Sprouted Kitchen. I make it a little thick (and a little spicier!) so I can spread it on sandwiches and then water it down with soy sauce if using it as a dip. It last for a little while in the fridge. I love having it on hand!

  • Haha I totally thought “I wonder if Emma saw this on Shutterbean!”

    I’m definitely going to be craving spring rolls all week now! I love Thai food, thanks for sharing which cookbook you use, can’t wait to check it out.

  • You guys have been kickin butt with these posts lately!! It’s like you’re reading my mind.. I was JUST telling someone these must be so healthy and easy but I didn’t have a recipe. Boom – like magic here it is. THANKS 😉

  • Oh yes, I love her site. I don’t know how far in advance she works but if she made hers toward the beginning of last week we were likely doing the same thing at the same time. 🙂

    -Emma

  • Damn you guys are getting really good at food photog- these images are amazing

  • The recipe looks like one to try for my family; thank for the recipe!
    xx,
    Marie

    LivRiot | Fashion & StreetStyle Blog
    LivRiot | Fashion & StreetStyle Blog

  • These just make me dream of Elizabeth Street cafe now. Can’t wait to try making these!

  • My sister made this (different recipe), and it was so delicious! I love how it’s healthy, yummy, and it doesn’t sit in your tummy!

  • I’m loving that you posted this! I make things like this at home all the time so now I get to try a new one. Looks so yummy! I know what’s going on my grocery list this week 🙂

    Sincerely,

    Laurali Star

  • Crazy how different peanut sauces can be! Mine is peanut butter, soy sauce, sriracha, green onions, cilantro, peanuts, basil, sesame oil, and coconut milk thrown into a mini food processor. I call it “peanut soup” because I could eat it by the spoonful and forgo the spring rolls altogether. Wonder if I should branch out and try your version next time!

  • Yummy yummy! My mom likes making these for dinner! she preps all the ingrdients and we roll em up on the dinner table! On small chopping boards of course!

  • I will have to try this peanut sauce. We make spring rolls all the time and I adore them. I like the idea of using garbanzo beans! Bravo!

  • It looks delicious and simple,
    Definately going to make some soon!
    Thank you for your recipes Emma!
    Ester 🙂

  • I love all the colours, so bright and cheerful.

    Have you ever tried using lettuce on the outside and then using thin rice noodles on the inside. Kind of an inside outside version.
    Also very delicious!

    Keep up the great work! You girls definately are ‘kickin butt’ @kaela d.

  • These look amazing! I took a Thai cooking class with my Mum when I was there last year, and Satay has become one of our favourite dishes! I’ve always liked spring rolls too, but I’ve never had the fresh variety like these and think I need to try them!

  • Spring rolls are one of my favorite foods to make!! I really like to marinade and roast portobello mushrooms and let them cool, then slice them and put them in my spring rolls… Soooo delicious!

  • Ohhh looove spring rolls. You hit the nail on the head: so healthy, fresh, and delicious. Its a food I can eat everyday in the summer because its so refreshing and light. I love making mine with shrimp too! Thanks for sharing that peanut sauce with us, I’m gonna make that next time.

  • It could be that you’re packing too much in there. I tend to over pack my first few until I feel I’m getting the hang of it. Also, don’t soak the rice paper too long or they will tear more easily.

    Good luck!

    -Emma

  • raw! They are slightly chilled as I usually pop the rolls in the refrigerator while I make the sauce. Give them a great crunch to go with the creamy peanut sauce.

    -Emma

  • Looks delicious! I love that you used satay with yours! I’m a HUGE fan of Thai food and am so happy you shared the name of that cookbook because I’m about to get my Thai on now.

    xoxo
    Taylor

  • PERFECT timing! I bought ingredients to make them this week after seeing Shutterbean, but my small town does not have miso anywhere, so I needed a sauce alternative. Can’t wait to try it!

  • I love spring rolls but I haven’t found a peanut dipping sauce a really love so I am eager to try this one. I also always add mint and basil to mine and it adds a big boost in flavor.

  • Looks delicious! I bought the rice paper just a few weeks ago and have been trying to think of a good sauce to go with the spring rolls I make, and satay sauce is a great idea. Thanks! My food blog is just getting started, please check it out! By the way, I loooove your blog 🙂

  • I did this yesterday for dinner following your recipe!! It was so good! The sauce was amazing, I still have some leftovers and I am thinking using it to make some noodles. Thanks so much, I really like how you explain all your recipes, you make it seem easy!

  • You know, I absolutely love fresh/spring rolls, but I’ve never once thought to make them myself. Maybe because I’m a little afraid to dive into the realm of Thai food? But now I want to try it. Thanks for sharing! 🙂

  • I dunno if this is really true. But Thai people don’t consider this a Thai dish. If anything both my parents (born and raised Thai people) attribute it as a mostly Vietnamese dish known as Goi Cuon or even Summer Roll. Spring rolls are typically fried and it seems most Westerners use the terms interchangeably that it’s made it confusing for me. Asian restaurants will go to label these as spring rolls because they know Non-Asians will be more likely to order it that way. Southeast Asians / Asians share a lot of overlap as with any food culture where countries are neighbors. But just letting you know that this is my personal experience.

    I also do a quick peanut sauce recipe of peanut butter, hoisin sauce, sesame oil, and sometimes a little fish sauce and some cilantro.

  • I made these for my family the other night (to go with leftover Thai food) and they were a big success. I love all the colors of the different vegetables that you can see through the spring roll wrapper. Thanks so much for sharing!

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