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How To Make Vietnamese Spring Rolls (Summer Rolls) With Spicy Peanut Sauce

Here is one of our favorite Asian dishes for a summer lunch or warm evening — fresh spring rolls (also called summer rolls). Heaps of fresh mint, shaved vegetables, and light rice noodles wrapped up all ready for a spicy, tangy peanut sauce. They are healthy and light, and so refreshing in the heat of summer. Want to see how to make these? They’re super easy.

This recipe uses a mixture of red pepper, radishes, cucumber, and carrot, which we threw in the rolls with cellophane noodles. Since we love the flavor of fish sauce with lime juice and rice vinegar, we seasoned our veggies with that combo. Then we added cilantro and fresh mint leaves. We’re in love with these pretty rolls! They were a perfect light, crunchy lunch, and we’re planning on eating a few for dinner, too.

This was our first experience with rice paper wrappers, and they were surprisingly easy to use. This recipe can be adapted dozens (hundreds?) of ways, and it’s a great way to start experimenting freestyle with Asian flavors.

Because we didn’t include any shrimp or meat in these summer rolls, we wanted a hearty dipping sauce. Ours is a peanut sauce with lots of red pepper flakes, but you could make a lighter sauce with just lime juice, rice vinegar, a bit of sugar, and some fish sauce for salt and depth.

And don’t be scared of rice paper wraps! We found them in the first Asian grocery. Softening them in hot water is easy — we give tips in the directions, below.