How To Make Authentic Vietnamese Spring Rolls At Home


August 13, 2023

Want to learn how to make authentic Vietnamese spring rolls? This step-by-step recipe was inspired by Vietnamese street food in northern Vietnam and will guide you through making authentic Vietnamese spring rolls and a traditional spicy ginger dipping sauce

Easy Vietnamese Spring Rolls Recipe With Spicy Ginger Dipping Sauce

Authentic Vietnamese Spring Rolls

Authentic Vietnamese Spring Rolls are different from the cooked and fried spring rolls influenced by other Asian cultures, and instead are cool and fresh, made with seasonal and local ingredients, and rolled in see-through rice paper rolls. Fresh Vietnamese spring rolls are often served as a light mid-day meal, or appetizer to a main course, and will traditionally be served with either a peanut or spicy ginger dipping sauce.

Most often Vietnamese fresh spring rolls will either be made entirely vegetarian with seasonal vegetables and rice noodles, or with local shrimp or pork.

Vietnamese Food Culture

Walking the street of Hanoi in Vietnam, the food culture that envelopes daily life in one of the most chaotic cities in the world is impossible to miss. The sidewalks are meant not for walking, but for the countless street vendors who feed millions of people everyday.

Everything from pipping hot bowls of Phở to fresh Vietnamese spring rolls, and banh mi Vietnamese sandwiches can be found wandering the streets of Hanoi. So if you really want to understand Vietnamese food culture then Vietnamese street food is where you start.

Just one trip to Vietnam is enough to make you become deeply intoxicated with this rich culture, and forever spoiled on what good Vietnamese food really tastes like

Vietnam has a complex food culture due to its colonial history, first by the Chinese and then the French, which brought bread and wheat to Vietnam. Being an agricultural country with a large emphasis on rice, Vietnam developed a mixed food culture rooted in local ingredients but influenced by traditional French and Chinese cuisine.

The food culture in Vietnam, similarly to the way it is here in the United States, is also greatly influenced by geography, with Northern Vietnamese food culture focused on lighter, balanced dishes with a wide variety of ingredients, while the food culture in the more mountainous central region of Vietnam is known more for its spicy flavors.

Easy Vietnamese Spring Rolls Recipe With Spicy Ginger Dipping Sauce

Chinese Spring Rolls vs. Vietnamese Spring Rolls

When you hear the words spring rolls, most people immediately think of Chinese spring rolls, which while believed to be where spring rolls originated, are actually very different from the fresh spring rolls made in Vietnam today.

The Vietnamese word for spring rolls are “Gua Cuon” and are made using a variety of rice-based ingredients like rice paper wrappers for the roll and rice noodles for the center given the strong focus on rice in Vietnam. In contrast, Chinese spring rolls are made using a wheat based wrapper and are often filled with cabbage and other meat/veggies, before frying.

So while the names may be similar, the resulting spring rolls really couldn’t be more different.

Easy Vietnamese Spring Rolls Recipe With Spicy Ginger Dipping Sauce

Ingredients For Authentic Vietnamese Spring Rolls

Authentic Vietnamese spring rolls are actually quite easy to make once you get the hang of it, and they only require a few traditional fresh ingredients. Since Authentic Vietnamese spring rolls are rolled in a thin rice paper roll, it is important to shop the ingredients for the fresh spring rolls up really fine, so that they can be easily rolled together.

Some ingredients you will need to make Authentic Vietnamese spring rolls are:

  • Vermicelli Rice Noodles
  • Shrimp
  • Pork
  • Lettuce
  • Fresh Ginger
  • Rice Paper Wrappers
  • Cabbage
  • Basil
  • Cilantro
  • Mint
  • Fish Sauce
  • Red Pepper Flakes
How To Roll A Spring Roll

How To Roll Spring Rolls – Easy Step-By-Step Guide

Fresh Vietnamese spring rolls take a little practice to really get used to, but please do not be discouraged if yours don’t turn out the very first time, they will get better.

The key to rolling spring rolls really is to work fast to keep the rice paper from sticking too much to the surface you are rolling them on. My best advice is to take a few different bowls and place all of your finely chopped ingredients into each bowl so that they are readily available, and organized for when you are assembling your spring rolls. 

Step One:

Lay your chopped vegetables, rice noodles, and protein choice in the bottom center of the rice paper wrapper and begin to fold up from the bottom.

Step Two:

While holding the bottom of the spring roll in place with one hand, fold the rice paper wrapper over from the right side.

Step Three:

Do the same on the left side until you have what looks like a three-sided open envelope.

Step Four:

Pull the ingredients for your spring roll down and begin to roll the spring roll as tightly as you can. If your spring roll is too loose the ingredients will move around and it will be more difficult to eat/keep together.

Easy Vietnamese Spring Rolls Recipe With Spicy Ginger Dipping Sauce
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Authentic Vietnamese Spring Rolls

Authentic Vietnamese Spring Rolls With Spicy Ginger Dipping Sauce

  • Author: Megan Faletra, MS, MPH, RDN
  • Prep Time: 15 min
  • Cook Time: 15 min
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 12 1x
  • Category: Appetizers
  • Cuisine: Vietnamese


Units Scale
  • 20 Rice Papers
  • 3/4 lbs Wild Gulf Shrimp
  • 2 cups Lettuce
  • 1 Carrot
  • 2 cups Purple Cabbage
  • 1/4 cup Mint
  • 1/4 cup Cilantro
  • 20 Basil Leaves
  • 1 cup Vermicelli Noodles
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Spicy Ginger Sauce Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons Fish Sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes
  • 1 tablespoon Crushed Ginger


  • Heat a frying pan over medium heat, spray lightly with coconut oil, and add your de-veined/shelled shrimp to the pan.
  • Allow shrimp to cook for roughly 3 minutes on each side, or until the shrimp begins to turn pink. Remove the shrimp from the heat and place in a bowl to the side.
  • Next, fill a medium-size saucepan with water, and bring to a boil. Once the water in boiling, add roughly 1 cup of vermicelli noodles to the boiling water (you will typically have to break the noodles apart from the box they come in).
  • Allow the noodles to cook until the noodles soften (~3-4 minutes, they cook fast!) then remove from heat, drain, and set the noodles to the side in a small bowl.
  • Next, chop the lettuce, purple cabbage, carrot, mint, and cilantro into small pieces, and place in small bowls to make it easier for assembling the spring rolls.
  • Take a medium size mixing bowl, fill halfway with water, and place a rice paper into the water, submerging it entirely, and removing it after a few seconds.


  • To roll the spring rolls place the wet rice paper on a plate and begin adding all of your prepared ingredients to the lower bottom half of the rice paper. When placing your ingredients on the rice paper you only need a pinch of each ingredient. Try not to overfill your rice paper or you will have a hard time rolling.
  • Once your ingredients are laid on the paper and the rice paper has begun to feel sticky roll the rice paper up from the bottom, then in from the right, then in from the left, and then again from the bottom rolling all the way to the top. See the image above for a picture explanation.
  • Repeat the process until all of your ingredients are gone and you have roughly 20 spring rolls.
  • To make the dipping sauce simply combine all the ingredients in a small pinch bowl, and stir.

Keywords: authentic vietnamese spring rolls, fresh spring rolls

Megan Faletra, MS, MPH, RDN

Megan Faletra, MS, MPH, RDN

Megan is a maternal-child health dietitian and mom of two. With nearly a decade of experience working in maternal-child nutrition both domestically and abroad, Megan is passionate about supporting mothers and their little ones through pregnancy, postpartum, and beyond.

Megan especially loves helping to nourish families with simple, delicious recipes that both children and adults will enjoy. All of the recipes at MADRE are gluten free, and focused on celebrating food culture, seasonality, and supporting the nutritional needs of growing children, mothers, and families.

Megan holds a MS in Nutrition and MPH in Global Health from Tufts University, and received her dietetic license (RDN) from Brigham and Women's Hospital. She has advanced training in pediatric nutrition and baby led weaning, and is currently working towards becoming a certified lactation consultant.

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Mom of two girls under two, and registered dietitian specializing in prenatal, postpartum, and infant wellness. My passion for supporting moms and babies began more than a decade ago, but nothing made me more committed to helping moms and babies thrive than going through my own pregnancy and postpartum journey.

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