Posted by: Catherine | May 6, 2009

Spring Rolls with Peanut Sauce (RR*, The Second Unconfidential Cooks’ Dinner)




(*Reader Recipe)

Could these possibly be more gorgeous? My friend Daryn, who’s a vegetarian, made these from a recipe she found on…and what a hit they were!  (The Roasted Green Beans with Lemon, Pine Nuts and Parmigiana she made for The First Confidential Cooks’ Dinner were fantastic, too—and, in the interim, most everyone around that table has emailed me to say they loved them so much they’ve made them at home.) Daryn said the rolls aren’t hard to make, but they are time consuming until you get the knack of  wrapping down pat. Thankfully, she heaped two platters full, there were leftovers and I kept a few for lunch…but ate them for breakfast.

Peanut Sauce

3 tablespoons finely chopped onion

1 small garlic clove, minced

3/4 teaspoon dried hot red pepper flakes

1 teaspoon vegetable oil

3 tablespoons water

1 tablespoon creamy peanut butter

1 tablespoon hoisin sauce

1 teaspoon tomato paste

 3/4 teaspoon sugar


Spring Rolls

1 ounce bean thread noodles (cellophane noodles)

1 tablespoon seasoned rice vinegar

4 (8-inch) rice-paper rounds, plus additional in case some tear

2 red-leaf lettuce leaves, ribs cut out and discarded and leaves halved

1/4 cup fresh mint leaves

1/4 cup fresh basil leaves (preferably Thai)

1/2 cup thinly sliced Napa cabbage (I used red)

 1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves

 1/3 cup coarsely shredded carrot (1 medium)

Make sauce:

Cook onion, garlic, and red pepper flakes in oil in a small heavy saucepan over moderate heat, stirring, until pale golden, about 4 minutes. Whisk in remaining sauce ingredients. Simmer, whisking, 1 minute, then cool.

Make spring rolls:

Cover noodles with boiling-hot water and soak 15 minutes, then drain well in a sieve. Pat dry between paper towels and toss with vinegar and salt to taste.

Put a double thickness of paper towel or damp dish towel on a work surface and fill a shallow baking pan with warm water. Soak 1 rice-paper round (make sure there are no holes) in warm water until pliable, 30 seconds to 1 minute, then transfer to paper towels.

Arrange 1 piece of lettuce on bottom half of soaked rice paper, folding or tearing to fit and leaving a 1-inch border along edge. Spread one fourth of peanut sauce over lettuce and top with one fourth each of mint, basil, cabbage, and noodles. Roll up rice paper tightly around filling and, after rolling halfway, arrange one fourth of cilantro and carrot along crease. Then fold in sides and continue rolling. Transfer roll to a plate and cover with dampened paper towels.

Make 3 more rolls in same manner. Serve rolls halved on the diagonal.

Cooks’ note: Rolls may be made 6 hours ahead and chilled, wrapped in dampened paper towels in a sealed plastic bag. Bring rolls to room temperature before halving and serving.

Other Recipes from Daryn

string_beans3Roasted String Beans with Lemon, Pine Nuts and Parmigiano



  1. My favorite healthier substitute to the regular fried spring roll. Delicious!

  2. I just bought a package of spring roll wrappers on my trip to Wholefoods and discovered Thai basil at a local ethnic grocery store so I can make these! They look delicious.

  3. Wow, these rolls are just perfect for the warm weather that we will experience soon…much lighter and healthier…the pictures are really nice. Thank you so much for visiting my site and always leaving nice words. I very much appreciate.

  4. I LOVE making spring rolls! Which reminds me….I need to make them again soon, it’s been way too long.

  5. They turned out beautiful with all those colors! Bravo.

  6. gorgeous colors…but, i always think produce is pretty 🙂

  7. This is gorgeous. I love the colors. What a beautiful plate.

  8. Those ARE gorgeous!

  9. These look so good and refreshing!

  10. They look so fresh and yummy!!! Love the peanut sauce!

  11. I LOVE spring rolls so much. They have to be in my top 5 favorite foods, and these are just beautiful

  12. Oh these look delcious and they are so colorful, with a splash of health. Perfect!

  13. mmm . . . pretty and yummy!

  14. MMMMMM…those spring rolls look excellent & transparant!! I adore a good home made peanut sauce!!! I was thinking about making these,….MMMMMMMMM…..!!! Excellent pictures too!, my foodie friend!!

  15. These look so nice and fresh! I don’t know why but I have always been so intimidated by rice paper .. gosh I buy a pack and throw it out when it expires and then go and buy it all over again. Maybe I can talk myself into making these, these don’t sound so intimidating 🙂

  16. i love the translucency (is that word?) of rice-paper. it’s like a sneak-peek into the beautiful innards. great sauce, too. 🙂

  17. These are gorgeous and sound excellent! I’d love to try to make these with rice paper!

  18. To answer your question, no, these could not possibly be more gorgeous. It looks fantastic!!!
    I only made these once in a cooking class. It was so easy to make, but I don’t get to it at home. Too bad. I can blame this on the kids, right?! 🙂

  19. Those look amazing!! I love peanut sauce so much. I have it on every stir fry I make.

    I can’t wait to try and make these!

  20. Love, love, love a good peanut sauce!

  21. I can eat anything with that peanut sauce. I love peanut sauce! and the spring rolls look really pretty! Good job! Mine always turns out crappy!

  22. This looks lovely!

  23. that peanut sauce? I have been known to eat it by the tablespoon. I love it that much. Nice job rolling, I’m not that good at it, hence never any recipes of that on my blog lol

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