Simple Spring Rolls

I’ve been watching a lot of Good Eats lately.  Having finally gotten rid of the first trimester nausea, I am once again able to cook.  And have been doing so with a vengeance.  The super-sensitive pregnancy nose makes complex flavors a must these days.  Inspired by Use Your Noodle 5, I attempted spring rolls.  Mine were much less complex than Alton’s version (mainly because I didn’t have all the ingredients on hand), but tasty none the less.

Here, I’ll show you.

Tasty looking, eh?  Want to make some?  Here’s what I did.

Simple Spring Rolls


  • 1 carrot
  • 2 – 3 large cabbage leaves
  • bean threads
  • shrimp
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce (separated)
  • 1 tablespoon Sambal Oelek
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice (fresh squeezed)
  • 2 teaspoons sugar


Start by soaking the bean threads in hot water (out of the tap) for 15 minutes.  Meanwhile…

In a pot, boil 1 tablespoon soy sauce and enough water to hold about 2 handfuls of the bean threads (mine came in a bag of 8 little packages, I used 2).

While the water is coming to boil, use a peeler to peel your carrot into ribbons (munch on the core while you keep cooking).

Chop the cabbage leaves into small pieces.  Cook in hot water until they turn bright green and just start to soften.  Drain

When the water has come to a boil, cook your shrimp.  (I used pre-cooked, frozen, tail off shrimp, so I just used it to reheat mine.)  DO NOT DRAIN THE WATER!  Just fish your shrimp out and let cool.

Drain the bean threads from the plain water and add them to water the shrimp came out of.  Let that boil for 3 – 5 minutes.  Drain.

Mix the rest of the soy sauce with the Sambal Oelek, sugar, and lime juice.  Add the bean threads to the sauce mixture and let it soak it up.

Chop up the shrimp into little pieces.

Assemble your spring rolls one at a time.  Don’t over soak your rice papers or they will be hard to work with.  I soaked mine about 10 seconds in hot tap water and then assembled like a burrito (ingredients on one end, roll over, fold over both ends, and continue to roll).

A Few Notes:

If you are unsure how to assemble spring rolls (or burritos for that matter), do a search on youtube and you’ll get the basic idea.

These are just as tasty hot or cold, just give the rice paper about 2 minutes to set up in roll form before consuming.  Assemble just before eating of they will not be good eats.

I used these rice papersthese bean threads, and this Sambal Oelek, but do yourself a favor and buy them locally.  If your favorite Asian section doesn’t have them, find a local Asian market.  All told, my bean threads and rice papers cost under $5 and came from my normal grocery store.  The Sambal Oelek I got at an Asian market for around $3.

Sambal Oelek can be a little hot if you’re not used to spicy.  You can totally cut it down if you’re worried.  Start with a teaspoon and work your way up.

I didn’t make dipping sauce for mine, but if you feel it necessary, Alton has a good recipe here.

These are fantastic when served with Jasmine Oolong tea.  Just sayin’…


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