Shrimp summer rolls in rice paper wraps are packed with juicy shrimp, crisp veggies, and aromatic herbs—perfect for summertime eating! Serve with our homemade Vietnamese peanut sauce or sweet and little spicy Nuoc cham dipping sauce for maximum deliciousness.

These fresh and healthy rolls are so easy to make, thanks to our helpful tips for beginners. This recipe is fun and interactive, making it perfect for family cooking! We provide fun and easy variations so you can return to this recipe all summer.

Image shows shrimp summer rolls served with 2 dipping sauces on the side.

Tips for beginners!

One of the most common challenges I hear from readers is dealing with rice paper. It can turn gloopy, become unworkable, or even tear. Unlike sturdy tortilla wraps, a rice paper wrapper is delicate. But don’t worry! With a few simple tips and a bit of practice, you’ll be rolling like a pro in no time.

  1. Never Soak: Only dip the rice paper sheet in a bowl of room temperature water for 5 seconds. It should still feel a bit firm.
  2. Filling Selections: Use only soft, tender, thinly sliced ingredients. This prevents them from poking through the wraps.
  3. Length and Quantity: Don’t overload your wrap. Keep the ingredients shorter than the wrap’s length and use less for easier rolling.

Ingredients for summer rolls

Vietnamese shrimp wraps in rice paper are so versatile and fun to make. We use fresh, accessible ingredients for maximum flavor and ease. We’ve also included recipes for two dipping sauces that go well with these fresh summer rolls—yum!

Image shows ingredients needed to make Vietnamese spring rolls.

For the shrimp fresh rolls:

  • White shrimp: About 26-30 shrimp per pound, peeled and deveined.
  • Dried Vietnamese rice stick vermicelli noodles: Also called bun noodles, these round rice noodles are thicker than cellophane noodles or glass noodles.
  • Cucumbers and carrots: Julienned using a julienne peeler or cut into thin matchsticks.
  • Garlic chive: An authentic ingredient in Vietnamese rolls; You can omit or use Western chives.
  • Butter lettuce: Lettuce leaves help to hold the noodles and contain moisture within the roll.
  • Fresh herbs: Thai basil leaves (or use Italian basil), fresh mint leaves, and fresh cilantro.
  • Rice paper sheets: 9-in (22 cm) round sheets. (See my tips on how to use rice paper.)

Tools:

  • A large bowl (for dipping the sheets in water) or water dipping bowl
  • 2 large plates (to hold the vegetables and the rolls)
  • A silicone baking mat (optional but helpful to prevent sticking for rolling) or rice paper tray
  • Paper towels (to keep the rolls moist)

Dipping sauces:

Substitutions and variations

  • Fruits and veggies: Bean sprouts, avocado, or mango would be lovely additions!
  • Proteins: Don’t eat shrimp? Add shredded chicken, thinly sliced pork, grilled shrimp, shrimp tempura, or smoked tofu for protein.
  • Low carb: Skip the bun noodles altogether or use shirataki noodles or kelp noodles instead.

TIP: To prevent rice paper summer rolls from tearing, try not to overfill the rolls and select ingredients that are soft, tender, and thinly sliced.

How to make shrimp summer rolls

This shrimp summer roll recipe features fresh veggies, fragrant herbs, noodles, and shrimp wrapped in a rice wrapper. Because the wraps are so delicate, it’s important that you prepare the wrappers and filling ingredients correctly before rolling them. Here’s how to make these easy Asian summer rolls:

Prepare your ingredients:

Person demos preparing spring roll ingredients before wrapping.
  1. Poach the shrimp: Add the shrimp to a medium pot of boiling water. Turn off the heat and let soak until the shrimp turn pale white. Remove, cool, and halve into flat pieces.
  2. Cook the rice vermicelli: Follow the package instructions to boil or soak your noodles. Drain, rinse, drizzle with a bit of oil to prevent sticking, and set aside until rolling.
  3. Prep the veggies: Trim the ends of the cucumbers and carrots and cut them with a julienne peeler or slice them into small matchsticks. Set them aside until rolling.
  4. Prep the garlic chive: Rinse and pat dry the garlic chive. Trim away both tip ends and dice them into similar sizes as the veggies.
  5. Prep the lettuce and herbs: Snap away the stems leaving only the tender leaf parts.

Set up for wrapping:

Person demos how to make Vietnamese soft spring rolls with shrimp.
  1. Set up your workstation: Rice paper sheets, a big dipping bowl with water, prepped ingredients, a large plate to hold the rolls, clean paper towels, and a silicon baking mat.
  2. Moisten the wraps: Dunk one wrapper at a time into the water bowl for 5-6 seconds. The entire sheet should be moistened and should still feel quite firm after dipping. Set aside.
  3. Begin assembling: Place a wrapper smooth side down on the mat. Build your roll, starting with a lettuce leaf. Then add noodles, followed by the veggies.
  4. Top with herbs and shrimp: Next add garlic chives followed by chopped fresh herbs, and finally three shrimp halves.
  5. Wrap: Bring the bottom side up and away from you and roll over to cover the noodles and the filling. Fold the left and right sides then keep rolling away from you to seal the roll.
  6. Set aside: set the rolls on a large plate with some space between them. Lightly moisten the paper towel to cover the rolls and keep them from drying out before serving.

Serve: I recommend serving them immediately after rolling. Serve with either peanut sauce (creamy) or nuoc cham dipping sauce (sweet, salty, funky) on the side for dipping.

How do you prevent summer rolls from sticking together or drying out?

  • To prevent your homemade summer rolls from sticking together or drying out, place them on a silicone baking mat. Don’t pack them too tightly—leaving some space between each roll will prevent sticking.
  • To maintain the perfect moisture level, cover each roll with a layer of lightly moistened paper towels after rolling. You can also add a layer of saran wrap over the top. This ensures your rolls stay fresh and ready to enjoy!

Make ahead and store

  • Make-ahead: This dish is all about preparing in advance! You can poach the shrimp up to 2 days ahead, and make the dipping sauces 3-4 days ahead.
  • Storage: Once they are made into rolls, store them in a large airtight container, lined with slightly moistened paper towels between each layer.
  • To soften the summer rolls after refrigeration: Cover the shrimp fresh rolls with a lightly moistened paper towel and microwave on medium for 20-30 seconds.

What to serve with Vietnamese shrimp spring rolls

These easy shrimp wraps in rice paper are a delightful appetizer, party food, or side dish for any meal. They are especially well-received in the summertime! Serve them alongside your favorite Asian or Vietnamese sides and mains for a delicious and refreshing meal.

Quick summary

  • Perfectly Poached Shrimp: Soak shrimp in hot water for exactly 5 minutes. Test one piece to ensure it’s cooked through and has a pale white center. If not, soak for another 2 minutes.
  • Ideal Rice Paper Moistening: Dip the rice paper in room temperature water for only 5 seconds. It should still feel slightly firm to prevent tearing.
  • Balanced Filling: Use soft, thinly sliced ingredients and avoid overloading the rolls. Less filling makes rolling easier and results in a better texture.
  • Prevent Sticking and Drying: Place finished rolls on a plate lined with moistened paper towels, leaving space between each roll. Cover with another layer of moistened paper towels and optionally saran wrap to maintain moisture.

FAQs

What is the difference between spring rolls and summer rolls?

Spring rolls are fried and have a crispy exterior, while summer rolls are fresh, wrapped in rice paper, and not fried.

Vietnamese rice vermicelli noodles vs. cellophane noodles

Vietnamese rice vermicelli noodles are made from rice flour, round, and thicker. Cellophane noodles, made from mung bean starch, are transparent and also known as glass noodles.

Is rice paper the same as spring roll wrappers?

No, rice paper is used for fresh summer rolls and is not cooked, while spring roll wrappers are usually fried and made from wheat flour.

More rice paper recipes you might like

If you enjoyed these Vietnamese fresh summer rolls with shrimp and peanut sauce, here are some more rice paper recipes to try. Check out my tips on how to use rice paper, too!

Feature image shows a small pink bowl filled with Vietnamese peanut sauce and there's a spring roll dipped into the sauce.
Recipe image shows shrimp summer rolls sliced in half for easy serving with sauces on the side.
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Shrimp summer rolls recipe

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Wrapping time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 8 rolls
Author: ChihYu Smith
Learn how to make delicious shrimp summer rolls with our helpful tips for beginners. Serve with homemade peanut sauce for a burst of flavor.
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Ingredients 

For the shrimp summer rolls:

  • 0.5 lb white shrimp, 26-30 counts per pound, peeled and deveined
  • 4 oz dried Vietnamese rice stick vermicelli noodles, aka viet bun noodles
  • 2 whole persian cucumber, julienned using a julienne peeler
  • 1 medium carrot, julienned using a julienne peeler
  • 6 Garlic chive
  • 1 small head butter lettuce
  • Thai basil leaves, or Italian basil
  • Mint leavesBasil
  • Cilantro, optional
  • 8 sheets Rice paper, 9-inch (22 cm) round

Tools:

  • A large bowl, for dipping
  • 2 large plates, to hold the vegetables and the rolls
  • A silicone baking mat, optional but helpful
  • Paper towels, to keep the rolls moist

Instructions 

Preparations:

  • To poach shrimp, bring a medium pot of water to boil. Add the shrimp and give it a stir to submerge the shrimp under the hot boiling water. Turn off the stove and immediately cover the pot. Let the shrimp soak in hot water for 5 minutes. After soaking, test with one piece to see if the shrimp is cooked through. It should turn pale white color in the center and taste snappy and juicy. If not, cover the pot for 2 more minutes. Drain and set the shrimp aside to cool.
  • Once they are cool to touch, use a small paring knife to halve the shrimp (flatten it) so they turn into thin and flat pieces.
  • Rice vermicelli noodles: Follow the package instructions to cook the noodles. Some require boiling and others only need hot water soaking. Drain the noodles and rinse under cold water to remove excess starch. Shake well to remove the water and spread them out over a large bowl. You can drizzle a small amount of avocado oil and toss the noodles to prevent them from sticking. Set aside ready to use.
  • Cucumber and carrots: Trim both tip ends and julienne the cucumber using a julienne peeler. If you don’t have one, thinly slice it into matchsticks. Measure out the carrot and cut away the thinner end to match the length of the cucumber, about 4.5-inch in length. Julienne it as well. Set them aside over a small sheet pan. You can line the sheet pan with paper towels to help absorb excess moisture from the cucumber.
  • Garlic chive: Rinse and pat dry the garlic chive. Trim away both tip ends and dice it to equal length sections to the cucumbers and the carrots, about 4.5-inch sections.
  • Butter lettuce, mint, basil, and cilantro: Snap away the lettuce stems, leaving only the tender leaves. Snap away the stems of mint, basil, and cilantro, using only the tender leafy parts.

To start wrapping:

  • Set up your workstation with rice paper sheets, a big dipping bowl with room temperature water, shrimp, vegetable and herb trays, an empty large plate to hold the rolls, and finally a silicon baking mat as your work surface. Also prepare a few clean paper towels.
  • Moistening: Take one piece of rice paper and slide it into the water bowl and quickly rotate the rice paper for about 5-6 seconds only. The entire sheet should be moistened and should still feel quite firm after dipping.
  • Assemble: Immediately transfer the sheet to your work surface – place smooth side down and rough side facing you. To start building the roll, place a single layer of butter lettuce at the bottom corner of the rice paper, place a small amount of vermicelli noodles on top, followed by a small amount of carrots and cucumber, making sure the ingredients are aligned and not poking out.
  • Take 2-3 slices of garlic chives and place them right next to (above) the vegetables, then add a few leaves of basil, mint, and cilantro. Finally, place 3 pieces of sliced shrimp (pink color side down) right above the herbs.
  • To wrap: carefully and gently bring the bottom side up and away from you and roll over to cover the noodles and the herbs. Fold the left and right sides then keep rolling away from you to seal the roll. Repeat the steps until you finish all the ingredients.
  • As you work through the ingredients, rest the rolls on a large plate with some space between them. Lightly moisten the paper towel to cover the rolls. This prevents the rice paper from getting dry and maintains the perfect moisture level.

To serve:

  • Soft summer rolls taste best when they are freshly made. I recommend serving them immediately after rolling with either Vietnamese peanut sauce (creamy, nutty) or Nuoc cham sauce (salty, sweet, funky) on the side. You can also slice it into half for easy serving.

Notes

  • Low Carb option: You can skip the vermicelli noodles to reduce the total carb count.
  • Make-ahead: This dish is all about preparing in advance! You can poach the shrimp up to 2 days ahead, and make the dipping sauces 3-4 days ahead.
  • Storage: Once they are made into rolls, store them in a large airtight container, lined with slightly moistened paper towels between each layer.
  • To soften the summer rolls after refrigeration: Cover the summer roll with a lightly moistened paper towel and microwave on medium for 20-30 seconds.
  • It’s best to only make the number rolls you need on the serving day. Pack all the ingredients separately and assemble the rolls right before serving.

Nutrition

Serving: 1roll, Calories: 76kcal, Carbohydrates: 12g, Protein: 6g, Fat: 1g, Saturated Fat: 0.1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 0.1g, Trans Fat: 0.003g, Cholesterol: 37mg, Sodium: 243mg, Potassium: 118mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 2034IU, Vitamin C: 2mg, Calcium: 32mg, Iron: 1mg
Course: Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine: Vietnamese
Keyword: Shrimp summer rolls, Vietnamese shrimp spring rolls
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