Vegetarian Spring Rolls with Miso and Sesame Vermicelli

I still remember the first spring roll I ever ate. I was in high school and my friend bought a lunch container of spring rolls from the grocery store. I asked him what it was and he let me try one. At the time, I had eaten the fried version of the roll from cheap Chinese restaurants.So, I had no idea what to expect. My first thought was about the wrapper. I did not know that spring roll wrappers were opaque and soft. The roll was filled with vegetables, some I had never heard of, and cooked shrimp. It was paired with a simple ginger and soy sauce. The first bite I took tasted fresh, unlike the fried rolls. In a way, it was unreal how a roll with very few ingredients could taste so good.

Ten years later, I’m living in East Asia and making spring rolls. Surprisingly, the spring rolls that aren’t fried are difficult to find in Nanjing. So, I’ve learned how to make them at home.

At first, I thought making spring rolls was tedious. It does take time to prepare the ingredients before you put them in the spring roll wrapper, especially if you are using an ingredient that needs to be cooked beforehand. When I make them with noodles, I will wait fifteen minutes for the noodles to cool down before handling them. Now that I’ve had more practice, I find it relaxing.

Lately, I’ve been experimenting with fillings to see what works and what doesn’t. Here’s what I’ve discovered:

* Cucumbers and carrots are crunchy and keep well overnight in the fridge.
* Bell peppers are good for spring rolls that you plan on eating now, but they slip out of the spring roll when you try to eat one.
* Seasoned vermicelli noodles allow the spring rolls to become a meal, instead of an appetizer, and you don’t have to make a dipping sauce.

If you have some other ingredients that you enjoy adding to your spring rolls, feel free to tell me in the comment section below.

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Vegetarian Spring Rolls with Miso and Sesame Vermicelli
Print Recipe
Vegetarian Spring Rolls with Miso and Sesame Vermicelli
Print Recipe
  • 1 large carrot peeled
  • 2 small cucumbers peeled
  • 6-8 spring roll wrappers dry
Vermicelli Noodle Sauce
  • 1/2 package vermicelli noodles
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon miso
Vermicelli Noodles and Vegetables
  1. Peel the carrot and cucumber. Place them in two separate piles.
  2. Cook the vermicelli per the directions on the package. While they are cooking, combine the miso, sesame oil and soy sauce in a bowl. Stir until the miso is no longer lumpy.
  3. When the vermicelli is done cooking, place them in a heat resistant bowl and add the sauce. Mix the noodles until they are covered with the sauce.
Wrapping the Spring Rolls
  1. Place lukewarm water in a shallow bowl or pan. This will be used to soak the wrappers.
  2. Take one wrapper and place it in the water for twenty seconds. On the package, it may say ten seconds, but you really need twenty seconds.
  3. When the wrapper is soft, place it flat on your counter top. Then, add your fillings near the bottom edge of your wrapper.
  4. Next, fold the right side in, followed by the left. Finally, fold over the bottom edge and "tuck in" your ingredients. Continue rolling your spring roll. Once it is rolled, place it on a plate or leave it on your counter top.
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