Fresh Spring Roll Wraps

Fresh Spring Roll WrapsI love Vietnamese fresh spring rolls so much. I always order them when we get pho. They’re the perfect appetizer because they’re so refreshing right before the hot soup, and they won’t fill you up. I wanted to take all of those distinctive and classic flavors from my favorite spring roll and turn it into a heartier lunch or light weeknight dinner. Most of us are trying to eat healthier in this new year after all and so why not start now? These Fresh Spring Roll Wraps are great because you don’t have to deal with folding and wrapping the rice papers, which to be honest have always been a bit difficult for me to work with. The best part is that these wraps are much more filling, without the need to eat 3 or 4 rolls. Which I can easily do, but I digress.

Place the pork in a medium saucepan and fill with enough water to cover the pork completely. Add in the peppercorns, star anise, cloves, cumin, fennel seeds, sliced onion, and garlic.

**Note: I know it’s not traditional to flavor the pork with these spices…I’ve normally seen it boiled with just lemongrass but I find that’s not enough flavor for the pork. I like these spices because it really develops the pork’s flavor, which amps up these wraps. BUT with that being said if you don’t already have them in your spice drawer then don’t worry about getting them. Use what you have on hand!**

Bring to a simmer and cook over low heat until fork tender, about 45 mins to 1 hour. Remove from heat and let cool completely. Thinly slice and set aside until ready to use. 

**Tip: The cooking time will vary depending on the size of your pork. I recommend cutting the pork into smaller pieces to cook it faster and make it more tender.**

Bring a medium pot of water to a boil and add in the noodles. Cook until al dente, about 3 to 5 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water. 

**Tip: Make sure you don’t overcook your noodles because you don’t want them to be mushy. I like them more al dente than not, but follow whatever the package directions say.**

To make the peanut sauce, combine the hoisin and peanut butter in a small saucepan. Add a splash or two of water and cook over low heat until it melts and comes together. 

**Tip: If you find that your sauce is too thick, you can add a splash or two more of water until you get the right consistency. Also, if you prefer smooth peanut butter instead of chunky go for it!**


When ready to assemble the wraps, warm up the tortillas slightly in a dry skillet to make them pliable. Working with one at a time, place a bit of the noodles in the center. Top with a few slices of shrimp and pork.

**Note: Try not to overfill them or else it’ll be difficult to fold and wrap later on. I’m using spinach wraps but the sun-dried tomato kind or even just plain flour tortillas would be great as well.**


Top with cucumber, carrot, herbs and lettuce. Fold the sides slightly and then roll like you would a burrito. Set aside and continue assembling the rest.

Serve right away or wrap them individually with plastic wrap, or store in a large airtight container in the fridge until ready to serve. These are great to make in advance and keep in the fridge for a light lunch or healthier weeknight dinner option when you really don’t feel like cooking. 

Serve them with the peanut sauce for dipping or regular hoisin (mixed with a bit of sriracha) would be delicious as well. I with the plain sriracha route because I like the salty spicy sweetness from both the peanut sauce and the hot sauce.

If you’re not a fan of pork, you could also do the same method with chicken breast. Thinly sliced and flavored as you would the pork. It’s an easy switch and it would be just as delicious. 


A big tip for ya: take some help from the grocery store with these as much as you can. I want them to be as quick and painless as possible. I got already shredded carrots (because I’m lazy) and already cooked shrimp. We’re cooking the pork already and so we don’t need to go crazy and over-extend ourselves. That’s what the weekends are for. 

If you’re like me and are trying to make healthier choices in the new year when it comes to food, then these wraps are a great option. Make a regular batch and keep them in the fridge for the week. It’s much better for you then picking up something from a fast food place and you’ll feel good eating it too. Let me know if you have any questions or comments below. Stay safe out there my friends.

Fresh Spring Roll Wraps

These Fresh Spring Roll Wraps are a heartier take on the classic Vietnamese appetizer. Perfect for a healthy lunch or light weeknight dinner.
Servings 6 wraps
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Total Time 1 hr

Ingredients

  • 1 pound boneless pork loin or shoulder
  • 1/2 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
  • 2 whole star anise pods
  • 4 to 6 whole cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1 yellow onion sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 4 ounces rice vermicelli
  • 6 spinach tortillas or wraps
  • 1 pound large cooked shrimp sliced in half
  • 1/2 English cucumber sliced into long thin strips
  • 2 medium carrots shredded
  • 1/2 cup fresh mint leaves
  • 1/2 cup fresh Thai leaves
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves
  • 2 cups shredded romaine lettuce
  • 1 cup hoisin sauce
  • 1/2 cup crunchy peanut butter

Instructions

  • Place the pork in a medium saucepan and fill with enough water to cover the pork completely. Add in the peppercorns, star anise, cloves, cumin, fennel seeds, onion, and garlic. Bring to a simmer and cook over low heat until fork tender, about 45 mins to 1 hour. Remove from heat and let cool completely. Thinly slice and set aside until ready to use.
  • Bring a medium pot of water to a boil and add in the noodles. Cook until al dente, about 3 to 5 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water.
  • When ready to assemble the wraps, warm up the tortillas slightly in a dry skillet to make them pliable. Working with one at a time, place a bit of noodles in the center. Top with a few slices of shrimp and pork. Top with cucumber, carrot, herbs and lettuce. Fold the sides slightly and then roll like you would a burrito. Set aside and continue assembling the rest. Chill or serve immediately with the peanut sauce (recipe follows) or sriracha for dipping.
  • To make the peanut sauce, combine the hoisin and peanut butter in a small saucepan. Add a splash or two of water and cook over low heat until it melts and comes together.
Author: The Candid Appetite

 

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