Vibrant Rainbow Summer Rolls Recipe

Are you a fan of bright, crunchy summer rolls but feel intimidated by the prospect of making them at home? If so, this vibrant rainbow summer rolls — courtesy of recipe developer Julie Kinnaird — will turn that intimidation into confidence most deliciously. 

Summer rolls (sometimes called salad rolls) are often confused with spring rolls, but they are quite different. Spring rolls typically come wrapped in a fried flour shell, while summer rolls are encased in thin, rice-based wrappers and served cold — so there's a good chance that the roll you see advertised as a spring roll at the grocery store is actually a summer roll instead. The translucent rice wrappers show off anything you want to tuck inside of them, and in the case of this recipe, you'll find a full rainbow of crunchy, sweet fruit and veggies. No rolls are complete without a nutty sauce, so this recipe also walks you through the steps of making a spicy almond dipping sauce. Once the prep work is done for the filling, the rolls are quick and fun to assemble and can be made in advance.

Gather the vibrant rainbow summer rolls ingredients

For this recipe, choose a rice paper wrapper that is at least 10 inches in diameter. This gives ample space for filling and rolling. They often come in large packages, but the leftover wrappers can be wrapped and stored for future use, or have lots of other delicious applications. For the fruit and vegetable filling you will need a couple of ripe mangoes and avocados, English cucumber, long carrots, purple cabbage, a red bell pepper, radish bunch, romaine leaves, and fresh mint and basil. The dipping sauce is made from raw almond butter, soy sauce, sriracha, and maple syrup.

Step 1: Make the dipping sauce

Make the dipping sauce: Whisk the almond butter, soy sauce, sriracha, and maple syrup in a medium bowl.

Step 2: Add water to adjust the consistency

Add the hot water a little at a time, whisking until sauce is a smooth dipping consistency. Set aside.

Step 3: Peel and cut the mangos

Cut the fruits and vegetables: Prepare the mangoes by slicing off the ends and cutting away the peel. Slice the flesh from both sides of the pit, then cut into thin lengthwise strips.

Step 4: Slice the avocados

Cut the avocados in half around the pits and remove them. Use the tip of your knife to cut thin lengthwise slices in the flesh of avocado, being careful not to cut through the shells. Scoop out the sliced flesh with a spoon.

Step 5: Peel and slice the cucumbers

Peel the cucumber, trim the ends, and cut into 2-inch cylinders. Cut each cylinder in half and use a vegetable peeler or knife to remove any seeds. Cut the cucumber into thin lengthwise strips.

Step 6: Peel and cut the carrots

Peel the carrots, trim the ends, and cut into 2-inch lengths. Cut each length into thin strips.

Step 7: Cut the bell pepper

Cut the ends off the bell pepper and remove the seeds and stem. Cut the sides away from the ribs. Cut the sides, top flesh from the stem, and bottom flesh into thin strips.

Step 8: Cut the radishes

Trim the radishes and cut lengthwise into thin slices. Cut each slice lengthwise into smaller strips.

Step 9: Put all prepared fruit, vegetables, and herbs together

Have all prepared fruit, vegetables, and herbs on a platter or plate.

Step 10: Cover a platter or plate with wax paper

Cover a platter or large plate with wax paper for the completed rolls.

Step 11: Fill a pie plate with warm water

Assemble the rolls: Fill a large pie plate or shallow bowl with lukewarm water.

Step 12: Soften a rice paper wrapper in the water

Working one at a time, dip a rice paper wrapper in the water for 8 to 10 seconds.

Step 13: Lay the wrapper on a cutting board

Lay the wrapper flat on the cutting board or work surface.

Step 14: Add some mango

Starting at the bottom third of the wrapper and leaving a 1-inch border, layer a few mango slices in a row.

Step 15: Add a few avocado slices

Add a row of avocado slices next to the mango.

Step 16: Add cucumber

Add some cucumber, keeping the bands thin and tight as you move up the wrapper.

Step 17: Add carrots

Add a row of carrots.

Step 18: Add purple cabbage

Tuck in some of the purple cabbage.

Step 19: Add red bell pepper

Add a row of red bell pepper.

Step 20: Add the radishes

Add some radish slices.

Step 21: Add the romaine

Finish with a band of romaine.

Step 22: Top with the herbs

Lay a few mint and basil leaves over the rows.

Step 23: Start rolling

Using both hands, lift the bottom of the wrapper up and over the filling, and press down gently to form a tight cylinder.

Step 24: Fold in the sides of the roll

Fold in the sides of the wrapper halfway through rolling.

Step 25: Finish the roll

Complete the roll. The wrapper will seal itself.

Step 26: Transfer completed roll to platter

Transfer the completed roll to the wax paper-lined platter.

Step 27: Form remaining rolls

Repeat the process with the remaining ingredients, then loosely cover the rolls with plastic and chill until ready to serve.

Step 28: Transfer sauce to dipping bowls

Transfer the spicy almond sauce to dipping bowls.

Step 29: Cut rolls in half for serving

For serving, cut each roll in half using a serrated knife.

Step 30: Serve the rolls with the dipping sauce

Place the rolls on a platter and serve with spicy almond sauce on the side.

What protein can you add to these summer rolls?

These summer rolls are quite filling on their own as they are packed with fiber, but adding a bit of protein helps to make them more of a complete meal. Strips of prepared tofu can be seamlessly tucked in with the sliced veggies, and keep the rolls vegetarian at the same time. If animal products are not an issue, roasted or grilled chicken or pork, or cooked shrimp would all work with the fresh flavors of the filling while keeping the overall taste light. Simply cut the cooked chicken or pork into similarly-sized pieces as the fruit and veggies and add as a final band to the filling. If using cooked shrimp, butterfly them by cutting them in half lengthwise, but not quite all the way through. Lay a flattened shrimp on top of the herbs and proceed to the rolling step. Hard-boiled eggs could also be thinly sliced or chopped and added as a band of filling.

What are some tips for working with rice paper wrappers?

Rice paper wrappers seem fragile at first glance, but are quite forgiving to work with. They are simply made from rice, water, and salt, and are so thin and translucent that they allow you to see whatever is wrapped up inside. Kinnaird says that she likes working with 10-inch-sized wrappers, as they give a bit more freedom for generous filling. She says it is worth buying the most expensive version if you have options, as cheap wrappers tend to break easily and lead to frustration. Well-made wrappers will be easier to handle and will have a nice chewy texture. 

The easiest method for making the wrappers pliable and ready for filling is to dip them in warm, but not hot water. Use a shallow dish and slide one wrapper at a time into the water for no more than 8-10 seconds. Any longer and the wrapper will become too soft and start sticking to itself. Once you are ready to start rolling, try applying a little avocado or canola oil to your fingers. This will prevent the wrappers from sticking to your hands. Once the rolls are filled and sealed you can also rub them with a tiny bit of oil to prevent them from sticking to each other on a serving platter or plate. If you get a fold in your wrapper, just gently pull it apart and proceed with rolling.

Vibrant Rainbow Summer Rolls Recipe
4.9 from 7 ratings
These vibrant rainbow summer rolls are loaded with a plethora of veggies, fruits, and herbs - and they're easier to make than you may think.
Prep Time
1
hour
Cook Time
0
minutes
Servings
24
Pieces
Vibrant rainbow summer rolls on platter and plates
Total time: 1 hour
Ingredients
  • For the dipping sauce
  • ½ cup smooth raw almond butter
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sriracha or other hot sauce
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 3 tablespoons hot water
  • For the rolls
  • 2 large ripe mangoes
  • 2 large ripe avocados
  • 1 large English cucumber
  • 3 carrots
  • 1 large red bell pepper
  • 6 radishes
  • 12 10-inch round rice paper wrappers
  • 1 ½ cups finely shredded purple cabbage
  • 1 ½ cups finely shredded romaine lettuce
  • 1 cup fresh mint leaves
  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves
Directions
  1. Make the dipping sauce: Whisk the almond butter, soy sauce, sriracha, and maple syrup in a medium bowl.
  2. Add the hot water a little at a time, whisking until sauce is a smooth dipping consistency. Set aside.
  3. Cut the fruits and vegetables: Prepare the mangoes by slicing off the ends and cutting away the peel. Slice the flesh from both sides of the pit, then cut into thin lengthwise strips.
  4. Cut the avocados in half around the pits and remove them. Use the tip of your knife to cut thin lengthwise slices in the flesh of avocado, being careful not to cut through the shells. Scoop out the sliced flesh with a spoon.
  5. Peel the cucumber, trim the ends, and cut into 2-inch cylinders. Cut each cylinder in half and use a vegetable peeler or knife to remove any seeds. Cut the cucumber into thin lengthwise strips.
  6. Peel the carrots, trim the ends, and cut into 2-inch lengths. Cut each length into thin strips.
  7. Cut the ends off the bell pepper and remove the seeds and stem. Cut the sides away from the ribs. Cut the sides, top flesh from the stem, and bottom flesh into thin strips.
  8. Trim the radishes and cut lengthwise into thin slices. Cut each slice lengthwise into smaller strips.
  9. Have all prepared fruit, vegetables, and herbs on a platter or plate.
  10. Cover a platter or large plate with waxed paper for the completed rolls.
  11. Assemble the rolls: Fill a large pie plate or shallow bowl with lukewarm water.
  12. Working one at a time, dip a rice paper wrapper in the water for 8 to 10 seconds.
  13. Lay the wrapper flat on the cutting board or work surface.
  14. Starting at the bottom third of the wrapper and leaving a 1-inch border, layer a few mango slices in a row.
  15. Add a row of avocado slices next to the mango.
  16. Add some cucumber, keeping the bands thin and tight as you move up the wrapper.
  17. Add a row of carrots.
  18. Tuck in some of the purple cabbage.
  19. Add a row of red bell pepper.
  20. Add some radish slices.
  21. Finish with a band of romaine.
  22. Lay a few mint and basil leaves over the rows.
  23. Using both hands, lift the bottom of the wrapper up and over the filling, and press down gently to form a tight cylinder.
  24. Fold in the sides of the wrapper halfway through rolling.
  25. Complete the roll. The wrapper will seal itself.
  26. Transfer the completed roll to the wax paper-lined platter.
  27. Repeat the process with the remaining ingredients, then loosely cover the rolls with plastic and chill until ready to serve.
  28. Transfer the spicy almond sauce to dipping bowls.
  29. For serving, cut each roll in half using a serrated knife.
  30. Place the rolls on a platter and serve with spicy almond sauce on the side.
Nutrition
Calories per Serving 118
Total Fat 6.2 g
Saturated Fat 0.7 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Total Carbohydrates 15.4 g
Dietary Fiber 3.5 g
Total Sugars 6.8 g
Sodium 107.9 mg
Protein 2.4 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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