Helping families eat healthier for less

Helping families eat healthier for less

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Beat the Heat with Basil Spring Rolls

Basil Spring Rolls with Dipping Sauce

The theme for Recipe Redux this month is “beat the heat with no cook meals.” With much of the country in 90 plus degree heat the last few weeks, it’s a perfect time to think about cool, refreshing meals  and snacks that don't heat up the kitchen.

In January of this year I learned how to make basil spring rolls from my sister-in-law who is originally from Vietnam, now living in Atlanta. My oldest brother who lives in San Diego was hosting a small party and my sister-in-law and her sister decided we would throw together a number of Vietnamese dishes for the party. The basil spring rolls were a big hit att the party.

 I found the rice wrappers and rice noodles at a nearby ethnic food store. You may also find them in your larger supermarkets.

Basil Spring Roll Ingredients

My sister-in-law used a few hard-to-find ingredients, such as kafir leaves. For this month's Recipe Redux post, I decided to modify her recipe and use readily available ingredients. I’m growing both regular basil and purple basil in my vegetable garden, as well as mint and cilantro. You can use any type of basil you like, including thai basil.

Bowl of lettuces, basils, mint, & cilantro

You cook up the rice noodles in boiling water and then drain them. 
Boil rice noodles 3 to 5 minutes, then set aside

You set up an assembly line of ingredients.

Here are photos to show how to assemble the spring rolls.

Basil Spring Roll Assembly

Here is the complete recipe.

Basil Spring Rolls


2 oz rice noodles

2 cups packed assorted lettuces, washed, spun dry and torn

1 cup fresh basil (green, purple, or Thai or a mixture), washed and chopped fine

2 Tbsp fresh mint leaves, chopped fine

2 Tbsp fresh cilantro leaves, chopped fine

6 large or jumbo shrimp, peeled, deveined, & cooked

6 round rice wrappers (8.5 in in diameter)

6 Tbsp hoisin sauce

1 Tbsp creamy reduced sodium peanut butter

Dash cayenne (red) pepper

1 tsp finely chopped roasted unsalted peanuts


Bring a medium stockpot of  water to a low boil; add rice noodles and cook until tender, stirring occasionally, approximately 3 to 5 minutes. Strain, and rinse to prevent sticking. Set aside.

In medium bowl, combine lettuces, basil, mint and cilantro; set aside.

Cut each shrimp in half the length of the shrimp resulting in 12 halves; set aside.

Fill a dinner plate (that has a rim) or a casserole dish with hot water. Dip each rice wrapper in hot water for several seconds until sheet becomes soft and flexible. Lay softened wrapper on a flat surface, and place two shrimp halves, pink side down, in center of wrapper. Top with about ¼ cup of cooked rice noodles and ½ cup of lettuce/basil mixture, leaving about 2 inches uncovered on all sides of the wrapper. Fold bottom uncovered side over fillings. Fold both sides inward and roll wrapper tightly forward without tearing. Repeat this process five more times with remaining ingredients.

To make dipping sauce, place hoisin sauce, peanut butter, and cayenne pepper in microwave-safe dish; stir to combine. Microwave on high power for 30 to 45 seconds, or until warm. Transfer to serving dish; garnish sauce with chopped peanuts.

Makes  6 servings (one spring roll each).

Nutrition Information per Serving (one roll):

121 calories, 2 g total fat, 0 g saturated fat, 18 mg cholesterol, 1 g dietary fiber, 4 g protein, and 375 mg sodium. One serving of this low cost recipe provides an excellent source of vitamins A and K.

Cost per Serving: $0.61

Pricing Note: all ingredients were at “regular” prices except shrimp on sale for $5.99 per pound and peanut butter. Basil and mint were from home garden.

Click here to download and print a copy of the Basil Spring Roll recipe.
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