I learned to make Vietnamese shrimp summer rolls when I was in Vietnam last year with Holland America on a 20-day Southeast Asia cruise. It was a magical experience to say the least!
The recipes I brought back, not just from the ship, but also from the cooking class excursions, are now some of my favorites.
Making Vietnamese shrimp summer rolls is so easy, shrimp lovers will want to make these on a regular basis! After trying the flavors of this dish, you'll want more recipes for the best Vietnamese food!
Where I Learned to Make Shrimp Summer Rolls
Cooking classes are my favorite activities when I'm traveling, and on Holland America, they offer a lot of classes both on and off the ship!
For part of the cruise, we had a wonderful Vietnamese chef on the Maasdam who I became great friends with while on the ship. I'm hoping we'll connect in Toronto later this year.
A very popular Thai chef was on board for part of the cruise, as well. I went to almost every cooking class they offered and learned so much!
In fact, one day I decided just to stay on the ship for the day and enjoy the amenities, and a couple I had become friends with had the staff leave a recipe booklet in my room! They couldn't believe I wasn't in the class and didn't want me to miss out on the recipes. How amazing is that?
I absolutely loved sailing with Holland America. If you're thinking about it, check out my article about things to do on Holland America Maasdam. Each ship is different so you'll want to look at amenities and excursions as you're planning.
The Thai cooking class I took in Bangkok was incredible and each excursion booked helps better the lives of locals in underserved communities. Giving back while having fun? That's the way I like to roll!
If you do take this particular cruise, you'll want to make plans to spend at least one day in Singapore where you'll begin and end. What a gorgeous and friendly city!
What You Need to Make Shrimp Summer Rolls
You will not believe how easy it is to make these summer rolls! You'll need rice paper, shrimp, lettuce, cucumber, carrots, mint, cilantro, chives, and rice noodles for the rolls.
For the dip, you'll need rice vinegar, fish sauce, water, sugar, a crushed garlic clove, and red chili if you want it spicey. Of course, you can use a dipping sauce of your choice, but we loved this sauce!
How to Make Shrimp Summer Rolls
Scroll all the way down to see the exact measurements for ingredients as well as detailed instructions.
I bought shrimp already steamed and peeled. Shrimp is one of my favorite lunches, so I actually do this quite a bit. It's an easy and low-calorie lunch!
If you want to steam the shrimp, by all means, have at it!
Remove tails and slice each shrimp in half, lengthwise, right down the center.
Prepare rice noodles according to directions on the package. Let them cool and set aside. You may have to rinse them if they are too sticky.
Wash and dry all your vegetables.
Slice cucumbers and lettuce into strips.
Cut off ends of chives.
Shred carrots into small strips.
Keep the mint leaves whole, but trim any withered pieces.
Trim the cilantro leaving some stem, as you can see below.
Gather all your ingredients as rolling should be done quickly so rice paper doesn't dry out or become too sticky.
Dip the rice paper in warm water and lightly swish it around a bit. It doesn't take long to soften, and you don't want to over soften it.
Lay the rice paper on a clean cutting board. These shrimp summer rolls don't have to be made in any specific order. As you can see, we started with mint and it made the rolls really pretty.
Place the rest of the ingredients on top.
The rolling takes a little practice.
Once you've done it a couple of times, it's super easy and quick.
We were excited at how well they turned out.
For the sauce, combine rice vinegar, fish sauce, water, and sugar.
Heat until sugar is dissolved and let cool completely. Add garlic and optional chili. Stir well with a whisk.
If you want a creamier sauce, this Yum Yum sauce would be good, too.
I can't wait to see your creations! Please tag me if you post so I can see and share.
Other Ideas for Shrimp Summer Rolls
You can add so much to these summer rolls. Shredded pork or chicken would be really good.
In fact, pork shoulder meat was in the recipe I brought back from Vietnam, but I decided to make these with only shrimp. I was thinking they would be delicious with Alaskan King crab legs, too!
We decided at the last minute to add mango to a couple of rolls and it added the perfect amount of sweetness and texture. As I make these again, I'm going to try a few different fresh herbs, too, like basil and parsley.
I'm even thinking these would be great with leftovers from the night before! I made a beef roast recently, shredded it, and stuck it in the freezer.
We had soft tacos with it one night and I think the meat would be really good in these rolls with cucumber, carrots, and spring onions. We have a lot of experimenting to do!
You can make a meal out of these rolls. What an easy dinner!
For dessert, try something from this list of Indonesian desserts. They pair really well with Vietnamese food.
How Long Do Shrimp Summer Rolls Keep?
I would really eat these the day you make them, though we did have leftovers and ate them the next day. They just aren't going to be quite as fresh, but they were still delicious.
You can't freeze these rolls as far as I know. They are meant to be eaten within a couple of hours. Be sure to refrigerate them until you're ready to eat.
You can always chop up extra veggies and make more rolls the next day. Refrigerate the veggies, cooked noodles, sauce, and shrimp. Prepare more rice papers and lunch will be on the table in no time! Let the kids help!
- For Rolls:
- 2 dozen shrimps, small, steamed, peeled
- 12 rice papers
- 6 leaves lettuce
- 1 cucumber
- ¼ cup fresh mint
- ¼ cup fresh cilantro
- 24 fresh chives
- ¼ cup carrots
- Rice noodles
- For Sauce:
- 4 Tbsp Rice Vinegar
- 4 Tbsp Fish Sauce
- 1 Cup water
- 1 Cup Sugar
- 1 Garlic Clove
- Red Chili (optional)
- Remove tails and slice each shrimp in half, lengthwise, right down the center.
- Prepare rice noodles according to directions on the package. Let them cool and set aside. You may have to rinse them if they are too sticky.
- Wash and dry all your vegetables.
- Slice cucumbers and lettuce into strips.
- Trim chives.
- Shred carrots into small strips. We used a vegetable peeler to do this.
- Trim mint but keep the leaves whole.
- Trim cilantro leaving some stem, as you can see below.
- Gather all your ingredients as rolling should be done quickly so rice paper doesn't dry out or become too sticky.
- Dip the rice paper in warm water and lightly swish it around a bit. It doesn't take long to soften, and you don't want to over soften it.
- Lay the rice paper on a clean cutting board. These shrimp summer rolls don't have to be made in any specific order. As you can see, we started with mint and it made the rolls really pretty.
- Add shrimp.
- Add the rest of the ingredients on top.
- The rolling takes a little practice.
- Once you've done it a couple of times, it's super easy and quick.
For the sauce: Combine rice vinegar, fish sauce, water, and sugar. Heat until sugar is dissolved and let cool completely. Add garlic and optional chili. Stir well with a whisk.
Get creative and try mango or other fruits and veggies in the rolls!
If you're looking for more appetizers like this one, check out the recipes for red pepper dip I learned to make in Jordan. It's really delicious.