Vietnamese Spring Roll Salad

This Vietnamese Spring Roll Salad is everything you love about spring rolls…chopped up into a fresh and zesty pasta salad.  Feel free to make yours with shrimp, chicken, pork or tofu…or keep it simple with just veggies!

Vietnamese "Spring Roll" Salad

One of the most charming things about living in Barcelona?  Shopping at cute little mercados here everyday.

One of the most time-consuming things about living in Barcelona?  Shopping at cute little mercados here everyday.  😂

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Ha, oh man.  Grocery shopping is definitely an adventure here.  Because while beautiful produce markets and tiny little supermercado convenience stores abound here in our neighborhood, large grocery stores definitely do not.  So when people ask us how grocery shopping is here in Barcelona, Barclay and I like to joke that it’s a total scavenger hunt.  We probably average about 3 trips to various markets to gather ingredients per every 1 recipe that we make.  Which is a far cry from the grocery delivery services with the click of a button at home.  But hey — that’s part of the adventure of living here, and we’re loving it.

That said, of the various markets we frequent, we have become huge fans recently of the pan-Asian market in our neighborhood.  They are one of the few places open here on Sundays, and consistently have some of the best fresh herbs and produce that I like to use in my cooking.  And they are also one of the only places to find pantry staples like rice noodles, sesame oil, and crushed red chili peppers (<– which don’t exist in most super markets here!) that I like to keep stocked.  So we’ve gotten in the habit of also making a big trip there at least a few times a month now, and pretty much always come home with a few extra treasures that weren’t on our grocery list.

Case in point this month: spring roll wrappers.

Saw them, instantly started craving traditional Vietnamese spring rolls, and loaded up my little carrito with every ingredient needed to make them.  But then?  Arrived home (after a 2-hr, 3-mile grocery store scavenger hunt on foot), instantly felt pooped, and lost all motivation to roll up a big batch of rolls for the week.  So instead?  I took the easy route, and just decided to cook up a batch of rice noodles and chop up all of the ingredients into a big Vietnamese “Spring Roll” Salad.

And I’ve gotta say, chopping FTW.  This fresh and zesty pasta salad was fantastic.

Vietnamese Spring Roll Salad in bowl

We couldn’t get enough of it.  And when I posted my initial lazy pics of this one on Instagram a few weeks ago, tons of you seemed interested in the idea too.  So I’ve been tweaking the recipe a bit since then, and am excited to share it with you today.

Vietnamese Spring Roll Salad ingredients in bowl

As you can see, the ingredients are pretty much everything you’ll find in traditional Vietnamese spring rolls (minus the bbq pork, since I live in a split omnivore/pescetarian household).  I used:

  • shrimp (I just bought pre-cooked shrimp, to save a step)
  • shredded carrots
  • fresh cilantro and lots of fresh mint
  • cucumber
  • green cabbage or butter lettuce
  • rice noodles or rice
  • peanuts (instead of traditional peanut sauce, I opted for the crunch of chopped peanuts instead)
  • bean sprouts (feel free to nix these if they’re hard to find)

Tossing the Vietnamese Spring Roll Salad

Then I drizzled on a basic nuoc cham sauce (lime juice, fish sauce, rice vinegar, garlic and crushed red pepper flakes), sweetened with some maple syrup instead of the traditional sugar.  Although if you’d rather have a more peanut-y sauce, you’re welcome to sub in my favorite peanut dressing instead.

Vietnamese Spring Roll Salad

Then, after a good toss, this fresh and gorgeous pasta salad was ready to go.

Vietnamese Spring Roll Salad

Even now, four batches in, Barclay and I still can’t get enough of it.  It tastes ultra-light and zesty and fresh (especially with all of those herbs, don’t skimp on the mint!).  It’s totally filling, without weighing you down.  It holds up nicely in the fridge, and is perfect for sharing at potlucks or meal-prepping for a week of lunches ahead.  It’s naturally gluten-free.  And more than anything,  it is just so incredibly delicious.

Also, it’s incredibly simple to make.  Just put on some good music, maybe grab a glass of white wine, and get ready for a solid 15-20 minutes of chopping.  Then give everything a toss, dive in, and enjoy.

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Vietnamese Spring Roll Salad

This Vietnamese Spring Roll Salad is everything you love about spring rolls…chopped up into a fresh and zesty pasta salad.  Feel free to make yours with shrimp, chicken, pork or tofu…or keep it simple with just veggies!

Ingredients:

Salad Ingredients:

  • 8 ounces thin rice noodles
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 8 ounces cooked shrimp, diced*
  • 1 English cucumber, julienned or diced
  • 1 cup shredded carrots**
  • 2/3 cup loosely-packed chopped fresh bean sprouts
  • 2/3 cup loosely-packed chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2/3 cup loosely-packed chopped fresh mint
  • 1/3 cup chopped peanuts
  • half of a small green cabbage, cored and chopped**
  • 1 batch Nuoc Cham Sauce (see below) or Thai Peanut Dressing 2/3 cup

Nuoc Cham Sauce Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced (or 1 teaspoon garlic powder)
  • 1 fresh Thai chili, thinly sliced (or 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes)

Directions:

  1. To Make The Rice Noodles: Cook rice noodles according to package instructions.  Once they are cooked, rinse them with cold water under a strainer until completely chilled.  Then transfer to a large mixing bowl, drizzle with sesame oil, and toss until the noodles are evenly coated with the oil.
  2. To Make The Sauce: Whisk all ingredients together until evenly combined.
  3. To Bring Everything Together: Add the remaining ingredients (shrimp, cucumber, carrots, bean sprouts, cilantro, mint, peanuts, cabbage, and sauce) to the noodles, and toss until evenly combined.  Taste, and season with salt and pepper as needed.
  4. Serve immediately (with extra lime wedges for squeezing!), or refrigerate for up to 3 days.

*Feel free to substitute cooked chicken, pork, or tofu, if you prefer.  Or you can just nix adding an extra protein entirely.

**To save a step, you can sub in 3 cups cole slaw mix for the cabbage and carrots.  Or if you’re not a big fan of cabbage, you can also sub in butter lettuce (or any mild green) in place of the cabbage.

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If you make this recipe, be sure to snap a photo and hashtag it #gimmesomeoven. I'd love to see what you cook!

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13 comments on “Vietnamese Spring Roll Salad”

  1. I love spring rolls, but i have never had them as a salad, sounds delicious and slightly healthier, looking forward to try it out!

  2. Yummyyyyyy. It looks very delicious! A must to share it on my Pinterest Board “Healthy Meets Tasty” xoxo

  3. Please breakdown aall nutrition facts so us Weight Watchers can do the math Thanks,

  4. This is sooooo good! Thank you for the recipe!

    I used rotisserie chicken instead of the shrimp, a broccoli slaw mix from the store, and the peanut sauce. Definitely going to be making this regularly. It’s so refreshing after all the heavier meals of winter. The fresh mint and lime go so well together.

    Rating: 5
  5. I totally know what you mean with a treasure hunt :) When we lived there we ware going once a week to the super market in shopping mall Diagonal Mar to buy basics(well basics for us) but we had a car there…
    for organic grocery I recommend http://www.veritas.es/ – they have tienda online
    But if you have time (which I often haven’t ) discovering small ethnic shops is super fun! and with some patience you can fins real gems like Mini Mix – small Russian convenient store near Barceloneta metro station. It looks like nothing from the outside but they have a great bread from German bakery which is a real deal :) + some typical products from Eastern Europe.

    cheers!

  6. I made this for dinner, it was a big hit. I substituted roman lettuce for the bean sprouts and it was perfect, it was good crunch.

    Rating: 4
  7. OMG. Loved it with the peanut thai dressing! Rolled a couple as spring rolls later to take to work the next day! Amazing and perfect during Lent! Homerun Ali. Making it for my son next weekend!!

    Rating: 5
  8. This is SO GOOD. I’ve been texting friends about it for over 24 hours. I’ve never been so excited about a salad!!

    Rating: 5
  9. This sounds delicious! I am writing my shopping list so I can make this tonight. I have to finish up some school work and don’t have a lot of time to spend in the kitchen, but my family and I need to eat. This recipe could not at the most perfect time. Quick, nutritious and inexpensive. Thanks for sharing 😻

  10. This was so fun to make and so tasty! It did take quite a while to throw together, but was well worth it. Thank you for the recipe. I will definitely be making it again!

    Rating: 5
  11. Just made this for dinner. So delicious! Light and filling at the same time. Thank you for the recipe!

    Rating: 5
  12. Please give me your definition of prep time! There is no way you can have a 25. Minute prep time. One of the few things that I don’t like about your recipes. I made the salad tonight and it was fantastic…Terry Wynter

    Rating: 5