Thai spring rolls with glass noodles are deceptively easy to make. Once you have tried and succeeded you will wonder why you have taken so long to make them! Once shallow-fried these spring rolls take on a golden hue and deliver a delightful, crunchy outside. Not to mention the tasty morsels inside.
Before I started this glass noodle spring roll recipe, I did wonder if it would work. I had visions of spring rolls improperly wrapped inside the wrapper, exploding everywhere when added to the hot oil.
But there was nothing to fear. Thai spring rolls are easy to wrap, they do not ooze out of the wrapper and they look great! It’s a relief to discover how easy these are. Now every time you crave Thai spring rolls, you can just make them in a few simple steps!
But the proof of the pudding is in the eating, and I am pleased to say not only were they perfectly crunchy, but they tasted just as good as if you had gone to a Thai Restaurant. I’ve found this to be the easiest and the best Thai spring roll recipe!
Our recipe contains ground pork, but you can easily replace that with mushrooms if you want vegetarian fresh spring rolls. And you will lose none of the flavor or texture contrasts with the dish.
The History: Spring Rolls Origin
There is little doubt that spring rolls originated in China. From there they spread throughout South East Asia and are particularly popular in Vietnam, perhaps more so than in Thailand.
Spring Rolls with glass noodles can be made to be eaten hot or cold. If being served hot, they will be deep-fried or shallow-fried like we are doing here, and served immediately. In China and Thailand, it is usual for the spring roll to be served with a thick sauce like plum or hoisin sauce.
Vietnamese spring rolls are a little different! They are served with lettuce and various herbs like Vietnamese mint and Asian basil. The spring roll and herbs are wrapped inside lettuce leaves then dipped in a thin dipping sauce containing maybe soy and red chilies. Yum!
However, cold spring rolls are just as good and even easier to make. You do need to pre-cook the filling and then just soak rice paper (rather than spring roll wrappers) for 20 seconds or so and wrap the filling inside. Job done, they are ready to serve.
There is no rice paper crunch with this method but the “fresh” spring roll is just that. They’re great in summer, and are often called vegetarian summer rolls to differentiate!
Fresh spring rolls are easy to make and are great in summer as they can be prepared earlier and left in the refrigerator until you need them.
The Thai Spring Roll
As you can see in a picture below, meat is treated the same as any other ingredient in Thai cooking. Color is important. Here we have orange, purple, yellow and white. The glass noodles are transparent.
The texture of the filling for these easy Thai spring rolls is also important. As the vegetables are only lightly cooked they are still crunchy, which adds to the pleasure of this dish!
You can use spring roll wrappers, available from Chinese/Asian grocers, or rice paper, common in Vietnam and gluten-free.
It is very lightly spiced with only a dash of soy sauce in the filling, making it perfect for children. I really don’t know of a child that doesn’t like Thai spring rolls with glass noodles!
So for something a little different at home, why not try these? You will impress your family and friends; I can assure you.
And if you like the sound of your spring roll being wrapped in lettuce and some herbs then go right ahead. Iceberg lettuce, cilantro (coriander) and Vietnamese Mint are a great combination.
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- 2 ozs glass noodles sometimes called bean vermicelli #
- 1 tbsp coconut oil for cooking the filling #
- 1 tbsp garlic chopped #
- 2 ozs pork, ground (minced) optional, use chopped mushrooms if vegetarian
- 1/3 cup cabbage, red or green cabbage, shredded
- 1/2 cup carrots shredded
- 2/3 cup bean sprouts (shoots) #
- 1 1/2 tbsp tamari (soy) sauce #
- 1 tsp black pepper, ground
- 1 tbsp raw sugar refined sugar is ok too
- 1/2 cup water
- 8 sheets spring roll wrappers can substitute with gluten-free rice paper #
- 1 egg beaten
- 1.5 cups coconut oil for cooking the spring rolls #
- Soak the glass noodles in cold water for 10 to 15 minutes. Then cut into 6-inch (15 cm) lengths.
- Heat the oil over a low heat and add the garlic. Cook for 2 minutes. Then add the pork, tossing and cook until no pink remains. Then add the vegetables and cook for a further 2 minutes.
- Add the soy, sugar, and water. Combine well then add the prepared glass noodles and cook for about 1 minute. The glass noodles should be translucent. Take off the heat and allow to cool.
- Roughly divide the mixture into 8. Start wrapping as indicated in the picture below. Make sure there is some egg near the edge so the spring rolls seal.
- Heat the oil over a medium-high heat and when hot deep fry for 1 to 2 minutes only. I usually test with 1 spring roll. The oil should not be smoking and should be pleasantly bubbling when the spring roll is added. If it looks good, add another 3 spring rolls. I cook in 2 batches of 4. Serve with plum or hoisin sauce.
# These items are described in more detail with our free, Asian Cooking Essentials Guide.
For something a little different, check out our banana spring roll recipe! It’s just as tasty as the traditional option and great for kids.
Such great fresh ingredients in this recipe. I love all sorts of spring rolls, especially the ones served cold with fresh herbs. Thanks for the lesson!
Valentina. Here is a link to those fresh spring rolls. Just as good as these ones. Thanks for your comment.
Natasha @ Salt and Lavender
I didn’t realize it was so easy to make these. I am going to have to try at some point. Love all the good info in this post! 🙂
Natasha, it’s what I thought as well beforehand. They are just easy to make. Thanks for your comment.
AiPing | Curious Nut
I always always alwaysssss have to have my fried spring rolls. I’ve loved them since I was young and I still love them to date. I agree that making them at home is a breeze.
I know what you mean. I find it very difficult not to have spring rolls as an appetizer rather than try something else! Thanks for your comment.
Ilona @ Ilona's Passion
It is so nice that you added some history of these rolls!
One of my little hobbies Ilona. Thanks for your comment.
I LOOOVE pork! I also love spring rolls, never braved the trek to make them, though. You are rapidly changing my mind! And I know exactly where to find all of the ingredients! Thanks for the recipe!
Taylor, I was thinking along your lines but honestly it was easy to make the spring rolls. Thanks for your comment.
Annie @ Annie's Noms
I’ve never made homemade Spring Rolls even thought I bought some wrappers ages ago meaning to. These looks awesome though, loving the flavours!
Annie, the flavors are rather good and the spring rolls themselves are easier than you think. Thanks for your comment.
I love, love, love spring rolls. I am going to have to have one today. Yours look incredible. Love that filling.
Christie, is there are more loved SE Asian appetizer? Thanks for your comment.
I have to confess that although I love spring rolls I’ve never tried making my own! You make it sound so easy!
Elizabeth, it wasn’t difficult. And when they turn out great you can’t help but be pleased with yourself. Thanks for your comment.
anna @ annamayeveryday
Gosh these look good, I’ve made fresh spring rolls but there is something about the crunch of this kind along with the flavours that make them rather special.
I know what you mean. I always feel better inside when I eat the fresh spring rolls but I actually prefer the fried crunchy ones. Thanks for your comment.
Yum yum, these look incredible and I can almost hear that crispy crunch already haha. We love all the different styles you can get across Southeast Asia but blending the two with crunchy Thai spring rolls as a filling inside fresh Vietnamese rolls is divine!
Yes I must admit, I really enjoy the extra freshness from the lettuce and herbs in the Vietnamese version. Thanks so much for your comment.
Wonderful post! I love that you go into the origins of spring rolls. I’m a total sucker for spring rolls – I can’t resist them when I’m out and they are on a menu. Will have to try and make them at home now.
Amanda, I agree, they are always good. Chinese, Vietnamese, Thai. Slightly different methods and ingredients but same great result. Thanks for your comment.
Charla @ That Girl Cooks Healthy
I enjoyed reading about the origins of spring roll and how each Asian country prepares them. Also the recipe you have provided sounds delicious too.
Charla they are also surprisingly easy to prepare and cook. Thanks for your comment.
These look great! I didn’t know it was simple spring roll wrappers used to make these. Could you also eat them without the frying, like some of the fresh spring rolls I see around, or is that a different kind of wrap?
Hi Sarah, further down the post there is a link to Fresh Spring Rolls. Yes you can avoid the frying by using rice paper (not spring roll wrappers) but you need to pre-cook the filling. Thanks for your comment.
Sam | Ahead of Thyme
Yum! These look soo good!
Yes full of crunch. Thanks for your comments.
Ali @ Home & Plate
The ingredients in your egg rolls look fresh and amazing. I will be saving this recipe to try when I have company. It is a perfect appetizer. Looks delicious!
Yes and always such a popular appetizer. Thanks for your comment.