Quarantine Cooking | Spring Rolls

As this pandemic continues into another season, I’ve been in such a cooking rut lately. I had no motivation, and have been eating out constantly. Perhaps it’s been my busy schedule getting the best of me? Or maybe I’ve just really hated the grocery store chaos. Regardless, it was time to start cooking again; wholesome, delicious meals that are good for you and your tastebuds. What really kicked off my cooking this week, was the two giant bags of bonito flakes that my dear friend Gloria blessed me with. Although this recipe doesn’t call for bonito flakes, I will be making a ton of broths and dishes using them! 

As summer comes to an end, the Los Angeles heat still lingers through the beginning of fall. Gỏi cuốn or spring rolls, are the perfect combination of refreshing, feel-good flavor and wholesome nutrients I’ve been lacking, due to eating out. This Vietnamese side dish is flavorful enough to eat without sauce! A spritz of lime goes a long way here and personally, I wouldn’t want to dip the rolls in anything, as the natural flavors from the thai basil and cilantro would be hidden. I used what I had on hand at home, but you can definitely add more color to the rolls like carrots, red cabbage or even yellow bell peppers! Have fun with it, especially since your eyes eat first before your stomach does! I found all of the ingredients at my local grocery store, so it shouldn’t be difficult to source ingredients! 

I think this is a perfect healthy lunch for anybody, or even a fun activity to do with your family! Just beware, once you’re ready to roll, you have to work quickly or else the rice paper will dry up and get sticky, and make it a nightmare to build the spring rolls. Give these a try, and let me know what you think! 🙂


½ lb shrimp, peeled and deveined

Circular rice paper

2 blocks of ice noodles

1/2 english cucumber, julienned

1 red bell pepper, julienned

1 avocado, sliced

1 bunch of cilantro / coriander

1 bunch thai basil

2 limes

1 tbsp butter or olive oil

Salt to taste


  • Peel and devein all shrimp, including the tails. Cook shrimp and tofu in a skillet with butter or olive oil, until the shrimp are plump and orange and the tofu is crusted. (I used butter!) Season with a dash of salt. Slice each tofu block into strips and set aside.
  • Boil rice noodles by package instructions. Let cool and set aside.
  • Gather and prepare all vegetables and herbs.
  • Fill a rimmed plate (or wide bowl) with water. Submerge the rice paper in the water until transparent or softened. 
  • Transfer rice paper to a damp cutting board or counter top and get ready to assemble the spring rolls. 
  • Beginning at the bottom of the rice paper, about 1 inch away from the edges, arrange your desired ingredients in a horizontal line, stacking if necessary. Give a generous spritz of lime across the ingredients.
  • Once assembled, fold over the left and right side of the rice paper towards the middle. Then, fold the bottom over as tight as possible without tearing. Be careful, as the rice paper is extremely delicate. 
  • Once all edges are folded over, roll the spring roll upwards, tucking in the ingredients with your fingers as you roll for a tight roll. 
  • At this point, all ingredients should be wrapped with rice paper and half of the rice paper should be exposed for further rolling. Add your shrimp in a horizontal line, tucking under what you’ve already rolled. I recommend adding the shrimp on the second roll rather than bunching it with the rest of the ingredients so you can see it clearly under a single layer of rice paper!
  • Roll the spring roll upwards once more, tucking in the shrimp with your fingers for a tight seal. Shrimp should be exposed beautifully at the top.
  • Plate spring rolls without touching each other, as they will stick and tear! Slice a few limes to spritz on each bite, and enjoy! No sauce needed for these! Set your taste buds on a refreshing adventure, tasting the freshness of each ingredient  🙂


Leave a Reply