For a Quick Bite, Roll Your Own Spring Rolls

This past weekend, San Francisco experienced a couple of the hottest days of the year. After a blistering morning walk around the city with out-of-town visitors, I invited my friends over for lunch. To keep things appropriately light, I served wine spritzers and made fresh Vietnamese-style Spring rolls.

Although they may look and sound labor-intensive, non-fried Spring rolls — or Summer rolls, as they're sometimes called — can make for an incredibly speedy meal. While this recipe calls for deli roast beef (an unusual filling for Spring rolls), you can use any protein you like; I later made rolls with roasted turkey, which tasted great as well. The versatility of the filling is part of the beauty of the dish. Learn how to roll your own when you read more.

Roast Beef Summer Rolls

Roast Beef Summer Rolls


  1. 1 large garlic clove, smashed
  2. 1-1/2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  3. 1 teaspoon Thai green curry paste
  4. 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  5. 2 tablespoons Asian fish sauce
  6. 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  7. 1/4 cup chopped mint
  8. 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  9. 4 cups coleslaw mix
  10. 1/2 pound rare deli roast beef, thinly sliced and cut into 1/2-inch strips
  11. 24 six-inch-round rice paper wrappers, plus more in case of breakage


  1. In a mortar, pound the garlic to a paste with the brown sugar and green curry paste. Add the lime juice, fish sauce and 3 tablespoons of water. Stir in half of the cilantro and mint. In a small bowl, whisk the mayonnaise with 1 tablespoon of the green curry dipping sauce.
  2. In a large bowl, toss the coleslaw mix with the roast beef and the remaining cilantro and mint.
  3. Fill a pie plate with warm water. Dip 2 or 3 rice paper wrappers at a time in the water, then set them on a work surface to soften, about 1 minute. Spread a scant teaspoon of the curry mayonnaise on the bottom third of each wrapper and top with a scant 3 tablespoons of the roast beef filling. Roll the wrappers into tight cylinders, tucking in the sides as you go. Transfer the rolls to a plastic wrap–lined baking sheet and repeat with the remaining wrappers, curry mayonnaise and filling.
  4. Just before serving, cut each roll in half and serve with the dipping sauce.

Serves 6.

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