Skip to main content

One of my favorite dishes to prepare. They’re loaded with fresh mint and crunchy vegetables for a refreshing lunch or dinner. The homemade peanut dipping sauce is one of the best parts of the dish. It’s easy and phenomenal. Everyone will want to dip, chomp, eat and repeat.

Chances are you’ve ordered spring rolls at a Vietnamese or Thai restaurant. Spring rolls are usually served as an appetizer. They’re so versatile and can be filled with a variety of ingredients: fresh veggies, proteins or a combination. The more colorful the filling, the better they look.

If you’ve never made spring rolls before, it just takes a bit of practice. The technique is not so different from rolling up a burrito, only you’ll be using rice paper instead of tortillas. Practice is the key. The second one will be better, and the third one after that. Just try to keep all the ingredients tucked in tightly together as you roll everything up.

Roll with it. Your dinner guests will be bragging about your cooking skills for days.


Makes 10-12 (serves 4)

3 ounces thin rice noodles, cooked

12 round rice paper sheets

1½ cups cooked crabmeat (if using king or snow,

slice into small strips)

1 large avocado, sliced into strips

2 cups red cabbage, shredded

2 cups carrot, shredded

½ cup cilantro leaves

½ cup mint leaves

½ cup basil leaves

6 green onions, cut into thin strips

Peanut Dipping Sauce

⅓ cup creamy peanut butter

1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce

2 tablespoons hoisin sauce

2 teaspoons sriracha hot sauce

1 teaspoon ginger, grated

6 tablespoons hot water, to thin


In a bowl, mix together the dipping sauce ingredients until smooth.

Meanwhile, arrange all the spring roll ingredients separately around a large cutting board or tray. Set out a platter to hold the finished rolls, as well as a large, shallow pan filled with warm water.

To make each roll, slide one sheet of rice paper into the pan of warm water and press gently to submerge it for about 15 seconds. Remove it carefully, draining the water. Place it before you on the cutting board.

Line up a horizontal row of each of the following ingredients on the rice paper sheet, starting on the lowest third of the sheet and working away from you: a small amount of crabmeat, a tangle of noodles, a few avocado slices, a row of cabbage and carrots, a row of cilantro, mint and basil, and a row of green onion slivers on top. Fold the bottom half of the wrapper over the filling, hold the filling in place, tuck in the sides, and roll tightly.

Repeat with the remaining filling and serve with the dipping sauce.

For five months a year, LaDonna Gundersen lives aboard a 32-foot fishing boat in Southeast Alaska with her husband Ole, a commercial fisherman, and their boat cat Keta. An accomplished fisherwoman herself, LaDonna has authored six Alaskan-themed cookbooks, having had plenty of experience preparing meals in the boat’s 4-by-5-foot galley. Visit her website,, for recipes inspired by life at sea.