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Spring Rolls with Tamarind Dipping Sauce

Nhaim Chaow - Cambodian Spring Rolls with shrimp and fresh crispy veggies
Prep Time45 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Course: Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine: Cambodian
Keyword: finger food, tamarind
Servings: 6
Calories: 647kcal
Author: Channy Laux


  • 12 squares fine rice vermicelli
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 pound large shrimp shell-on or your favorite protein
  • 1 teaspoon fish sauce
  • 1 package 4 oz neem flower buds or any bitter vegetable like arugula
  • ½ head red leaf lettuce
  • 1.5 pounds crunchy vegetables (cucumber, red bell pepper, purple cabbage, carrot)
  • ½ pound sprouts (bean sprouts, kale sprouts, or daikon sprouts)
  • 2 cups assorted herbs and mints (Thai basil, mints, Vietnamese coriander)
  • 12 sheets square rice paper 22cm square
  • 9.5 ounce Angkor Tamarind Sauce


  • Cook vermicelli in 7 cups of boiling water for 50 seconds, drain, place in cold water bath, then squeeze the water from the vermicelli. Lay them flat on a plate, set aside.
  • Sauté shrimp over medium high heat with oil and fish sauce until cooked (shell turns salmon color and flesh is firm). When shrimp have cooled, remove shells and slice lengthwise into half, then deveined with moist paper towel. Set aside.
  • Prepare the remaining vegetables and herbs. Slice or strip crunchy vegetables lengthwise, so they are easy to wrap. Set aside.

Assemble Rolls

  • Submerge each sheet of rice paper in a bowl of lukewarm water (105ºF) for 5 second; lift and gently shake off the water. Place the wet rice paper on a cutting board, with a corner pointing away from you, when looking straight down you should see a diamond shape.
  • Just off the center of the rice paper (closer to you), place the ingredients in the following order: 3 pieces of shrimp, lettuce, the rest of the vegetables and herbs, then vermicelli. Fold the side corners of rice paper over the vermicelli, roll the corner that is closest to you away from you just as you would roll a burrito. Firmly press the filling, while you are rolling.


This recipe yields 12 spring rolls.  Enjoy this light meal Cambodian way, by serving them with Angkor Tamarind dipping sauce and Angkor Chrouk Metae, or freshly slice chili. If not served right away, wrap each roll in saran wrap keep up to 2 hours.
In Cambodia, this is a main dish, with all ingredients placed on a large platter and everybody sitting around the platter in circle makes their own wrap using just lettuce no rice paper needed. It is normally a harvest meal when the hot weather ripens the tamarind, neem flowers are budding, fish were easily caught by hands from drying up fields and baked in clay over open fire.      
Making it with salmon: substitute shrimp with salmon fillet. heat oven to 475°F. Cut salmon 1/4" thick and 1/2" wide.  Marinate salmon with oil and fish sauce. Broil salmon on middle rack for 10 minutes until the salmon is golden brown. 
Angkor Tamarind Sauce
Angkor Tamarind Sauce, sweet and sour traditional Cambodian tamarind sauce traditionally used as dipping sauce for wraps and string rolls. Made in USA


Calories: 647kcal | Carbohydrates: 24g | Protein: 104g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 1143mg | Sodium: 4440mg | Potassium: 891mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 11927IU | Vitamin C: 43mg | Calcium: 791mg | Iron: 14mg