Spring Rolls with 8 Dipping Sauces

by Lynne on August 13, 2013

Post image for Spring Rolls with 8 Dipping Sauces

When I returned from my son’s wedding in May, after having my new daughter-in-law show me how to make spring rolls, I was totally enthralled with them. I made spring rolls every day for about two weeks with a variety of fillings, and I went on a quest for interesting dipping sauces to go with them. Yes, I went a little crazy. You know me.

Well, I had a lot of dipping sauces in my fridge and was in need of someone to feed them to, so I took my dog and pony show to my friend Michele’s house. We started out with Happy Pancakes and then a bowl of Tamerind Soup with rice noodles, shrimp, mushrooms and tofu. I’ll be posting this recipe in the near future.

Spring Rolls 2

Next I set up all my ingredients to stuff the spring rolls on a tray in little bowls. Bean sprouts, cucumber, rice noodles, mint, avocado, pea shoots, shrimp, Thai basil, toasted sesame seed, red pepper, sliced pork loin, carrots, peanuts and cilantro. We were ready to rock and roll!

Spring Rolls 3

Here is Michele’s dining room table. You can see the dipping sauces in the little plastic cups. There are five, because one was used with the Happy Pancakes and one was used in the Tamerind soup we’d eaten. I was still deciding which one was going to be the eighth sauce.

Spring Rolls 4

I showed Michele how to wet the wrappers and stack the goodies inside. I didn’t have a bowl of water on the table; I just ran water from the kitchen tap over the rice paper before putting it on the plate. A really smooth plate so the wrapper wouldn’t stick.

Spring Rolls 5

The wrapper is rolled away from you, with the closest side covering the goodies, then the sides are folded over and the whole packet rolled up to seal.

Spring Rolls 6.1

I put different goodies in each roll to see how they would taste. All were good. Very Good.

Spring Rolls 7

1. Peanut Sauce – peanut butter, red curry paste, brown sugar, coconut milk, lime juice, hoisin, fish sauce
2. Lime Aioli Sauce – mayonnaise, sambal oelek, lime juice, honey
3. Apricot Pistachio Sauce – apricot nectar, apricot preserves, white balsamic vinegar, curry powder, Dijon, pistachios
4. Thai Tamerind Sauce – tamarind soup mix, red curry paste, honey, fish sauce, sriracha

Spring Rolls 8

5. Lemon Soy Sauce — soy sauce, sesame oil, lemon juice, brown sugar, sriracha
6. Korean Ssamjang Sauce — dwenjang (fermented soy bean paste), gochujang (red chile paste), roasted sesame seeds, mirin wine, sesame oil
7. Hoisin Peanut Sauce — hoisin sauce, soy sauce, peanuts (smashed), rice vinegar, sriracha
8. Happy Pancake Dipping Sauce — Thai red chiles, garlic cloves, sugar, fish sauce, lime juice

Spring Rolls 9

The tamarind soup mix was the only ingredient I really had to hunt for and finally found at the 99 Ranch Market on an endcap across from the fresh fish tanks. They had these three brands and I didn’t know which would be better, so I bought one of each. They were very inexpensive. I made 10 cups of each and then sampled them to my own taste. The Vietnamese one on the left was too sweet for me. The Knorr from the Philippines was too salty and not sour enough. The one on the right from Thailand was perfect. Nicely sour and not too sweet or salty, this was the one I used in my recipe. Ps. A couple of weeks ago I saw the Knorr tamarind soup mix at my local Ralphs market. It could be used in a pinch. Or get the Sarap on Amazon.

Spring Rolls 10

I prefer the Mae Ploy brand of curry pastes that are made in Thailand. I got the Koon Chun hoisin sauce at the 99 Ranch Market or you can order them on Amazon here and here. I got the gochujang and dwenjang at my local Korean Market or you can also order them on Amazon here.

Spring Rolls 11

When you buy the rice papers, be sure to check the expiration date. They do get stale. I recommend you use the smaller 22cm size (8 1/2 inch), because filling and eating the large ones is unwieldy.

All of the dipping sauces ingredients can be found at your local market, except for the tamarind soup mix, hoisin, red curry paste, dwenjang and gochujang. Ps. I also saw dwenjang, gochujang and rice papers at my local Ralphs market for the first time. Korean cuisine seems to be one of the new phenoms.

I had a lot of dipping sauce populating my fridge after this experiment, so I created new dishes to use it up. I will be posting about these creations in the near future, so stay tuned.

I hope these photos inspire you to try your own spring rolls and you probably have the ingredients for one or two of the dipping sauces in your pantry already, just waiting.

Bon appétit!

Spring Rolls 13

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Spring Rolls with Eight Dipping Sauces

1. Peanut Dipping Sauce

Adapted from Fine Cooking

1 tablespoon peanut oil
1 tablespoon Thai red curry paste
¼ cup peanut butter (I used Skippy)
1 tablespoons palm sugar or brown sugar, packed
1 ½ cups unsweetened coconut milk
1 ½ cups chicken broth, low salt
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons hoisin sauce (preferably Koon Chun)
2 tablespoons fish sauce
8 fresh Thai basil leaves, minced (optional)

1. Heat oil in a 3-quart saucepan over medium heat. Add the curry paste and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

2. Add the peanut butter and sugar, and cook, stirring, 1 to 2 minutes, until sugar is melted.

3. Add coconut milk, broth, lime juice, hoisin and fish sauce, whisking until smooth. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened and reduced to about 1½ cups, about 45 minutes. Add basil, if using, and cool to room temperature. Can be made 3 days ahead and refrigerate in airtight container. Serve at room temperature.

2. Lime Aioli Dipping Sauce

1 cup mayonnaise
1-2 tablespoons sambal oelek red chile paste, to taste
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon honey
Kosher salt and pepper to taste

1. Mix sauce ingredients together in a bowl. Can be made 3 days ahead and refrigerate in airtight container. Serve at room temperature.

3. Apricot Pistachio Dipping Sauce

¼ cup apricot nectar
¼ cup apricot preserves
2 tablespoons minced fresh mint
1 teaspoon olive oil
2 teaspoons white balsamic vinegar
¾ teaspoon curry powder
¼ cup chopped green onions
3 tablespoons chopped pistachios
1 tablespoon Dijon-style mustard
¼ teaspoon salt

1. Mix sauce ingredients together in a bowl. Can be made 3 days ahead and refrigerate in airtight container. Serve at room temperature.

4. Thai Tamarind Dipping Sauce

Adapted from Fine Cooking

1 packet Tamarind Soup Base Mix
10 cups water, or package directions

3 tablespoons peanut oil
1 tablespoons Thai red curry paste
¾ cup water
1 ¼ cups tamarind soup
¼ cup honey, plus more to taste (I added 1 tablespoon more at end)
¼ cup fish sauce
1 teaspoon sriracha Asian chili garlic sauce

2 teaspoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons water
1 medium green onion, minced
1 tablespoon cilantro, minced
½ tablespoon toasted sesame seeds, for garnish

1. Measure 10 cups water into 3-quart sauce pan and whisk in soup mix. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently, until powder is dissolved. You will still see particles. Set aside. Freeze leftover soup in 1 ¼ cup amounts for future dipping sauce or eating as soup.

2. Heat oil in a second 3-quart saucepan over medium heat. Add curry paste and cook, stirring, until fragrant and a shade darker, about 2 minutes.

3. Add water, 1 ¼ cups tamarind soup, honey, fish sauce and sriracha. Bring to simmer and cook until slightly reduced, about 5 minutes.

4. Mix cornstarch and water together. Whisk into sauce and cook until thickened, about 2 minutes. Stir in green onion and cilantro. Add additional honey to taste. Cool to room temperature. Can be made 3 days ahead and refrigerate in airtight container. Serve at room temperature. Freeze any leftover sauce in ice cube trays with 2 tablespoons per cube. This can be used as dipping sauce or to make tamerind soup.

5. Lemon Soy Dipping Sauce

2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon sriracha chili garlic sauce

1. Whisk together sauce ingredients in a bowl. Can be made 3 days ahead and refrigerate in airtight container. Serve at room temperature.

6. Korean Ssamjang Sauce

3 tablespoons dwenjang (fermented soy bean paste) or red miso
2 ½ tablespoons gochujang (red chile paste)
2 tablespoons mirin wine or sherry
2 teaspoons roasted sesame seeds
1 teaspoon  sesame oil
½ cup thinly sliced green onions, white and green parts, about 4 medium

1. Whisk together sauce ingredients in a bowl. Can be made 3 days ahead and refrigerate in airtight container. Serve at room temperature.

7. Hoisin Peanut Dipping Sauce

1 ½ tablespoon hoisin sauce (preferably Koon Chun)
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon crushed salted roasted peanuts (smashed with side of chef’s knife)
1 ½ teaspoons ketchup
1 teaspoon unseasoned rice vinegar
¼ teaspoon sriracha chile garlic sauce
1 tablespoon water

1. Whisk together sauce ingredients in a bowl. Can be made 3 days ahead and refrigerate in airtight container. Serve at room temperature.

8. Happy Pancake Dipping Sauce

Adapted from Food and Wine

4 Thai red chiles, 4 Fresno or 2 medium jalapeno, seeded, thickly sliced (I used Fresno)
4 medium garlic cloves, peeled, thickly sliced
1/4 cup sugar
¼ cup Asian fish sauce
¼ cup fresh lime juice
¼ cup water

1. In a mortar, pound chiles, garlic and sugar to a paste. Stir in the fish sauce, lime juice and water. Can be made 3 days ahead and refrigerate in airtight container. Serve at room temperature.

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Ashley Bee (Quarter Life Crisis Cuisine) August 14, 2013 at 7:33 am

These look SO tasty! I love all the combos. I’m a big fan of spring rolls but cannot find proper ones around here.

Betsy August 14, 2013 at 7:43 am

Yum! I learned the hard way to use a smooth plate when I first started making spring rolls. They’re the perfect snack for one.

Lentil Breakdown August 14, 2013 at 10:48 am

Wow, someone really did their homework! You deserve to take some time off for spring roll break. :)

Cathy @ She Paused 4 Thought August 14, 2013 at 12:07 pm

I so appreciate when test all the brands. I get lost in 99 Ranch so thanks for giving me some direction on what to buy while I am there. Your work on these beautiful rolls is appreciated.

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