Master the summer roll

This staple of Thai and Vietnamese restaurant menus is surprisingly easy to make at home—and incredibly adaptable.
Published August 15, 2017

Crisp raw vegetables, flavorful herbs, chewy rice noodles, and simply prepared meat or tofu, all rolled into a tender, translucent wrapper: When it comes to satisfying low SmartPoints value restaurant fare, summer rolls are hard to beat. Lucky for you, they’re also easy to create—and customize—at home. Our step-by-step guide will get you rocking and rolling in no time—from savory appetizers to fresh fruit dessert.



Get Ready to Roll



Have filling ingredients chopped, sliced, and prepared for use. Cooked items and dipping sauces should be done before you make the rolls.

Arrange Your Space

Lay out fillings in the order you’ll grab them. Whatever pretty item you want visible through the wrapper (herbs or colorful vegetables), goes first, then lettuce leaves, noodles, veggies, and protein.

Take a Dip

Set a shallow bowl of warm water (a pie dish works well) and the rice paper wrappers next to a cutting board. Have a platter with a damp towel nearby to hold completed rolls. Soak one rice paper in warm water until it’s barely pliable, 30–60 seconds. You want to feel some of the paper’s texture, but remember that the softer it gets, the more easily it tears. (It softens while you work.) Slide the paper onto your cutting board and carefully smooth out any large ripples.


Arrange your decorative ingredient in the lower third of the wrapper, leaving about an inch on the bottom and sides. Top with remaining ingredients and bring the bottom edge of the wrapper up and over the filling, tucking carefully. Fold in both sides, and roll tightly, pushing in ingredients with your fingertips as you go. Transfer finished rolls to the serving plate and cover with a damp towel.