Fresh rolls with BBQ pork meatballs are the perfect balance of spicy, salty, sweet and sour. You won’t believe how easy they are to make at home!
If you’ve never made fresh rolls at home, I urge you to give it a try. They might look intimidating but they are actually quite easy and many versions are completely no-cook thanks for pre-cooked shrimp and lots of fresh veggies.
As I’ve mentioned many times, my family grew up eating Vietnamese food at Mr. Lee’s restaurant here in West Michigan. Sadly, Mr. Lee closed up shop many moons ago but I will forever be grateful for the fresh roll platter appetizer that allowed us to roll our own fresh rolls at the table.
Don’t get me wrong, I love the pre-rolled versions served at many Asian restaurants but there is something really fun about dipping that rice paper wrapper into the warm water and filling the roll with your favorite meats, seafood, vegetables, noodles and herbs.
No fork required.
- 12 rice paper wrappers
- 2 oz vermicelli rice noodles
- 24 in BBQ pork meatballs cooked and sliced half (recipe below)
- 12 leaves inner lettuce
- 1/2 cup thinly sliced cucumbers
- 1/2 cup shredded carrots
- 1/2 cup fresh herbs (cilantro mint or basil)
- 1 lb lean ground pork
- 1 shallot finely minced
- 3 tablespoons fish sauce
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1/4 cup fish sauce
- 1/4 cup water
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 1 juice of lime
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 clove garlic grated
- 1/2 tablespoon chili garlic paste
In a large bowl, mix together pork meatballs (ground pork through pepper) and shape into evenly sized small meatballs.
Heat grill or broiler on high heat and cook meatballs about 4 minutes per side or until nicely browned; remove from heat and set aside.
Boil 8 cups of water and keep warm.
Whisk together dipping sauce in a small bowl and set aside.
Place vermicelli noodles in a glass bowl and cover with boiling water. Let sit for 5 minutes then drain with cool water; set aside.
Begin creating an assembly line with the noodles, lettuce, cucumber slices, shredded carrots, halved meatballs and fresh herbs.
To soften the rice paper, fill a shallow pie plate or cake pan with boiling water. Add one rice paper at a time and soak for 5 seconds then move to a plate to fill and roll.
Working from the center of the roll, place a lettuce leaf and top with fresh herbs, noodles, carrots, cucumber add three meatball halves.
Fold in the sides then bring bottom over the filling and tuck while rolling tightly.
Place on a platter and continue rolling remaining 11 sheets.
Serve with dipping sauce on the side.
Want more tasty fresh roll recipes? Check out these ideas from my fellow food blogging friends:
Super Power Spring Rolls with Almond Butter Dipping Sauce from Iowa Girl Eats
Garlic Chicken Spring Rolls from White on Rice Couple
Fresh Rolls with Shrimp with Honey Lime Slaw from The Lemon Bowl
Shrimp, California Avocado & Rice Noodle Spring Rolls from Cookin’ Canuck
Thai Spring Rolls with Spicy Peanut Dipping Sauce from Munchin with Munchkin