Spring rolls

May 9, 2011  •  Category:


My first years living in the US as a Lebanese immigrant would get people curious about my origin and the country I was from; I would explain that I was from Asia. This would immediately elicit a puzzled look: “Asia?

“Yes”, I would continue, “Lebanon is in Asia”. Finally I stopped saying I was from Asia. ( Lebanon is part of the Asian continent, this vast land of diverse peoples and cultures).

This dish  is  my attempt to explore the cuisine of the Far East and to study the commonalities between our two cuisines. I did not make strictly Vietnamese spring rolls. These have a stuffing with a definite Levantine flair; but according to those who have been willing guinea pigs, it works!

These spring rolls are not only edible, they are  delicious especially if you like the taste of muhammara (red pepper sauce).


  • 16  spring rolls (8 inches across)
  • 1 cup of rice (medium-grain, sushi, Egyptian, Turkish, Italian or US made arborio or similar rice)
  • 3 scallions, chopped
  • 1 cup of prepared muhammara (clickfor recipe)
  • 1 cup of diced green pepper
  • 1 cup of chopped cilantro leaves
  • 1 small lettuce
  • 2 limes or lemons
  • 1 pound of cocktail shrimps, peeled, deveined and boiled
  • 1 cup of diced tomatoes


  1. Boil the rice or cook in a rice cooker; mix with half the muhammara sauce, making sure all grains are coated well, adding extra if not. Add to the rice the diced green peppers, chopped onions, diced tomatoes and half of the cilantro. Set aside.
  2. Heat some water and pour into a large pan; place one rice paper roll in the water to soften; after a few seconds, retrieve (when totally soft and pliable) and place on a work surface. Place three shrimp in the lower edge of the roll; place twi tablespoons of rice mixture on top of the shrimps, sprinkle some cilantro and a shredded lettuce leaf on top. Close the spring roll by folding it from both sides and rolling it like a package.
  3. Serve with some additional muhammara sauce to which you can add a few tablespoons of lemon or lime juice and a swig of soy sauce. Enjoy a light meal.


31 Comments  •  Comments Feed

  1. Soma says:

    This is one spring roll i would love and my hubby wld love it too! what a creative fusion.

  2. Belinda @zomppa says:

    I love Vietnamese spring rolls!! These are delicious!

  3. Bo says:

    These sound really good…I love all types of sprimg rolls…not sure what muhammara is I couldn’t get the link to work.

  4. Tim Vidra says:

    I have to say a little education here for me. I would have given you the “look”. Love the Sake bottle in the background! A really great post.


  5. Oui, Chef says:

    I have never made spring rolls, but have always been tempted to, perhaps these beauties will finally inspire me to act. – S

  6. Verkin says:

    Great recipe brava!

  7. domi says:

    De bien jolis ” rouleaux ” aux délicieuses saveurs printanière, un régal…bisous et passe une belle journée

  8. Claudia says:

    I love that the spring rolls have this delicious spicy red sauce – different than I experienced. And – can I say it – I love that yes – surprise surpise – you’re Asian! You can tell Geography hasn”t been taught here much in the last few decades…

  9. T.W Barritt says:

    I love the bright red color of the sauce, and how you merged these two cuisines. I need to work more with spring rolls.

  10. Sutapa says:

    This spring rolls look very fresh healthy and tasty and specially with muhammara sauce it will just rock!

  11. Banana Wonder says:

    haha yeah, i know what you mean about the ASIA roots. I grew up in a Chinese community and used to try to pretend I was asian (since my grandparents came from asia minor – turkey)… but that didn’t really fly. Love your take on the spring rolls with the muhamara..mmmm… my sister in law is vietnamese and i just sent her a spring roll recipe i found to make when i go back home to visit. the problem is i suck at rolling so i dont both making spring rolls, plus she is a pro 🙂

  12. Nuts about food says:

    Spring rolls, like tacos and piadine, are just another vehicle for delicious food. This is a great spin on a classic!

  13. RADIA says:

    ça donne trop envie, la farce est excelente, bravo

  14. Juanita says:

    I love rice paper rolls for spring rolls – especially as they are so see-through and it tempts the senses seeing what’s inside.
    Shrimp and muhammara is a winning combo!

  15. Priya says:

    Those spring rolls tempts me a lot…havent had since a long..

  16. Maria @ Scandifoodie says:

    Often when people have asked me where I am from they sound really excited but then realise they don’t actually have any idea where Finland is (North somewhere?) 😀 These rolls look fantastic – so fresh and tasty!

  17. Deana says:

    Funny, I always think of Lebanon as a Mediterranean country. Gastronomically and culturally.

    • Joumana says:

      @Deana: Lebanon is mediterranean, its coastline is on the mediterranean sea and yet it is also part of Asia; like Turkey which has half the country in Europe and the other half in Asia.

  18. Mark Wisecarver says:

    Awesome. btw, I make a lot of Sushi Nori and am entering a competition this month with one of my healthy recipes, will blog it after the event. 😉

  19. TheKitchenWitch says:

    I love this twist on spring rolls! When the weather gets warm, there’s nothing better.

  20. sweetlife says:

    a great fusion..love the flavors..I need to try muhammara!!


  21. lisaiscooking says:

    The muhammara sounds great with these! I love this idea for changing up the dipping sauce and using it in the filling. I want these for lunch today.

  22. Susan says:

    Spring rolls are one thing that I have wanted to make for years but still haven’t done. They always look so fresh and delicious. The muhammara sauce must taste wonderful with them.

  23. Faith says:

    I love your Lebanese flair to these beautiful spring rolls, Joumana!

  24. weirdcombos says:

    Very nice take on spring rolls Joumana. Yes you are Eurasian… edge of Europe… edge of Asia 😉

  25. gula welat says:

    humm ca a l’air super bon! bon mélange asiatique-orientale

  26. Magic of Spice says:

    These are so beautiful, perfect light Spring meal 🙂

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