Healthy, delicious, and refreshing, summer rolls are about to become your new favorite warm-weather treat

By Marnie Soman Schwartz
Updated: July 23, 2016

This healthy bite only looks fancy and complicated. In reality, summer rolls are easy to DIY, and they make the perfect healthy snack, appetizer, or even light lunch. "Summer rolls are great to take with you when you're on the go," says Michael Armstrong, executive chef of Bodega Negra and The Beach at Dream Downtown in New York City. "They're fresh, simple, and satisfying," he says. (Read why choosing summer rolls over spring rolls will help you lose weight faster.)

Plus, you can mix and match the fillings, which means there are endless options for healthy combos. Here, he breaks down the (super simple) process.

1) Get set up. Cut all your vegetables, fruit (turn fruit into sushi!), and any other fillings into similar shapes and sizes to keep the rolls even. Get out your rice paper wraps (more on that below), and set up a pie plate or other shallow dish of tepid water, as well as a cutting board.

2) Soak the wrappers. Vietnamese rice spring roll wrappers come dried, so you'll need to rehydrate them to make them soft. Lightly soak them in the water until they're pliable.

3) Add the fillings. Lay the soaked wraps on a clean cutting board. Evenly arrange ingredients on the bottom third of the wrap, in the center. You can get creative with your fillings, but here are four delicious and healthy combos that Armstrong recommends:

  • Cooked chicken, shredded iceberg lettuce, queso fresco, crispy tortilla strips, avocado
  • Cooked shrimp, mango, thin rice noodles, red peppers, cilantro
  • Grilled tofu, pickled shiitake mushrooms, carrots, daikon, radish sprouts
  • Crab meat, Bibb lettuce, mayo, Sriracha, cucumber

4) Wrap 'em up. Fold the wrap up from the bottom once, fold in the sides, and continue to roll from the bottom up. Roll tightly, as if you were making a burrito.


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