Spring rolls from my grandmother’s kitchen 

 February 12, 2021

By  Tatiana

Today I take you back to my childhood, to my grandmother’s kitchen and the story behind my addiction to Asian dishes! When I ate this dish today it immediately took me back 25 years and it really put a big smile on my face!

I was born in France, in the town of Grasse, in the mountains about 20 kilometers from Cannes. It is a well-known village through the book Le Parfum, but also for its lavender fields and the way the village is built. I call it a village, but actually it is a town. If you stand at the very top of the town, you can just see the sea of Cannes behind the mountains.

My grandmother was not born there. She was French, but was born in Vietnam and lived there until World War II, after which she moved to France. As a result, she passed on many influences from Vietnamese culture to us. Her whole life there was a big fairytale for us and secretly I really want to go to Vietnam one day!

In France we have really good Chinese and Vietnamese restaurants. I also ate a lot of goodies there and a number of dishes have always stayed with me. Namely Char Sieu, Nems, Riz Cantonais and of course the sake shot in a glass with a naked man on it. Of course I never drank sake as a kid, but I always got a shot of green tea from the lovely owners.

In recent weeks, due to my Healthy January challenge, I have started cooking much more with Asian products and sauces, because they are usually vegan / vegetarian and can also be very good substitutes for certain flavors that are prepared with fish or meat. For example Worcestershire sauce and fish sauce.

This made me feel really hungry in recent weeks to make certain Asian dishes that I never dreamed of making myself, such as dumplings and these fresh spring rolls! Maybe it has to do with the fact that we have nowhere to eat and that I miss that! Or maybe I just wanted to push myself and try something new. Let’s get to that for a moment today!

The craziest thing is, always if something seems too much trouble or too difficult for you, it will work within five minutes once you put yourself to it. It is always great to keep learning, and to keep experiencing that nothing is too difficult and that you just have to do it. That is why I proudly present these fresh rolls today, with a dip that brings me back to my grandmother’s kitchen. She was really good at eating with chopsticks, and she loved the fish sauce with lime I made for you today! This one is called nước chấm and she could really drink it, so to speak!

Next time you visit a Chinese food shop (or order online), just grab a few of these rice sheets, because you can do some really tasty things with them. And you can even use your leftovers in these rolls.


The secret to this dish is that you have to cut all your vegetables as fine as possible and make some vermicelli portions, then put everything close to your rice skin. This makes it easy to fill the rolls!

  • rice sheets
  • carrot, cut into julienne
  • paprika, cut into julienne
  • spring onion, cut into julienne
  • vermicelli noodles
  • 1 avocado
  • shrimps
  • lettuce, try to use soft lettuce
  • mint leaves
  • tofu, scrambled or baked into elongated pieces

Sauce 1, nước chấm

  • half a lime, for the juice
  • carrot minced garlic
  • 5 tablespoons of fish sauce
  • sugar or a little mirin
  • a little water

Sauce 2

  • 1 teaspoon of hoisin
  • a little lime juice
  • 5 tablespoons of soy sauce
  • carrot minced garlic
  • sesame seeds
  • a little rice vinegar


Actually, making these rolls is quite easy if you handle the rice sheets carefully. Cut all the vegetables a la julienne, as thin as possible and about a finger long. Defrost everything that needs to defrost in advance. For me, those were the shrimp for Luis and my father. Have all your ingredients ready on a work surface where you have enough space, including a plate to place the rolls you have made.

Put all the ingredients for the sauces together in small bowls before making the rolls.

Fill a large bowl where the sheets fit easily with lukewarm water. Put a rice sheet in this and let it soak a little until it softens. Then place the sheet on your work surface with all the pre-cut vegetables.

Grab a heap of vermicelli noodles and some of all the vegetables and place it about two fingers from the bottom of the skin. Place the filling on the middle part of the sheet. Now take the strip that protrudes from under the filling and fold it upwards, over the filling, so that it is wrapped. Then place the tofu or fish or meat of your choice above this wrapped filling, fold the sides inwards and then close the roll completely.

If all goes well, your rice sheet will easily stick if you press a little after closing. Really handle the rolls with care so they don’t break. Are they broken anyway? It doesn’t matter, just eat the rice sheet with some vegetables and a little sauce! Repeat the rolling process until you have the desired amount, cut the rolls in half and serve with the sauces!

Voilà, a delicious and healthy snack!

The result

Yummy, how much we enjoyed it! In the end everyone ate four or five rolls and that really wasn’t enough! Unfortunately, I had to go to work and couldn’t roll another portion, but the dried rice sheets will still be fine if you keep them in an airtight box!

It was a fun new challenge to make these roles. I am really not very good at closing the roles but I will really practice! The people who do this in restaurants have of course been working on this for years, but I’ll get there too! Luis would say it’s not my specialty because I’m too impatient. And yet I am really satisfied with my first try!

After eating the sauce, I thought about my grandmother and smiled: My grandmother really had a wonderful life and passed on much of the culture of her adopted homeland to us, even though she was French herself. I thank her for that too and I wish her a lot of rest wherever she may be now!

Now I am of course very curious what you like best in your rolls! Do you have some great ideas for cooking together? Let me know, who knows what a great collaboration it can bring!

Tatiana Tor

I hope you enjoyed this blogpost and if you have any questions, let me know in the comments!

Wishing you a great day, love Tatiana.

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