Recipe Review

I Tried the Viral Spring Roll Salad with 23 Million Views and It’s So Good I’ve Already Made It Twice

published Apr 9, 2024
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Spring Roll Salad in bowl
Credit: Sam Schwab

I’ve never been able to get the hang of making spring rolls; there’s either too much or too little filling or, even worse, the wrappers tear mid-fold, causing all of the filling to spill out. So, after many failed attempts at making spring rolls, I leave it to the experts. But, a recent Instagram reel of a low maintenance spring roll salad caught my attention. The taste of a homemade spring roll without the hassle of rolling and wrapping? I’m sold. And, there is nothing I love more than a refreshing salad on a warm day. So, let’s get cooking.

Get the recipe: Viral Spring Roll Salad

Credit: Sam Schwab

How to Make the Spring Roll Salad

I followed the viral spring roll salad recipe by Danielle Brown from Healthy Girl Kitchen. Danielle’s recipe didn’t have measurements for the salad ingredients (only for the peanut sauce), but I was able to estimate the quantities based on what she showed on her cutting board. Here’s what I prepped for the salad: 1 package of thin rice noodles, 2 cups cucumber, 2 cups carrot, 1/2 a head of red cabbage, 2 red bell peppers, 1 large green onion, 1/4 cup cilantro, and 1/4 cup peanuts.

To start, process the veggies. Using a mandoline or sharp knife, cut the cucumber, red cabbage, carrots, and bell pepper into thin matchstick-like strips. Finely chop fresh cilantro and green onion, and add to a large serving bowl.

Cook the rice noodles in boiling water, following the package’s instructions. I used MAMA Instant Rice Vermicelli Noodles which took three minutes to make. Once the noodles are done, strain in a colander over the sink and rinse with cold water to stop any further cooking. Add them to the bowl with the chopped vegetables.

Prepare the peanut sauce by mixing all of the wet ingredients in a small bowl. Pour over the salad and toss until combined. Top with additional chopped peanuts, cilantro, and sesame seeds. Serve immediately and enjoy!

Credit: Sam Schwab

My Honest Review

With a few tweaks, I think this could be the ultimate summer salad. It’s flavorful, easy to make, and a wonderful way to showcase the season’s bounty. The peanut sauce, in particular, was out-of-this-world delicious. There was just one problem though: I was craving more sauce. With so many fresh vegetables and an entire package of noodles, the sauce’s bright flavors got lost in the mix.

So, next time I will be doubling the sauce. I’ll also be adding some protein to make it more filling for days when I’m having it as a full meal versus a side dish. Shrimp and crispy tofu would be my first two choices, but grilled chicken or steak would be delicious too. Overall, it was a really fun and tasty alternative to a traditional Vietnamese spring roll!

4 Tips for Making the Viral Spring Roll Salad

  1. Stir the noodles while cooking. Rice noodles are a bit finicky and can often clump together while cooking. To prevent them from sticking together, agitate the noodles often while they’re in the boiling water.
  2. Coat the noodles with oil. Once the noodles are rinsed with cold water, lightly drizzle and toss them with a neutral oil to prevent them from sticking together. This step is especially important if making the noodles ahead of time. 
  3. Add extra water to thin the sauce. Since I used regular creamy peanut butter, my sauce ended up rather thick. I added another four tablespoons of boiling water to get it to the right consistency.
  4. Toss the noodles and sauce together. I found it a bit hard to incorporate the sauce into the salad. Next time, I would mix the sauce in with the noodles before adding the vegetables. This should help the sauce distribute more evenly. 

Get the recipe: Viral Spring Roll Salad