Today, we’re going to be answering the question: do spring rolls have gluten? And taking a look at the best ones on offer for us. Spring rolls have always been one of my go-to foods when ordering Chinese takeout. Dip them in a chili sauce and they are absolutely delicious. However, are spring rolls gluten-free? We’ll be taking a look today.
What Are Spring Rolls?
First, we must take a look at what spring rolls are. Spring rolls are light, crispy, and tender. You can fill them with absolutely anything. Although vegetables are the most c0mmon filling (and my favorite too!). They’re usually an appetizer and often found in East Asian cuisine.
They’re often mistaken for an egg roll. Although they look similar and both are fried, they’re very different! Spring rolls contain no egg whatsoever, so the end product is much lighter.
Are They Suitable For A Gluten-Free Lifestyle?
Most traditional spring rolls are made using rice paper. However, as wheat is usually far more accessible and inexpensive in the Western world, you’ll find that most options available are not gluten-free as the rice paper is replaced with a wheat-based dough. However, we’ll be taking a look at the options we do have available later in this post.
If you’re unsure whether a spring roll is suitable, you can usually tell by the color. Rice paper is transparent in color and you’ll likely be able to see the filling through the wrapper. If you’re unable to see the filling and the wrapper looks slightly yellow – it’s probably not suitable! Never leave it down to chance though – it’s always best to check.
Chinese takeout spring rolls are usually never gluten-free (I’ve certainly found that anyway). If they’re Vietnamese, they’ll usually always be gluten-free. Again, always check with your server or the product labelling.
Does Rice Paper Have Gluten?
Rice paper (or sometimes known as a spring roll wrapper!) is a great alternative for us. It does not contain any gluten ingredients whatsoever! Almost all rice paper is completely gluten-free, but it’s always best to check the labels. We all know how sneaky manufacturer’s can be with their additives!
Learn more about:Does Phyllo Dough Have Gluten?
You can usually pick up rice paper for around $2 from your local grocery store, which is probably cheaper than if you were buying them pre-made. I’m a complete novice in the kitchen myself – so I will always opt for ready-made (even if it means forking out a bit more cash!).
Gluten-Free Spring Rolls
If like me, you’re wanting to buy them with minimal effort, here’s some great suggestions to fill your spring roll craving. Whilst there aren’t many to choose from, the ones that are available certainly make up for the lack of options on offer.
M&S Made Without Vegetable Spring Rolls
These are the ones I always opt for. I find that they’re even lighter and crispier than the gluten-containing ones! At £2.65 for 6, they aren’t exactly inexpensive, but they’re definitely worth it for a treat. What I love about these, is that they’re are also suitable for people intolerant to dairy, eggs, and lactose.
The downside is they only offer one option, which is vegetables. The filling is Oriental-style carrots, yam beans, cabbage and mushrooms – yum!
Lucky Foods Spring Rolls
If you’re looking for variety – this is the brand for you. Lucky Foods have a range of fillings, including chicken flavor, veggie spring, kimchi spring, and Thai style. All completely gluten-free. This brand has been certified gluten-free and certified vegan. Cabbage and carrots are ingredients that feature in all of their spring rolls – and they’re just so tasty!
This brand is a little more expensive. Their Thai Style Spring Rolls with Sweet and Sour Sauce are available from The Gluten-Free Mall and are $5.94 for 4 rolls.
Rice Paper Alternatives
If you’re looking to make your own spring rolls and are unsure which rice paper to opt for, here’s a few options for you to try. These are easily accessible in your local grocery stores.
Dynasty Premium Quality White Rice Paper
This option is made from just 3 ingredients: tapioca flour, rice flour, and salt. It’s labelled gluten-free and non-GMO. It’s just $1.88 per pack at Walmart. Rice paper is super easy to use – just soften the paper in water and stuff with a filling of your choice – then cook whichever way you’d prefer. We’ll take a look at spring roll recipes later!
Blue Dragon Spring Roll Wrappers
Blue Dragon is a brand I use often, and they offer some great gluten-free foods. Each pack of spring roll wrappers contains 14-16 individual sheets. These are made from tapioca flour, rice flour, water, and salt. Again, they’re labelled gluten-free, vegan, and non-GMO. These are quite tricky to find, but they’re definitely worth the search.
There’s a plethora of recipes available, but I’ll stick with a trusty favorite of mine: Becky Excell. Her blog GlutenFreeCuppaTea is incredible and I’d highly recommend it. (She also has some great books too!) Her Gluten Free Vegetable Spring Rolls Recipe is also dairy-free and low FODMAP. The only ingredients you’ll need are carrot, cabbage, spring onion, beansprouts, rice paper, and a whole lot of oil!
You could definitely adapt the fillings to whatever you’d prefer, which makes this recipe extremely versatile. If you know of any gluten-free recipes that always work well for you, please let me know in the comments below!
The Future Of Spring Rolls
We can hope that the future holds plenty more gluten-free options appearing. It’s frustrating when they can so easily be made gluten-free with rice paper. Are there any spring rolls you’ve tried that you think are worth mentioning? I would love to know. They really are the perfect appetizer and so incredibly delicious. My favorite filling is most definitely vegetables – you just can’t beat traditional! What’s yours?