Pork Spring Rolls with Ponzu

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Spring Rolls with Sesame Ponzu Vinaigrette | Easy Japanese Recipes at JustOneCookbook.com

Today I’m sharing my recipe at one of my favorite blogs.  Biren of Roti n Rice makes the most amazing Asian dishes from appetizers, soups, drinks, noodles, main course, to desserts, and she even has a collection of delicious Japanese recipes!
Spring Rolls with Sesame Ponzu Vinaigrette | Easy Japanese Recipes at JustOneCookbook.com

Biren grew up in Malaysia and she now lives in Minnesota with her husband and 2 teenage boys.  I always envy Biren’s family because – you know why – she is an amazing mom and cook!   If you haven’t met Biren yet, please go visit her by clicking her banner below.  I’m sure after visiting her site you will wish she’s your neighbor.

You can follow her website Roti n Rice through her facebook fan page and twitter.  I’ve been following Biren’s blog for several months now and she’s been virtually feeding me great food.  I hope you will be closely following her with me!

Spring Rolls with Sesame Ponzu Vinaigrette | Easy Japanese Recipes at JustOneCookbook.com
So, as you probably guessed, when she asked me to be her guest blogger, I really didn’t know what to share on her website.  Well, after thinking for a while, I decided to share a Southeast Asian dish with a Japanese twist.  This is one of my husband and my favorite dish, pork spring rolls and I hope everyone will enjoys this recipe with family and friends.

Before moving onto today’s recipe, I want to thank Lyn from My Lil Messy & Cheeky and Mandy from The Complete Cook Book for passing me blog awards.  Thank you so much!

Spring Rolls with Sesame Ponzu Vinaigrette | Easy Japanese Recipes at JustOneCookbook.com

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Spring Rolls with Sesame Ponzu Vinaigrette
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 2
  • ½ lb sliced pork belly or any protein of your choice
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 2 inch daikon
  • 1 celery stalk
  • ½ English cucumber (today I skipped)
  • ½ carrot
  • ½ red leaf lettuce, washed and drained well
  • 10 shiso leaves, washed and dried with paper towel
  • 2 boiled eggs, cut into 8 pieces
  • Shiraga Negi (optional)
  • Cilantro (optional)
  • 10 rice papers
Dipping Sauce
  1. Cut the sliced pork belly into 1.5-2 inch pieces and sprinkle salt.
    Spring Rolls with Sesame Ponzu Vinaigrette 1
  2. Cut daikon, celery, cucumber, and carrot into thin strips. Place all the fillings (lettuce, shiso leaves, boiled eggs, shiraga negi, and cilantro) on a serving plate.
    Spring Rolls with Sesame Ponzu Vinaigrette 2
  3. Cut green onion into small pieces. Grate ginger and daikon and squeeze the water out. Combine all the ingredients for Dipping Sauce in a small bowl and mix well.
    Spring Rolls with Sesame Ponzu Vinaigrette 3
  4. In a large frying pan, heat oil on high heat. When oil is hot, add the meat and cook until crispy. Use paper towel to absorb excess oil and transfer to a serving plate.
    Spring Rolls with Sesame Ponzu Vinaigrette 4
How to eat:
  1. In a large bowl, pour hot water. Holding the rice paper by the edge, rotate it in hot water 3 times (like a spinning wheel) and put it on a plate. The rice paper will be soft from the hot water. Put the toppings in this order: one piece of red leaf lettuce, one shiso, a few pieces of pork belly, veggies, the egg, and then lastly pour a bit of the sauce on top.
    Spring Rolls with Sesame Ponzu Vinaigrette 5
  2. Start wrapping all the toppings with the bottom center. Then fold the sides and continue rolling the rice paper. The edge will stick together naturally.
    Spring Rolls with Sesame Ponzu Vinaigrette 6
  3. You can also eat without rice paper. Simply use a piece of lettuce as the wrap. Either way, it’s amazingly delicious!
Recipe by Namiko Chen of Just One Cookbook. All images and content on this site are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without my permission. If you’d like to share this recipe on your site, please re-write the recipe in your own words and link to this post as the original source. Thank you.
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  1. The spring rolls look gorgeous, the same with the filling, just pure yumminess…;)!! And you’re right about Biren, she’s got a beautiful blog with many delicious Asian goodies :D)!

    • Hi CG! I’m glad you checked Biren’s site. I tend to assume everyone knows Biren because she has a wonderful blog! Thank you for your compliment CG!

    • Thanks Daphne! Yes, very healthy and light dish (even though there is pork belly in it!). Thanks for your “LIKE”. I think it’s nice to have a “Like” button here like facebook. Hehee.

  2. I love these spring rolls, Nami. I enjoyed your guest post at Roti and Rice. Now I have to hunt for ponzu. Our local Oriental supermarket has a very tiny Japanese section :(

    • Hi Adora! Thank you so much. :-) Do you remember you posted your spring rolls with fish sauce dipping sauce? After that I really wanted to eat spring rolls and I cook this since my husband loves this sauce. But next time I’m going to eat with my favorite fish sauce (with your recipe of course)! :-) I’m sorry to hear your nearby store has a small selection of Japanese food. I think you can probably find this brand of Ponzu since it’s a big name brand. Ponzu (citrus soy sauce) is a necessary condiment for shabu shabu so they must have it. If not… I’ll be sad! Here’s the major brand link: http://www.amazon.com/Mitsukan-Ajipon-Citrus-Seasoned-Sauce/dp/B0006B4IHY

  3. Great recipe choice for a guest blog Nami. This is one of my favorite spring rolls and true to its name it definitely spells spring in your mouth.

    I am just amazed how you’ve become a popular blogger. You are invited left and right to guest blog… you desserve it as you are such a dedicated blogger… keep up the great work Nami. Have a great weekend!


    • Awww…. thank you so much for your nice compliment, Malou! I’m not sure if I’m “popular” Malou, you are the first one who thought and told me, so THANK YOU. But I’m lucky to have readers like you. I think Japanese food is still rare and mysterious food in the US (definitely not in California) or some parts of the world and people are just curious to peek what we’re eating everyday?! Heehee. Yes, I’ll keep working hard. :-) Have a great weekend Malou! Hope your area was sunny… SF has been cloudy and raining since you left!

    • Hi Shaz! Hmm your Japanese style spring roll looks delicious! I think my kids would enjoy your version as they don’t like raw veggies. 😉 Thanks for the idea!

    • Thank you Sandra! These are Shen and my favorite spring rolls. :-) I don’t feel too bad even I eat too much… as I try to convince it’s mostly veggies. Haha.

    • Thank you Jen! :-) Well… I called it a twist, but from Japanese person’s perspective, it’s actually more like we don’t know how to cook original spring rolls, so let’s make it our way. Haha. 😉

  4. These look so good – they are perfectly delicious. You are such a talented cook. It is always a pleasure to visit here. I hope you have a great day. Blessings…Mary

    • Thank you Mary for your very kind comment… it means a lot when it comes from YOU!!! You are super talented cook. I’m just happy to hear that from you (but I don’t think I’m so talented…..hehe). :-) I hope you are having a great weekend!

    • Thank you Shawn! English is my 2nd language and I’m still struggling. So, it’s actually easier to put pictures than explaining it in deitals… Also I’m doing this for my kids… one day they can use these recipes and I won’t let them say it’s difficult because there are pictures! 😉 Thanks for visiting!

    • Hi Chinmayie! Oh you’ve been to Hanoi before… I’m so envious! I love Vietnamese food and I wish I had visited before having kids! I made Japanese sauce, but I actually love fish sauce so much. :-)

  5. Nami, your spring rolls are colourful and so healthy (yes, a bit of pork belly is healthy in my opinion!)! You reminded me I haven’t made spring rolls for ages, even though I always have a package of rice paper. I always make mine with whatever I find in the kitchen and in the Summer they are a great, lighter alternative to sandwiches if I travel far by car. (Dipping in a sauce is a bit tricky in a car, but if one doesn’t drive it’s possible too!). Thank you for sharing this recipe and congratulations for your awards!
    PS I love your small lovely bowls (or are they cups?)!

    • Hi Sissi! Oh yes, me too, a little bit of pork belly won’t hurt us. 😀 I should be more creative with ingredients as my kids don’t like raw veggies in it. Oh the bowls/cups that hold veggie sticks? That has a lid…and I am not sure how we’re supposed to use them. More like appetizer dishes for small food… like olives?! I found it in Target (do you know this store?), and I immediately grabbed it because it looks “Asian.” I thought I should style my food like how other bloggers do, so I bought some weird items like these that I don’t buy normally… I’m glad I found these for this photo shoot. Thanks for noticing details. :-)

    • Hi Tanvi! Thank you Tanvi. I hope you noticed I’m slowly learning how to put food and “extra” stuff inside the pictures. Your beautiful pictures have been a great motivation to me. My pictures are not as good as your pictures, but you inspired me to look into food styling and my husband bought a book about it too. I just wanted to say thank you and nice compliment from you means a lot to me!

  6. Sounds so good, Nami! I love sesame and the vinaigrette is calling out to me :) My husband is a huge fan of spring rolls and these look amazingly light and delicious! I think I would make him very happy if I made him these… Thank you for sharing! And I will go check out Biren’s blog too :)

    • Hi Marsha! This is really my husband and my favorite spring rolls. I like Vietnamese sring rolls with fish sauce, too (I’m addicted to fish sauce). My husband loves ponzu (citrus soy sauce) so he always request that I make this. I hope your husband will enjoy it. :-)

  7. Oh Nami this looks like a painting! it is so colorful and appetizing!..
    Amazing recipe as always and the photography is breath taking..
    As soon as my daughter finishes her exams I will go shopping to prepare for a week of Nami’s wonderful recipes

    • Hi Sawsan! Thank you so much for your compliment. :-) Haha you are too sweet (if you have any question, I’m happy to help/answer). How’s your “stress” level having your daughter’s exam week? 😉 My kids are still young to worry about, but I think I’ll be a pretty strict mom….worrying about their exams. My mom wasn’t – she always says “do your best” and didn’t care about grade I get (and I got As too!). It’ll be very stressful for me and I don’t know how I got this gene from!

  8. Oh, Nami, this looks SO delicious!!! And how beautiful, too… Such a great guest post! Have a fabulous weekend, my friend…are you finally feeling better?

    • Thanks Lizzy! And thank you so much for asking me about sick. I’m a lot better compared to earlier this week, but I’m still recovering. My kids are still sick. Gosh, it takes forever to get well. Plus, SF has been raining and cold and we are so tired of this long lasting cold! I hope you are having a nice weekend. Thanks for your sweet comment Lizzy!

  9. Sarah

    Just discovered your blog! I love how you make Japanese dishes sound so approachable… I always thought it would be difficult to make. Definitely going to the store tomorrow to pick up some essentials for Japanese cooking!

    • Hi Sarah! Thank you so much. I’m glad my step-by-step pictures are convincing enough for you to see it’s not that hard (well some it is more time-consuming than others but mostly pretty easy). I hope you enjoy cooking & eating Japanese food! Check my Pantry page for reference. It’s not a perfect page, but I put some ingredients/condiments that I use. :-)

  10. Hey Nami san… don’t you just love “shiso”? I could use that alone and a wrap, esp shiso wrapped over ikka.. I have a question… isn’t there a paper made from mung bean? I like the rice paper but from what I remember visiting South East Asia once, is their wrap was made from mung bean starch? Is that right? I can’t find it here in Japan, I can find the rice paper but… The blue dishes look fabulous dahling!!!

    • Hi Elle Marie-san. :-) I LOVE shiso…but it’s pretty expensive here ($1.20 for 10 shiso). I live near the canyon and all kinds of wild animal here so I can’t really grow any plants in my backyard. I wish it’s more affordable as I use a lot of shiso for my cooking. But still $1.20 isn’t bad. I have never seen paper made with mug bean… I only know harusame (mug beans) but those are noodles. I’ll pay more attention when I go to Asian market next time.

  11. This will be perfect for summer when hopefully it’ll be too hot to cook much. I love the simplicity of spring rolls and yours looks very tasty with the pork belly and ponzu sauce. Can’t wait to try it!

    • Thanks Sheri! You know I eat this all-year-round that I didn’t think of this dish as “summer” food like everyone says. Haha. To me summer food means cold Somen noodles! 😉 I hope you like it Sheri!

  12. This is a great and healthy dish Nami!
    I am impressed with your pictures!!! They are so artistic! Great presentation! Beautiful colors and dishes… just perfect! You are so good my friend! Well done!

  13. Great!!! Another light and healthy dish from your recipe bank :) As usual lovely and stunning photo :) It makes me so hungry after reading through the whole post.

  14. Hi Nami! You’re most welcome and congrats on both your awards and your guset post at Roti n Rice! 😀
    This refreshing springroll is perfect for the humid weather in SG! 😀
    Have a great weekend! ^.^

  15. Nami, your photos are beautiful!! Getting more fantastic every post, great job! I love spring rolls and just bough rice paper to make some, so this is perfect. I also went to the asian specialty store on my recent trip to Jerusalem and stocked up on some great stuff and now I can start making all your wonderful recipes Im always drooling over!

    • Beth, thank you! I love hearing that you went to Asian store. I need to go to Middle Eastern store or other stores to be more adventurous! I’m happy to hear you are trying my recipes. Let me know if you have any questions. 😉 Have a great weekend Beth!

    • Thank you Daksha!!! If you would think this is good for snacking, then you must enjoy cooking! Haha. I’m too lazy to cook this food for snack… I know I’m too lazy. =P

    • Thank you Erin! Biren’s site is GREAT. I’ll be a big fan since I started blogging (I was lucky enough to find her site in the beginning!).

  16. What a summer fresh roll! (where did you get your rice paper? are they usually at the dry noodle aisle?). I can’t seem to find them!!!! :O

    In Singapore/Malaysia, we have the non-fried spring roll called Popiah and the “skin” is thin-like crepe (made from wheat flour), almost similar to Taiwanese Run Bing. 😛

    • Thank you Tigerfish! I buy at an Asian Market (Marina) in San Mateo… Yes, dry noodle section I think. Or was it South East Asian section….? Forgot but either of them. I saw 2 kinds but always get this rose brand. I wasn’t sure which food you talked about so I asked my husband and he reminded me where I ate Run Bing. Yeah that was so good!!! You should post Popiah recipe!

  17. Hi Kristen! Thank you for your kind compliments. Japanese dishes involve so much cutting of veggies like that. You rarely see big chunk of veggies in the cooking. You can call it delicate but I would call tedious work. We learn how to cut like that in home and economics class in elementary or middle school (forgot) and we just do it… Now I can cut pretty fast like a chef. LOL. Hope you are having a great weekend!

  18. Nami, now that I have visited your blog so many times, I know why you are featured so many times on foodbuzz! Because you deserve it, dear Nami. All of your dishes are well-selected, cooked amazingly and well-photographed!! I have to google out some of the authentic ingredients in this recipe, but I am sure I will be able to cook this new dish learnt from you and surprise my family soon!

    • Aww…. Purabi, thank you so much for your kind words. My food that I cook is actually very ordinary food for Japanese people, but I guess it’s very unique for some other cultures. 😉 If you have any question with Japanese ingredients, please feel free to ask me anytime. You’re in HK so it should be easy to find Japanese products. :-)

  19. Nami-san, I saw your guest post at Roti n Rice, commented and came here again to check out the same recipe (see the things you make me do?;-)). I really like eating rice paper spring rolls and your Japanese-inspired ones look so refreshing! Love the eggs in them… and oh, your chopstick rest is also the cutest!

    • Haha Hi Maya-san! Thank you for visiting Biren’s site and noticing my chopstick rest. 😀 That’s a Japanese koma (top) and it was my mom’s…but when I went home last time I asked her to give me. I can’t find too many good ones here in the US, so every time I go back to Japan I buy some chop stick rests. I”m so happy you like this one! :-)

  20. Nami, I finally read your post on the spring rolls and they sound delicious!! You have such a beautiful presentation too. I think the fact that you used pork belly really made it even more enticing :o) It looks so light and healthy even with the pork in it!

    • Thank you Kayo! I’m really happy Japanese store sells “thinly sliced” pork belly… It makes it a little healthier and I don’t have eat a big chunk. :-)

  21. Your spring rolls look delicious. I never thought of adding pork belly in them, but what a great idea! Your photos are amazing too. This is my first time visiting your blog, and I am so glad to have found it. I will visit often.

    • Thank you Hyosun! I just left my comment on your blog, but I am also happy to find a Korean person’s blog (and I think you are my first Korean blogger!). Looking forward to sharing with you!

    • Hi Liren! Thank you so much for visiting my blog and thanks for your kind words. :-) Japanese love using sliced pork belly in a lot of dishes… 😀 Have a great week!

  22. Love those colorful veggies! Beautiful! Oh, what are you talking about the “not good in wrapping”, you wrapped them up pretty nicely, Nami! Lovely rolls!
    A while ago I made these kind of spring rolls too (meatless version, though), and I was so clumsy that I got really exhausted with the wrapping process. We even ended up eating the veggies separately from the rice paper :DD

    • Thank you Arudhi! Haha, but you know Vietnamese spring rolls show shrimp outside and look so pretty? Mine is nothing like that. I put lettuce first, so from outside you can only see GREEN. LOL!!! I can wrap okay (without making it nice). Growing up I saw how people wrap at a Japanese department store (you know what I mean)…and I always practice wrapping at home. Hehee.

    • Hi Kankana! I’m thinking…maybe the rice paper got dried after you wrap them. If you don’t eat them immediately, cover with wet (squeezed) paper towel and use plastic wrap to cover them. That helps a lot. :-)

  23. Wow, look how wonderfully organized you are with all the ingredients. Makes making these rolls a breeze. The vinaigrette is a nice change from the usual peanut-hoisin sauce, too.

  24. Wow, those spring rolls are beautiful! I’m sure they were a labor of love. I’m curious, what is Konbucha? I’m assuming it’s a seasoning as you suggested salt and pepper as a replacement, but I just wanted to clarify, as I searched for it, and nothing came up except “Kombucha” the fermented tea. I live in San Francisco, so Asian supermarkets are aplenty, but I wouldn’t know where to look in the store aisles!

      • Hi Nicole! I live on Peninsula, so I go to Nijiya in San Mateo. But you can try Nijiya in Japan Town. Usually Konbucha is located in the tea section as Konbucha means konbu tea. If you click the link, it will show you how it looks like. Thank you for stopping by my blog!

  25. Helen in Houston

    I have looked everywhere in Houston and I cannot find Konbucha. It is not carried in the 99 Ranch Market or Super H Mart. I’ve looked for online grocers, and everyone seems to think it’s a tea. I know I can use salt and pepper, but I want to be “authentic”! Please help me!

      • Helen in Houston

        That link says they are out of stock. I’ll keep looking! It should be easier to spot now that I’ve seen a picture. Thanks for posting the link. :)

  26. Helen in Houston

    These spring rolls were absolutely wonderful, and the ponzu sauce was perfect. I doubled the recipe and made half of them vegetarian for a friend. I wish I had noticed the cilantro in your picture when I made them last week, but I will definitely modify my copy of the recipe to add ” cilantro (optional)”. Of course, I will wrap up a few cilantro leaves in my rolls when I make them again next week, and I think I’ll add a thin strip of daikon to each roll. This recipe is so versatile. Your recipes are awesome!

    • Awww Helen, thanks so much for your feedback! I’m so happy you liked this recipe! Your comment made me realized that I forgot to list daikon in ingredient (not for sauce, but as toppings and it’s in the picture too…). I updated my recipe too… thank you so much!!!!

    • Hi Veronica! I am sorry for my late response, and I hope my answer wasn’t too late…. This recipe is for 2 people, so you need to multiply. However, if you make ahead of time, it’s easy to control the amount, while if guests make their own…then it’s a bit harder. I hope your guests will enjoy!