If using shrimp or prawns, sliced them in half lengthwise.
Cover bean thread noodles with boiling water and let soak 15 minutes; drain well in a sieve or colander. Pat dry between paper towels and toss with rice vinegar. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
NOTE: Have all your ingredients, washed and prepped before rolling.
Spring Roll Wrapper or Rice Paper Wrappers come out of the package hard and inedible, and they must be soaked in water before using.
Fill a pie plate or bowl with lukewarm water. Immerse rice paper in warm water for 10 seconds to soften them up just until soft but still flexible and slightly firm and not fully folding on itself. Work with one rice paper at a time, being gentle as they break easily when brittle. Remove from water and place rice paper on a kitchen towel and let rest approximately 30 seconds until it's more pliable.
Arrange one piece of lettuce on bottom half of soaked rice paper, folding or tearing to fit and leaving a 1-inch border along edge. Top with some of the seafood, noodles, mint, basil, cilantro, and carrot (don't overfill). Make sure the ingredients are not clumped together in the center, but evenly distributed from one end to the other. Note: The fillings may be placed on the rice paper in any order your desire.
Pressing down on the filling with your fingers (pressing down on the ingredients is particularly important because it tightens the roll), fold the bottom end of the sheet (side nearest you) over the top of the fillings and roll into a cylindrical shape halfway.
Fold the left and right sides inward and complete rolling the remaining half (If rice paper is too dry to seal, moisten unsealed edges with a little more hot water). Transfer summer roll to a plate, seam-side down, and cover with dampened paper towels. Make additional roll in the same manner.
Making Ahead of Time: Spring rolls can be made a day ahead. Cover them with a damp paper towel, then wrap well in plastic wrap, and refrigerate. Refrigerating firms and toughens the wrappers and noodles slightly (if they are a little dry, wipe them gently with a damp cloth).
Bring rolls to room temperature before halving and serving. To serve, halve rolls on the diagonal and place the rolls upright on your serving platter. Serve with your favorite dipping sauces (see recipe ideas below).
For an appetizer, serve one or two halves per person. As a main course, serve at least six halves per person.
* Bean thread noodles are the thin clear noodles made from ground mung beans or (the cheaper version) mung bean flour. Because of their appearance, they are also called transparent or cellophane noodles. Look for bean thread noodles online, in the ethnic or pasta section of natural food stores, or in specialty or Asian markets. Store them, unopened, in a cool, dry cupboard for six to eight months.
** Spring Roll Wrappers or Rice Paper Wrapper can be found online and near the fried noodles in Asian markets. When shopping for rice paper wrappers, be sure to look for all-rice wrappers, and not the thin wrappers made with tapioca starch or the thick wheat flour wrappers.
These rice paper wrappers will keep in your cupboard indefinitely. Spring roll rice paper wrappers are available in various sizes. Sizes can range from a small bite sized rolls to larger, longer rolls. Select the size that works best for you.
As they are fragile, keep them flat and handle them gently.
Spring Rolls Recipe: https://whatscookingamerica.net/appetizers/springrolls.htm