Fresh, fun to make and oh so delicious. Vegan spring rolls with baked garlic ginger lime tofu and spicy peanut sauce are the answer to a summer lunch or party with friends.
Vietnamese spring rolls are usually served at room temperature, sometimes cold. The outside wrapping is made of rice paper briefly soaked in warm water.
The rice paper is filled with lettuce, herbs, veggies, a protein of some sort and then wrapped up like a mini burrito.
They are sometimes served with fish sauce, but they are delicious with a spicy peanut dipping sauce or sweet chili sauce.
Vegan spring roll filling options I suggest are:
- Cooked rice vermicelli noodles
- Green leaf lettuce
- Carrot (you could also try quick pickled carrots)
- Bell pepper
- Fresh thai basil
- Fresh cilantro
- Fresh mint
- Baked ginger garlic tofu
That being said, you can get creative and adjust the filling to your liking. There are so many options!
I like Persian (baby) cucumbers here because they are the perfect size.
They just need to be quartered lengthwise. But, you can use any type of cucumber. You'll need to just trim them to be the right length for the size rice paper you're using.
The rice paper I use is a standard round size. Not the mini ones, not the square ones, not the giant ones. They are about 10 inches across.
They carry them in most of the grocery stores I shop in. But, if you need to buy them online, the Three Ladies brand of rice paper is good.
The garlic ginger lime marinade works well in the baked tofu for this recipe.
The most challenging part of this recipe is rolling your spring rolls. I've offered my top tips for rolling spring rolls down below in the post.
The water you use to soak your rice paper should not be boiling hot or cold - it should be warm, even hottish, like the temperature of water you would use to wash dishes.
I fill one of my wide stainless steel skillets with hot water and use that to dunk the rice paper, because it is larger than the width of the paper.
This works well, because if the water starts to get too cold, I can turn the heat on for a minute and warm it back up.
You could also use a bowl. My friend, Helen, runs the water from her faucet and holds the rice paper under the water until it softens.
They have a fancy rice paper soaker on Amazon that I have heard good things about, but I haven't tried it. Do what works best for you.
I typically soak them in the water until they are flexible, but still a little firm, about 10-20 seconds. As you fill them they will continue to soften. If you leave them in the water too long then they will get mushy.
Mise en place
Mise in what? Mise en place (French pronunciation: [mi zɑ̃ ˈplas]) is a French culinary phrase which means "putting in place" or "everything in its place."
Basically, it means to cut and prepare everything you're going to use before you start working on rolling these babies.
So, julienne your carrots, wash, dry and trim your lettuce to a good size, julienne your bell pepper and bake your tofu.
Set everything within arms reach while you're rolling your spring rolls. This works great for a party with friends! Put all the various ingredients on a big platter and start an assembly line.
You'll also need to have a clean, flat surface ready to lay the rice paper on when you pull it out of the water. And, you'll need a plate or serving dish to place them on as you finish rolling them.
The spicy sriracha peanut dipping sauce is quick to make and can be adjusted to your spiciness preference.
Have a lava tongue? Dump in the sriracha. Not into spicy? Just use a little.
How long do fresh spring rolls last?
Freshly made spring rolls are best eaten freshly made. But, they will last for 1-3 days in the refrigerator, depending on the ingredients you use to make them.
For produce that spoils quickly like avocado, those are better eaten fresh.
But produce like carrots, bell pepper will stay fresh tasting longer.
How do you store fresh spring rolls?
If you make extra spring rolls, you'll want to wrap them individually in plastic wrap and refrigerate them to store them so they don't dry out or stick to each other and tear.
You might want to refrain from using avocado if you're going to eat them the next day. The other ingredients will keep better.
Top tips for rolling spring rolls
- Have all your ingredients in place before you get started
- Only soak your rice paper for 10-20 seconds or until it's just starting to become more pliable.
- Use a flat smooth surface that is plastic, sealed ceramic (like a large plate) or a stone cutting board. Do NOT use a wooden cutting board, they will stick like crazy!
- Lightly wet surface before rolling each spring roll.
- Don’t overfill your spring rolls, they will be too hard to roll and unwieldy to eat.
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Garlic Ginger Lime Tofu
- 1 package extra firm tofu, sliced into 8 rectangle pieces
- 2 teaspoon crushed garlic
- 2 teaspoon crushed ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 2 tablespoon soy sauce
- juice of half a lime
- 8 rice papers
- 4 ounces rice vermicelli
- 1/2 head green leaf lettuce, trimmed to fit rice paper
- 4 Persian cucumbers, sliced into thick long quarter slices
- 2 carrots, julienned
- 1 avocado, sliced
- 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
- Fresh cilantro, mint, Thai basil
Spicy Peanut Dipping Sauce
- 1/4 cup peanut butter
- 1 tablespoon mirin
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon sriracha
- 3-4 tablespoons water
- 1 tablespoon minced peanuts, optional
- Prepare the tofu by pressing it gently in a clean dish cloth. Mix marinade ingredients in bowl, then brush over pieces of tofu on a baking sheet lined with a silpat mat or parchment paper. Bake at 400 for 30 minutes, turning halfway through.
- Prepare dipping sauce by whisking ingredients together and adding tbsp of water at a time until the consistency you want. Reduce or increase sriracha, according to your taste.
- Cook rice noodles according to package instructions, then rinse in cold water and drain.
- Add an inch of very warm water to a wide pan or bowl. Submerse rice paper in bowl for 10-20 seconds. Then, transfer to flat working space and fill with ingredients. Then, gently roll up and fold in sides as you go, like a burrito.
- Serve with spicy peanut dipping sauce.
Leftovers keep for up to 2 days in the refrigerator. Peanut dipping sauce could also be made with an alternative nut butter, although I haven't tried using something different.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 752Total Fat: 17gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 929mgCarbohydrates: 132gFiber: 8gSugar: 18gProtein: 20g