A fresh, colorful, healthy, and absolutely delicious summer recipe: Vegan Summer Rolls served with a homemade Peanut dipping Sauce. Even if you know them by salad rolls, fresh spring rolls, or rice paper rolls, this is the summer appetizer you have been looking for!
After a couple of months of renovating our kitchen, we are finally back to keep bringing you lovely plant-based recipes to share with your family and friends. We wanted to make something special for our first recipe after our mandatory break: Vietnamese Vegan Summer Rolls packed full of crunchy veggies, glass noodles, marinated tofu, and leafy greens from our beautiful garden.
We spent more than 5 weeks traveling around Vietnam and with the weather being so hot, we found that eating fresh summer rolls was way better than deep-fried spring rolls, even if we love them equally. Fresh rolls are way healthier, packed full of fresh ingredients, and always served with a mouth-watering dipping sauce.
Our Summer Rolls are:
- Gluten-free if using tamari sauce insted of soy sauce.
- Kid and toddler friendly
- An appetizer or a light meal
- Easy to make
Vietnamese Vegan Fresh Rolls or Vegan Summer Rolls
Vietnamese summer rolls are rice paper rolls filled with vermicelli noodles, protein, leafy greens, and crunchy vegetables.
Salad rolls are often made with meat or prawns but you can find vegan summer rolls filled with tofu. For our summer rolls, we marinate the tofu in a lovely sauce made of soy sauce, sesame oil, and five-spice powder. It gives the tofu the perfect level of saltiness and a delicious taste. I don't know if it's just us, but we can taste a bit of Pho when cooking with the five-spice powder, and who doesn't want a bit of Pho taste in their Vietnamese dishes? Just too delicious!
Summer Rolls Ingredients
The first and most important ingredient you will need is rice paper. You can find rice paper in an Asian store or supermarket or online. We use the 22cm ones (8.6 inches).
To make rice paper rolls you will need yummy ingredients to fill them up:
- Fresh veggies for the crunchy bit. Our favorite veggies are carrots, cucumbers, bell peppers, and red cabbage. You can add other veggies such as zucchini or celery.
- Vermicelli or glass noodles. You could substitute this ingredient for other types of noodles or even rice.
- Leafy greens. We used fresh mint and lettuce as we have them growing in our garden. Fresh cilantro, basil, or other greens are great options too!
- Tofu. If you are making vegan salad rolls, the best protein to use is tofu. You can choose to use smoked tofu or marinate and cook your tofu for a deeper flavor. Use extra-firm tofu or make sure to press it properly before using it.
Once you have all the ingredients needed, it's time to prepare the ingredients for a mouth-watering dipping sauce. Our peanut sauce is tangy, sweet, rich, and creamy: the perfect combination for fresh rolls.
How to make Vegan Summer Rolls
Prepare your ingredients
- Tofu. To marinate the tofu, combine soy sauce, sesame oil, and the five-spice powder in a shallow pan. Add the tofu pieces and leave marinating for 15 minutes on each side. Our favorite way to cut the tofu is by cutting the block in half (longwise), so you are left with two big pieces from each block. The process of marinating and cooking will be easier and then you can cut them into thinner slices to add to your rolls. Once the tofu is marinated, heat a pan and cook the tofu on both sides until it turns a golden color. Leave to cool and cut into thinner slices.
- Thinly slice the fresh ingredients such as carrots, peppers, cucumbers and cabbage.
- Prepare your glass noodles by leaving them in boiling hot water for a couple of minutes. Drain the water and leave them cool.
- Clean and cut your leafy greens.
Fill your Summer Roll
Once your ingredients are all ready, choose a big plate and fill it with warm water. Take a rice paper wrap and immerse it into the water. What works best for us is to immerse first the sides and finally the center part on both sides. Place the wrap on a flat surface (a wooden surface works really well) and starting placing your ingredients. We like placing the lettuce first, then the fresh chopped veggies, the glass noodles, and the tofu. Last, the mint. Leave some space on the sides, front and back of the paper wrap, placing all the ingredients closer to the center.
Roll up your summer roll. If this is your first time making salad rolls, your first one will probably not look like you thought it would. It takes a bit of practice, but you'll get there faster than you think! Start by pulling the bottom of the paper and placing it over the ingredients, almost covering them all. With your hands, press the roll and fold the sides to the center. Keep rolling your rice paper until the summer roll is fully wrapped.
Homemade Peanut Sauce
If you have been following our recipes, you probably already know our famous peanut sauce from this Tofu Satay recipe, our Thai Noodle Salad or Buddha Bowl. This sauce is a winner every time we use it in one of our recipes, it's simply delicious.
Our Vegan Summer Rolls are amazing served with this homemade peanut sauce, you'll not regret trying this combination!
Peanut Butter. For the peanut sauce, you will need to use smooth or creamy peanut butter. You can as well, make your own peanut butter. All you need to do is add roasted (unsalted) peanuts into a food processor with a pinch of salt. Blend until you get a creamy consistency. It may take a little bit to reach that consistency and you may need to stop a few times to push the peanuts down the processor walls but it's definitely worth it. Have a look at this amazing recipe by Culinary Hill.
Brown sugar. To give a bit of sweetness to the sauce you can use as well maple syrup or honey.
Soy sauce. Dark or light soy sauce will both work for your peanut sauce. If you are using light soy sauce, as it's saltier, adjust the amount. Use tamari for a gluten-free option.
Lime juice. The freshly squeezed lime juice will give your peanut dip that lovely tanginess.
Rice vinegar. Optional. We love adding a little bit of rice vinegar as it's umami-rich and adds a lovely punch to the sauce.
Ginger powder. Use freshly grated ginger or ginger powder.
Warm water. Adding warm water to your dip will bring the sauce together. You can adjust this ingredient depending on your taste or the use you want to give to the peanut sauce to make it thicker or more liquid.
Once you have your ingredients prepared, all you need to do is combine them all! Leave the water for the very end and adjust to taste.
Optionally, you can garnish the sauce with some crushed peanuts. We recommend using unsalted roasted peanuts.
Tips for making the best Summer Rolls
- Make sure you are using the right size of rice paper wraps. If you get them too small, it will be challenging trying to roll them up if you add too many ingredients.
- Chop your veggies as thin as possible. It makes the process making way easier and your rolls will be much more enjoyable.
- Add some taste to your tofu. You can add saltiness, sweetness, or even some spice to your tofu, just give it some flavor. We all know tofu can be a bit bland in taste.
- Don't soak the rice paper in water for too long. Just immerse the rice paper for a few seconds in warm (not boiling) water. It will be easier to work with than if it's just too wet or soft.
- Prepare right before serving. You can of course store summer rolls using an air-tight container but they will be at their best freshly made.
Vegan Summer Rolls with Homemade Peanut Sauce
- 400 g tofu
- ½ cup soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon 5 spices
- 2 teaspoon sesame oil
- 10 Rice paper
- 100 g glass noodles
- 3 carrots
- 1 ½ cucumber
- ½ yellow bell pepper
- handful mint
- ¼ red cabbage
Ingredients for the Peanut Sauce
- ⅓ cup peanut butter room temperature
- 1 teaspoon brown sugar
- ½ tablespoon soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons lime juice
- 1 teaspoon rice vinegar
- ½ teaspoon ginger powder or freshly grated ginger
- ⅓ cup warm water
- Cut and marinate the tofu. Cut the tofu block in half after pressing it and getting all the extra water out. Combine the soy sauce, sesame oil, and the five-spice powder in a shallow pan. Add the tofu pieces and leave marinating for 15 minutes on each side.
- Once the tofu is marinated, heat a pan and cook the tofu on both sides until it turns a golden color. Leave to cool and cut into thinner slices.
- Thinly slice the fresh ingredients such as carrots, peppers, cucumbers and cabbage
- Prepare your glass noodles by leaving them in boiling hot water for a couple of minutes. Drain the water and leave them cool. Clean and cut your leafy greens.
- Fill a big plate with warm water, take a rice paper wrap and immerse it into the water for a few seconds. Place the wrap on a flat surface (a wooden surface works really well) and start placing your ingredients.We like placing the lettuce first, then the fresh chopped veggies, the glass noodles, and the tofu. Last, the mint. Leave some space on the sides, front and back of the paper wrap, placing all the ingredients closer to the center.
- Roll up your summer roll. Start by pulling the bottom of the paper and placing it over the ingredients, almost covering them all. With your hands, press the roll and fold the sides to the center.Keep rolling your rice paper until the summer roll is fully wrapped. Repeat the process for each rice paper.
- To prepare the peanut sauce, add into a medium-size bowl peanut butter, brown sugar, soy sauce, lime juice, rice vinegar, ginger powder and the warm water. Mix well all the ingredients until everything is completely combined and the sauce looks homogeneous. If your sauce is too thick, add some extra water and if it looks too liquidy, add some more peanut sauce.
|If you tried our recipe, please leave a comment or tag us on Instagram @Sixhungryfeet. We are always happy to see your creations!|