Meet Alex Caspero
Alex Caspero is a Registered Dietitian, New York Times Bestselling Plant-Based Chef and mom of two. She aims to cut through the nutrition noise by providing real-life, nourishing tips for body and mind. Learn more about Alex.
Fresh Vietnamese Tofu Spring Rolls! You will love these healthy, rice paper salad rolls with crispy peanut tofu, shredded cabbage, carrots, mint, cilantro, and vermicelli noodles.
Is Spring actually here? Temperatures hit the mid-60’s this weekend, the perfect excuse to drop what we were doing and bask in the Spring glow. We put out our patio furniture, turned on the grill for the first time, and pretended- just for a moment– that we were back in California, enjoying an impromptu cookout on our deck.
The bright weather reminded me of my favorite recipes: spring rolls with peanut sauce.
Though it started raining the very next day, I wanted to keep my bright mood going with these fresh rolls. I really need to make these more often. They are effortless to put together and are the perfect light meal when I’m still craving big, bold flavors.
Learning how to make spring rolls has never been easier thanks to this easy Vietnamese-inspired recipe. Colorful and nutritious vegetables encompass these fresh and crispy rolls which make them perfect for lunch or dinner. Enjoy these veggie bundles either by themselves or with your other favorite vegan recipes for a well-balanced meal that is full of both nutrition and flavor.
Although the two rolls are very similar, they are a little different from each other. Vietnamese spring rolls are made with rice vermicelli noodles and rice paper and Thai spring rolls are usually wrapped in lettuce and served without the noodles.
While I’ve never been to Vietnam, I associate fancy family dinners with Vietnamese food, which is an odd statement to say the least from a Danish/Italian child who grew up in the South. While my mom was a fantastic cook, she didn’t know her way around an Asian kitchen. So, on very special occasions (like good report card days), we would head out to to neighboring town’s Vietnamese restaurant and order like kings.
In the 10+ years of going there as a child, I’m fairly certain I ordered the same thing every time: a Shirley Temple with extra cherries, spring rolls, and the vermicelli bowl. I don’t know if it’s really as good as I’ve imagined or the time has made it that way, but I remember feeling so fancy wolfing down my oversize bowl of thin noodles, shredded vegetables, pork, and the best spicy peanut sauce. Every bite of these spring rolls is in tribute to that meal and those memories.
Serve these crispy rolls as an appetizer or side dish to your main course. You can enjoy these rolls on top of salads with fresh greens, too! Most of the time, I eat them on their own for lunch or a simple dinner.
While I think spring rolls are fairly easy to assemble, you’ll want to have all of your fillings chopped and ready to go ahead of time. You can save time by using pre-shredded cabbage and carrots or swapping in whatever vegetables you have on hand.
Use a damp paper towel for lining the prepared rolls so they don’t dry out and crack. Once you’ve rolled your Spring rolls, enjoy any leftover filling and sauce like a salad. They taste best when enjoyed right after making so I don’t recommend making them too far ahead of time.
Like most adaptations around here, please accept my liberal interpretation of Vietnamese cuisine. I made these rolls out of what I remembered that meal to taste like, not any authentic version. They are so good, so meaty and so filling that my food memory can easily become your food memory.
First, make the peanut sauce by whisking the peanut butter, soy sauce, hoisin sauce, Sriracha, lime juice, and hot water in a bowl. Next, drain and press the tofu with a tofu press or heavy pan.
Then, slice the tofu into slabs so they can lay flat on the rice paper rolls.
Next, prepare the vegetables, tofu, and noodles to assemble the rolls. To assemble the rolls, soften the rice paper by placing it in a dish of hot water and allowing it to soften for 10 to 15 seconds.
Move the rice paper to a cutting board and spread it into a circle. If it rips too much, then start over with new paper. It’s OK if it takes a few times to get the hang of wrapping these. They become easier to roll the more that you make them.
Layer the tofu with the sauce side down, noodles, cabbage, carrots, mint, and cilantro on the bottom third of the paper. Next, gently fold the paper over once, tuck in edges, and continue rolling until the seam is sealed. Then, place the roll seam side down on a serving plate and cover with a damp towel to keep it fresh.
Repeat until you have about 12 to 15 spring rolls.
Finally, serve with the spicy peanut sauce!
I don’t recommend making these too far ahead of time, but you can make these spring rolls a day in advance at the most when you are wanting to serve them. Just be sure to cover them with a damp towel or the refrigerator will drain out the moisture.
If you try this recipe, let me know! Then, leave a comment, rate it, and tag your Instagram photos with #delishknowledge . I absolutely love seeing your creations. Finally, happy cooking!Print
Fresh Vietnamese Tofu Spring Rolls! You will love these healthy, rice paper salad rolls with crispy peanut tofu, shredded cabbage, carrots, mint, cilantro, and vermicelli noodles. This homemade rolls recipe is served with a spicy peanut-lime dipping sauce and is vegan and easily gluten-free.
Spicy Peanut-Lime Sauce