These vegan summer rolls are filled with smoked tofu, fresh crunchy veggies, thin rice noodles, and fresh herbs. These rolls are a delicious and easy side dish, appetizer, or light meal.
- 1 handful (about 60 grams/2 oz) rice vermicelli noodles or whole grain brown rice noodles
- 1 block of smoked tofu
- 10 sheets of rice paper (summer roll wrappers)
- 5 leaves butter lettuce, ribs removed, and cut in half
- 1/2 red bell pepper, sliced very thinly
- 1 medium carrot, peeled and sliced into strips
- 1/2 cucumber or one small cucumber, sliced into strips
- 1 green onion, thinly sliced
- ¼ cup fresh cilantro, parsley or (Thai) basil
- ¼ cup fresh mint
- optional: soy sauce or peanut sauce to dip
Prepare the ingredients:
Cook the rice vermicelli noodles according to the package directions and set them aside.
Wash and thinly slice all the herbs and vegetables, including the tofu. Set a bowl or baking sheet aside with an inch of lukewarm water. Keep the rice paper within reach.
If your rice noodles are very sticky, mix in some sesame oil.
Soften the rice paper:
Place a sheet of rice paper in the bowl (or baking sheet) with warm water for about 10 seconds. If the rice paper gets slightly soft, remove it from the water even if it only takes 5 seconds. Rotate the rice paper so all sides are immersed. The rice paper should be pliable but not very soft.
Remove the rice paper from the water and place it on a damp surface, such as a plate or cutting board.
Fill the rice paper:
Place any of the fillings you prepared into the center of the rice paper. But it’s easier to start with lettuce or a herb as this will strengthen the rice paper. The width of the filling will be the width of the summer rolls. So, to avoid making small rolls with veggies poking through the rice paper, don’t start with the harder vegetables, but with the softer leaves (lettuce or herbs). It’s best to proceed quickly here, as the rice paper will soon become sticky.
Try to leave a few inches open around the edges. Place the filling on the lower part of the paper and continue until you have placed all ingredients on the rice paper.
Roll the rice paper:
Fold the lower edge of the rice paper up and over the filling. Roll upward until you have enclosed the filling completely. Then fold the side over the filling (just like a burrito). Keep rolling. It’s best to use both hands as you proceed to keep the filling together until the rice paper encloses it.
Repeat with the other rice paper and ingredients.
Wet your fingers in between if it’s too sticky or wet the rice paper. Carefully remove the rice paper from the surface, so the rice paper does not rip.
Summer rolls can be served with soy sauce/tamari, a (peanut or sweet chili) sauce, or a thick dressing. These rolls can be served whole or sliced in half (diagonal) with a sharp knife (to avoid ripping the rice paper).
Any thin rice noodles are great for this summer rolls. You can find them as rice vermicelli noodles. But if you want to go for a whole grain option, look for brown rice noodles.
If you are gluten-free, make sure the noodles are truly gluten-free (they should be). And as a dip, use tamari instead of soy sauce. Soy sauce typically contains gluten.
You can prepare the veggies the day before and store them in an air-tight container. Summer rolls are best assembled shortly before serving.
The main ingredient for this recipe is rice paper. Feel free to substitute and use different veggies, extras, noodles, or herbs for all the other ingredients.
Keywords: summer rolls, spring rolls, vietnamese, appetizer, main, side