These vegan rice paper rolls feature savory tofu sticks, raw veggies and vermicelli noodles. They are rolled in a rice paper and are perfect dipped in a Thai peanut sauce. Also healthy, high-in-protein, fully plant-based and they make for a delicious lunch or dinner recipe.
Vegan rice paper rolls (fresh spring rolls) are such an amazing way to eat more raw veggies!
These summer rolls also include chewy savory tofu sticks to add tons of plant-based protein, vermicelli noodles and fresh herbs for a whole lot of flavor. Crunchy cucumbers, carrots and red pepper are a classic, but you can really use whatever veggies you like best.
The punch of freshness combined with all the layers of texture in these rice paper rolls is so amazing. They are crisp, healthy, colorful and so vibrant. It is pretty much like eating a Vietnamese salad, but in the shape of a roll!
Plus, dipping them in the BEST sweet and savory peanut sauce is a must. SO good!
I also think it is fun to make summer rolls at home. The name is sorta misleading, since you can of course eat them all year around. They will also add a nice summer breeze to your plate if you enjoy them during the winter. You can team up and put all of your family members to work, everyone choosing what to put in their own roll.
There is a minimal rolling technic to figure out when make homemade spring rolls for the first time, but they are easier to make then vegan sushi, I believe. So, this is a good place to start and you will get the hang of it pretty quickly. Just watch my quick video and you will be all set!
Let me know how you liked them! 💛
What's to love about this recipe
- They are super healthy: rich in vitamins, fiber packed and loaded with high-quality plant-based protein
- Vegan, vegetarian and dairy-free
- So fresh and light, but also quite filling and satisfying
- Great to pack in lunch boxes or make them for dinner
- Versatile: change up the veggies as you wish!
- Great recipe to help you eat more fresh vegetables
- Rice paper: use any brand you can find! I used the spring roll wrappers from Blue Dragon. You should be able to make 8 rolls with one package even if you double up the layers (see below).
- Vermicelli noodles: I prefer using whole wheat vermicelli for added fiber and they help me stay full longer. But, use whatever vermicelli noodles you can find. Thin and fine noodles work best for rolls, so avoid regular noodles.
- Raw veggies: here is where you can switch up things easily. I love the combo of crunchy cucumber, carrots and red pepper, but keep reading below for more veggie ideas!
- Fresh herbs: fresh spring rolls are great with cilantro and mint, but Thai basil works well too if you have any.
- Extra firm tofu: I used the tofu from Wildwood, but use your favorite as long as it is extra firm.
- Soy sauce + Maple syrup: they are combined to make a quick marinade to flavor the tofu.
- Cornstarch: helps crisp and roast the tofu better.
What is rice paper
Rice paper is pretty much what the name wants you to believe: a sheet made out of rice. They are usually in a circular shape (but also sometimes a square) and are made out of rice starch, tapioca starch, water and salt. They also are naturally gluten-free!
They come in sheets that are rigid, dry, thin and translucent, which makes them easy to break, so be gentle while handling them. Once you soak them in water for a few seconds, they will quickly re-hydrate and turn soft, which makes them easy to fold and roll.
They are used a lot in Vietnamese cuisine to make all sorts of rolls such as the popular fresh spring rolls, but also crispy fried rolls or sweet rolls.
You can find rice paper rolls in any grocery store, I find them pretty much everywhere! Just look in the Asian section. You can also buy them online if that's easier.
How to make vegan paper rice rolls
Marinate + roast tofu
Dry the tofu as much as possible without breaking it using towels. Then, slice in sticks.
Transfer the tofu in a large shallow bowl or a plate with a little edge and pour the soy sauce and sweetener over the tofu. Use tongs to move the pieces around and try to have every side of each piece covered with the marinade. Let the tofu soak for 5-10 minutes or until it has absorbed some of the sauce.
Then, sprinkle the cornstarch over and once more, move gently the pieces around to cover them all as well as possible.
Warm up a large non-stick pan over medium-high heat and add a little sesame oil or use a spray oil to prevent the tofu from sticking to the pan.
Roast the tofu sticks by flipping them once in a while until browned to your liking, which should take about 10-12 minutes. Once done, remove from the heat.
Prep the veggie + noodles
While the tofu is roasting, prep the veggies by slicing them and also cook the vermicelli noodles as recommended on the packaging. They often only require to be soaking in boiling water for a few minutes.
I like to slice the veggies into thin sticks, but you can also shred them, especially the carrots or you can also find some veggies already julienned. Thinner is better for best texture and also thin veggies will ease the rolling step. Use whatever makes this step easier, such as a mandoline or the shredder addition on your food processor.
Once the tofu, veggies and noodles are ready, then it is time to roll!
Organize your "working space" by placing the veggies, herbs, noodles and tofu in front of you while leaving the center space empty for rolling.
Fill a shallow bowl with cold water, wide enough to fit the dry rice paper. Soak the rice paper for about 30 seconds by completely submerging it under water.
*As a side note, as seen in the video, I will often use 2 sheets at a time soaking them together one over the other one. This make the roll easier to handle without breaking it while rolling. I highly recommend doubling the layers if it is the first time you make rice paper rolls!
Once slightly softened, place the rice paper(s) over a clean surface, such as the counter or a large plate, and add some noodles, veggies, tofu and herbs towards the bottom half of the rice paper while leaving the edges free of filling.
Fold both sides of the rice paper over the filling and then grab the bottom and flip over the filling as well. Then, keep rolling all the way up to seal the roll. Voila!
It might be easier to visualize how to roll them by watching my quick video. Also, keep reading below to learn about all my rolling tips!
Watch how to make them
Helpful tips when rolling summer rolls
- Double rice sheet: I like to double the layers of paper rice to make my rolls less delicate and fragile. That way, they will break less easily while rolling them and also hold a little better while eating them and dipping in sauces. This is especially helpful the first few times you make your own spring rolls to help you practice!
- Quick soak: Don't let the rice paper stand in the water for too long and take them out while they are still a little rigid (they will keep softening after you take them out...). Soaking them for about 30 seconds is usually plenty! If you leave them in water for too long, they will become very soft, hard to manipulate and they will break much easier. Also be sure to shake off any excess water before transferring to your working surface.
- Cold water: I prefer using cold water instead of hot water to soak the rice papers as I find they break less easily that way.
- Go slow on filling: Don't pack the rolls with too much filling to allow you to have some room to roll tightly.
- Tight rolling: While rolling, take your time to keep the filling ingredients tight and snug. If too loose, the filling can fall apart easier once you take your first bite!
- Gentle rolling: I notice that the rice paper tend to break if I pull the roll towards me while rolling it. This will make more sense once you try it, but you will see the rice paper tends to slightly stick to your surface and if you pull while rolling, then you might rip it. So, be sure to simply roll upward without moving the rice paper on the counter.
- Closing up the roll: once hydrated, the rice paper will become sticky or tacky, which will allow the edges to stick together once rolled all the way up. Add more water on the edge if you have trouble sealing your roll, but this should not be a problem if you soaked the sheet properly.
Customize your vegan rice paper rolls
There are endless ways to personalize your rolls. Cucumber, carrots and red pepper are a classic addition in Vietnamese rolls or salads, but feel free to swap the veggies depending on your taste or what you already have. Here are a few more ideas:
- Mushrooms: slice and roast mushrooms until browned, then use them to stuff these rolls. Shiitake mushrooms would be a great choice and add a nice chewy bite to the rolls.
- Lettuce: although I didn’t include them here, I will often add crunchy lettuce, such as romaine or bibb, when making spring rolls. They add volume and a fresh crunchiness to rolls.
- Mango: they add a nice color, but also an amazing sweet flavor that pairs well with the other veggies.
- Green onion: would add a nice mild onion-y flavor to your rolls. I will often include some in the peanut dipping sauce as well.
- Bean sprouts: for a nice crunchy addition.
- Avocado: great creamy addition when making rolls and will also add more healthy fats to help you stay full longer. Slice them in stripes and pile a few with the other veggies before rolling.
- Zucchini: for a very-veggie fresh roll, then swap the vermicelli noodles for zucchini noodles!
If you don't have tofu or don't want to have to marinate/roast some to make these rolls, here are a few more ideas to keep these rolls filling and filled with plant-based protein:
- Edamame: you will find shelled edamame in the freezer section. They are naturally sweet, high-in-protein and a little crunchy, which would also work well for spring rolls. Simply let them thaw in warm water while prepping the other ingredients and drain well before using. You don't have to cook them, simply add them raw to your rolls!
- Marinated tofu: you can buy already flavored tofu at the store that you don't have to cook or roast before using. In a pinch, this ready-to-use teriyaki tofu from the brand Wildwood would be great to save you some time.
- Choose whole wheat noodles: whole wheat vermicelli will be a little higher in protein and more filling as well, thanks to the extra fiber. I love these whole grain vermicelli from the brands Mama: they taste great, have a nice texture and cook super quickly just by soaking them in hot water for a few minutes.
Best dipping sauce for tofu summer rolls
I think we will all agree that a Thai peanut butter sauce is the best way to enjoy spring rolls! It is quick to make, healthy, high in protein and so full of flavor. I make this sauce regularly for buddha bowls, to dip tofu sticks in (my kids favorite!) and for noodle bowls. You can make it ahead to save some time when ready to eat. Hope you give it a try!
Also an amazing idea would be to dip them in this orange sauce. It is a little spicy with a nice zesty & sweet combo of flavor, although you can easily make this sauce mild as well if serving for kids.
In a pinch, simply serve with soy sauce, hoisin sauce or store-bought sweet and spicy chili sauce.
These spring rolls are definitely better when freshly made, but they can be made up to 24 hours ahead of time, which can be useful if you like to make lunches the night before.
To store them, be sure to keep them apart from ambient air as the rice paper tends to dry over time. I found that the best way to keep the texture soft and pleasant is to wrap them individually tightly in plastic wrap (or 2 at a time with a layer of plastic in between).
In any case, do not freeze them!
Related recipes you might like
- Vegan baked egg rolls
- Sesame soy soba noodle salad
- Carrot cucumber Thai salad
- Vegan kimchi ramen
- Bok choy tofu stir-fry
- Sweet and sour tofu
- Tofu buddha bowl
I hope you like these vegan rice paper rolls as much as we do! If you try them, please leave a comment below and rate the recipe to let me know how they were. Your feedback is so helpful!
Vegan Rice Paper Rolls (Tofu Summer Rolls)
- 8-16 rice paper wrappers - see notes - you can use double layer of rice paper so they don't break easily!
- 70-90 g. vermicelli noodles - cooked accordingly to packaging
- 2 cups julienned crunchy veggies - such as cucumber, carrots, red pepper, romaine lettuce
- 1 handful fresh herbs - such as mint, Thai basil and cilantro
For the tofu
- 454 g. extra-firm tofu
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- 2 tbsp cornstarch
- sesame oil - as needed to cook the tofu
Make the tofu
- Pat dry the tofu very well using towels and then slice in sticks (similar to French fries). Transfer to a large shallow bowl and pour the soy sauce and maple syrup over. Use tongs to move the tofu around to ensure each piece is well cover and let it sit for about 5-10 minutes.
- Sprinkle the cornstarch over the tofu and gently stir the pieces around to mostly cover them all with the cornstarch.
- Warm up a large non-stick pan with some sesame oil (or spray some avocado oil over). Then, roast the tofu until browned to your liking, flipping them once in a while. This should take about 10-12 minutes. Once done, remove from the heat.
Make the rice paper rolls
- While the tofu is roasting, prep the veggies and cook the vermicelli noodles according to packaging.
- Organize your "working station" by placing the tofu, veggies, herbs and cooked noodles in front of you leaving the middle space empty to roll.
- Fill a large shallow bowl with cold water and soak the rice paper sheet for about 30 seconds. I recommend to double the layer of paper soaking 2 sheets at the time so the rolls are not breaking easily, great tip if it is the first time you make rolls. Don't soak for too long, or they will break easily!
- Place the paper sheet on the clean surface in front of you and layer the vermicelli noodles, veggies, tofu sticks and fresh herbs at the bottom half portion of the sheet. Flip both side of the rice paper over the filling and then flip the bottom portion over as well. Then, keep rolling all the way to the top sealing the roll.
- Keep going until you use all the rice paper or filling ingredients. You should be able to make about 8 rolls.
- I highly recommend to read the blog post where I share many tips on how to fill and roll. The first few you make might not be the best, but once you get the hang of it, you will realize how easy it is to make.
- These spring rolls are highly customizable. Fill them with roasted mushrooms, edamame, bean sprouts, tempeh, zucchini noodles, mango, etc.
- They are best when freshly made, but I think they can be made up to 24 hours ahead of time, especially if you want to bring them to lunch the next day. To store them, I recommend to wrap them individually in plastic cling or the rice paper will dry out.