Vietnamese spring rolls filled with tofu, vermicelli rice noodles, and fresh vegetables wrapped in rice paper. They are served with a creamy peanut sauce for a refreshing summer appetizer or portable vegan meal that is light and flavorful! These are restaurant-quality yet budget-friendly and easy to make at home.
Kitchen spider or slotted spoon for easily and gently removing the tofu
Cutting board and Chef’s knife to cut the veggies
Grater to shred the carrots
large bowl for dipping the rice paper
For the Vietnamese Spring Rolls
6ouncesrice vermicelli noodles
1-2cupsvegetable oilfor frying ( or any other neutral oil with a smoking point of 400 degrees F or more such as canola, avocado, peanut, sunflower, refined corn oil, etc)
16ounceblock extra-firm tofu (drained, pressed, and cut into ½-inch matchsticks)
½teaspoonkosher saltor ¼ teaspoon table salt
¼teaspoonground black pepper
12sheets square rice paper wrappersbánh tráng
2cupsshredded romaine lettuceabout ½ - 1 head of romaine lettuce
1cupshredded red cabbageabout ¼ medium red cabbage
1cupthinly julienned red bell pepperabout 1 medium red bell pepper
1cupshredded carrotabout 2-3 medium carrots
1bunch fresh mint leavesdo NOT use any type of dried herbs please
1bunch fresh Thai basil leavesOr Italian basil
1bunch fresh cilantrodo NOT replace it with parsley cause it is bitter for this recipe. You can skip it if you prefer
For the Peanut Sauce
¼cuppeanut butter (get a veganversion. If allergic to peanut, use almond or cashew butter instead)
½ cuphoisin(get a vegan version)
2teaspoonsambal oelek (Indonesian chili paste – skip itor use sriracha or crushed red chili flakes)
¼cup warm water
2tablespoonchopped peanuts optional
COOK THE NOODLES: Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add in the noodles, cover, and turn off heat, allowing the noodles to soak and cook for 7-8 minutes. Drain and reserve.
PAN-FRY THE TOFU: In a large pan or a Dutch oven, heat at least a ½ inch of vegetable oil over medium-high heat for 5 minutes. NOTE: The amount of oil needed will depend on the size of your pan.
Once the oil is hot, add the tofu and fry until golden, tossing now and then to fry all sides (about 5-8 minutes). Place the tofu on a paper towel-lined plate and season with salt and pepper. Depending on the size of the pan, you will need to work in batches
MOISTEN THE RICE PAPER: Dampen your work surface with some water, or alternatively lightly grease it with vegetable oil. This will prevent the rice paper from sticking.
Dip your sheet of rice paper into a large bowl of warm water. Make sure the entire surface of the rice paper has come in contact with water. NOTE: Please, do NOT soak the rice paper. It’ll soften as you add the fillings!
FILL AND WRAP THE FRESH SPRING ROLLS: Place the rice paper in a diamond shape with one corner facing you. Create a small bed of shredded lettuce on the lower third of the wrapper, closest to you. Place a large pinch of vermicelli noodles on top, and then add 1 to 2 pieces of tofu on top of the cooked vermicelli noodles.
Next, add a large pinch of red cabbage, 2 to 3 pieces of red bell pepper, a large pinch of carrots, 2 to 3 mint leaves, 2 to 3 Thai basil leaves, and 2 to 3 cilantro leaves. To make it easier to roll, it is better to add these in horizontal rows working upwards on your rice paper instead of a single pile. Make sure to check out our process photos!
Fold the lower third of the rice paper over the filling, then fold in both the left and right corners over the filling. Continue to gently roll the rice paper from the bottom up until it forms a baton shape.
The rice paper will cling and seal itself, but you can dab a bit of water along the seam edges if needed. Cover your Vietnamese spring rolls with a damp paper towel and repeat the process until you either run out of filling ingredients or the rice paper. NOTE: If you don’t cover them with a damp tower, they will dry out.
PREPARE THE SAUCE: In a medium-sized bowl, whisk in the peanut butter, hoisin, and sambal oelek together until homogeneous. Add a tablespoon of warm water at a time to thin. The amount of water may vary depending on how thin or thick you prefer your sauce. Top the sauce with chopped peanuts and serve right away with your Vietnamese spring rolls. Enjoy!
The number of spring rolls (12 to 18) will vary depending on how much of each ingredient you use. However, if you run out of a particular ingredient, you can add more of another.
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