Are you looking for an easy, spring roll and peanut sauce recipe? Well, look no further. I learned how to make these authentic, Vietnamese spring rolls during a cooking class in Hoi An, and now I make them all the time! I love how simple they are to put together. Fun fact: I’ve always called the fresh rolls spring rolls, but in Canada, they call the fresh rolls summer rolls, and the fried ones spring rolls. Without further ado, I give you my vegan take on this classic recipe. You’ll want to save this one for later!
- 1 block of extra-firm tofu
- 2 carrots, shredded
- 1 English cucumber (or 2 medium cucumbers) cut into thin matchsticks
- 2-3 spears of fresh basil*
- Rice noodles
- 3 cups of water
- Spring roll wrappers
- Salt and pepper to taste (for tofu)
- 1 jalapeño or Thai chili and ¼ onion, sliced (optional)
- 2TBS Braggs liquid aminos (or soy sauce)
- 3TBS sriracha
- 2-3TBS peanut butter (use less for a lower fat version)
- 1TBS brown sugar
- 1TBS of water
Drain your package of tofu and cut horizontally into thirds. With a few paper towels, gently squeeze out excess liquid. Place tofu on a paper towel-lined plate, cover with a paper towel and place a heavy plate on top to remove as much liquid as possible. Wait thirty minutes, remove paper towels and season with salt & pepper to taste. If this is your first time cooking with tofu, it is normal for the tofu to still feel a bit moist.
While you bring three cups of water to a boil in a medium pot, chop cucumbers into four-inch long matchstick pieces and grate carrots. Chop jalapeños and onion into thin slices, and remove basil leaves from the spears. When the water has come to a boil add half a package of rice noodles into the pot and boil for three minutes. Drain and let the noodles cool down.
Spray a non-stick skillet with cooking spray to cook the tofu. If you don’t have cooking spray, you can dab some olive oil on a paper towel and dab it gently it on the bottom of the skillet. Grill both sides of the tofu until it is golden. I leave it on the skillet longer to make it extra firm. Cut into one inch by four-inch strips. While the tofu cooks, prepare your peanut sauce. In a small bowl, microwave peanut butter in 10-second increments until it is soft. Add liquid aminos, sriracha, water, and brown sugar and mix until smooth. Adjust ingredients to taste.
In a round baking dish or bowl wider than your spring roll wrappers, add enough hot water to dip your spring roll wrappers in. It does not have to be boiling, but hot enough to make the soaking processing easier. You will notice that your spring roll wrapper has a rough side and a smooth side. Place your spring roll wrapper in the water with the smooth side down. Wait about five seconds. Carefully lift the wrapper out of the water and let the excess water run off into the bowl. Place smooth side down on a large plate. Next, add a bit of cooked rice noodles, a strip or two of cooked tofu, some carrot, cucumber, a leaf or two of basil (and jalapenos and onions if you wish.) in a horizontal line across the center of the rice wrapper. Fold the rice wrapper up and around to cover your ingredients, then fold in the sides. Finally, gently roll the wrapper up and place on another bowl. Repeat until ingredients are finished. Serve with your peanut sauce and enjoy!
We had a ton of fresh mint in the garden this summer so we used that in place of basil, and I would say it tastes just as good.
The ingredients you place on your spring roll first will be the ones you see when you serve them, so make it pretty and play around with what ingredients you add first.
Use leftover ingredients and sauce to make a deconstructed spring roll salad!