How to make fresh Spring Rolls with the BEST EVER Peanut Sauce! These vegan spring rolls can be made ahead and stored for healthy lunches or potlucks and gatherings.
- 1 recipe for Baked Tofu (sesame ginger- see notes) cut into strips
- 1 recipe for BEST EVER Thai Peanut Sauce
- 8–10 Rice paper wrappers ( 10 inches in diameter) or see notes
- 1 head green leaf lettuce (or red leaf)
- 1 red or yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced into strips (or sub grated radishes)
- 1 1/2 cups finely shredded purple cabbage
- 1 ½ cups shredded carrots ( or use match stick)
- ½ an English cucumber, thinly sliced into long strips – leave peels on
- ¼ cup fresh Thai basil leaves, torn (or regular basil)
- ¼ cup fresh mint leaves, torn (or cilantro, but mint is best!)
- optional additions or substitutions: daikon radish strips, avocado, grated radishes, grated turnips, grated beets, spicy greens like watercress or arugula, sprouts (sunflower or daikon sprouts are nice), or cooked vermicelli rice noodles.
If using the Baked Tofu, make this first, see note for cutting into strips. (This can be made ahead and chilled)
Make the BEST EVER Peanut Sauce!
Prep all your filling ingredients. Cut the veggies, gather the herbs. Gather all the fillings near you. I like to place these all on a cutting board near my spring roll rolling area. Mise en place. 😉
Fill a large bowl ( large enough to dip rice paper) with lukewarm water and place it behind your rolling area.
Wet the counter in front of you. (Or drench a thin kitchen towel with water, wring it out and lay it on the counter, rolling the spring rolls on top of the towel. (This is great if making a ton of spring rolls! )
Do a “tester” roll. Dip the rice paper in the water. If using “thin” rice paper (package should say) just a quick dip is all you need. Otherwise, dip for 5-15 seconds. Pull when slightly pliable (not too soft) and place it on the wet counter or towel. If rice paper still feels overly stiff, dip your hand in the water bowl and wet the rice paper a little, it will soften up.
Place a 1/4 leaf of lettuce down first in the front center of the rice paper (to prevent shredded veggies from poking out of rice paper) leaving 2-3 inches of space on the sides. See the photo.
Top the leaf with shredded veggies, tofu and torn herbs. Then firmly wrap up, tucking in the sides as you go. Place seam side down on a wet cutting board, cover with a damp paper towel.
Remember, this is your tester!
Do you like the size? Fill more or less to your preference. (Smaller rolls are good for appetizers, larger for lunch.) Did your roll fall apart? If so, too long soaking time. Adjust the time. If your roll was not pliable enough to roll, then not enough soaking time. Simply adjust. Remember, each rice paper brand is slightly different and this is a “feel” thing. 🙂
Roll each spring roll one at a time. The more you do this, the easier it will get. 🙂
Serve over top a lettuce-lined platter (this will prevent them from sticking to the platter) cut in half with room for the sauce. See photos!
To store fresh Spring Rolls for later: layer whole ( uncut) spring rolls between damp paper towels (dripping wet and then wrung out) in a large baking dish, not touching. Cover with damp paper towels and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Refrigerate.
To serve for a gathering, best served within 12- 24 hours. I’ll often make these the morning of an event, store them whole, then cut and platter them right before serving them in the evening.
For home use, these will keep up to 3-4 days!
The finer you slice and cut cabbage, bell pepper and carrots, the easier to eat.
Feel free to leave tofu out and sub more veggies, or sub shrimp or cooked vermicelli noodles. You can also use store-bought, baked tofu, or smoked tofu!
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