These Vietnamese Rice Paper Spring Rolls or fresh summer rolls are the perfect summertime snack: light, refreshing, easy to assemble, and served with the most delicious dipping sauce!
Vietnamese Spring Rolls, also known as Gỏi cuốn or Summer Rolls, are a refreshing appetizer or a tea-time snack, especially when it’s too hot to be standing in front of a stove frying up spring rolls! With noodles, fresh vegetables, and tofu wrapped in rice paper, this is a no-brainer choice for when you want a quick, delicious, and 100% plant-based snack option!
Unlike most spring roll recipes which are believed to be originated from China, these fresh rolls are from Vietnam, and ditch the flour wrap for a faster to cook & assemble rice paper. Traditionally these rolls contain prawns or pork as an additional protein element. But to keep things strictly vegetarian/vegan, we use pan-fried tofu. If you want a truly no-cook / no-fry recipe, just ditch the tofu (or use store-bought tofu puffs). You can certainly make these summer rolls without the protein component too.
But what really takes these simple Vietnamese spring rolls to the next level is the dipping sauce. The rolls by themselves are crunchy and fresh, albeit a bit bland. But when paid with the sweet and spicy and salty and sour sauce, things just elevate to another level. There’s no stopping at one when you pair these fresh rolls with the dipping sauce! And if you don’t have all the ingredients or mood to whip up the sauce, just use any Asian-inspired sauces or condiments you already have on hand.
Here’s a video on how to make the fresh summer rolls aka Vietnamese Rice Paper Spring Rolls –
Fresh Spring Rolls (Vietnamese Rice Paper Summer Rolls)
For the Spring Rolls:
- 8 Vietnamese Rice Papers (available in Asian grocery stores)
- 1/4 lb Rice Noodles (about 100 gms)
- 1/2 cup Tofu (sliced lengthwise)
- 2 tsp Vegetable Oil
- 1/4 cup Green Onions
- 1/4 Cucumber (julienned)
- 1/4 Carrot (julienned)
- 1/4 cup Bell Peppers (julienned)
- 1/4 cup Lettuce (shredded)
- 1/4 cup Cilantro / Mint Leaves
For the Dipping Sauce:
- 1 TBsp Peanut Butter
- 1 TBsp Soy Sauce
- 1 tsp Vinegar or Lemon Juice
- 2 tsp Sriracha (adjust for spice)
- 1 TBsp Brown Sugar/ Honey/ Maple Syrup
For the rolls:
- Cook some rice noodles until soft, run them through cold water, drain well and set aside
- Tofu: Slice tofu into thin long stripes (of the size of your veggies). In a pan, add a little oil and pan fry until the tofu is golden brown and crunchy. Drain it on a paper towel & set aside.
- Veggies: You should ideally julienne all the veggies you’re using, but it’s okay even if they’re cut a bit smaller too. Don’t chop finally, as they’ll fall out of the spring roll
- Work one rice paper at a time. In a large plate or bowl, add some warm water. Clear out a clean work space, and add a wet cloth or a plate underneath. Dip the rice paper in warm water for 30-45 seconds, you’ll notice it starts to soften. Immediately place it on the plate or towel & start assembling the rolls
- Assembly Method 1: Add some rice noodles at the bottom leaving 2 inches on each side, then add veggies on top of the noodles one by one. You’ll have to exercise your judgement in how much filling you want in a roll. Once you add the veggies, add your cilantro or mint leaves. Then above the noodles & veggies, place the tofu cubes (2-3 per roll). Then roll into a tight log like you would any spring roll or burrito. Place in a clean plate & finish assembling all.
- Assembly Method 2: You can also mix all the veggies, noodles, mint/cilantro and tofu and then add the filling to the rice paper, and roll like burrito. But this way, you wont get to see all the ingredients separately.
For the dipping sauce:
- Mix all the ingredients mentioned under “sauce” until you have a smooth mixture
- Taste & adjust for seasoning
- Serve with the spring rolls!
- Do not place the rolls too close to each other as the rice paper is sticky and the rolls will stick to each other. You can serve them as a whole or slice into 2
- Ideally, you should consume this fresh (immediately), but if you want to pack this for your lunchbox, then wrap the rolls individually in a plastic wrap, and keep the rolls refrigerated until you want to consume them
- Serve with the dipping sauce or your favorite condiment.
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