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Vegetarian Rice Paper Spring Rolls {vegan and gluten-free}

These vegetarian rice paper spring rolls make a playful party–everybody gets to win. You set out the healthy fillings—crisp matchstick carrots, pungent fresh herbs, crunchy lettuce, and slippery glass noodles—your guests tuck and wrap fresh veggies in softened rice paper, and dip them into flavorful peanut sauce.

Vegetarian Rice Paper Spring Rolls |Letty's KitchenMaybe you’ve enjoyed these light Vietnamese salad rolls at a restaurant or another party. But have you made them at home? When people learn how to make these fresh vegetarian rice paper spring rolls, they love it! It’s an easy interactive meal to share with friends.

Serve with the peanut sauce for sure. Offer a second sauce, such as sweet red chili sauce. Another dipping sauce option is equal parts honey and rice vinegar, seasoned simply with with hot pepper flakes and salt.

Vegetarian Rice Paper Spring Rolls |Letty's Kitchen

Now you could prepare a batch of vegetarian rice paper spring rolls ahead of time–wrapped in plastic wrap they last a day in the fridge. You could serve them cut in diagonal halves, along with the dipping sauce. Or you could cut them in thirds, and serve cut side up, as appetizers.

But why not arrange all the ingredients on a buffet and create a different sort of gathering? Have everyone get his or her hands into it. Break the ice. Like I said, they love it!

For a successful party, follow these vegetarian rice paper spring rolls tricks and details:

  • This recipe is for six rice paper rolls. Plan on 2 rolls per person and prepare ample amounts of the filling ingredients. Leftovers are great on salads.
  • You go first–get everyone’s attention and show how to fill and roll. If this is your first time too, try to practice rolling beforehand. Here’s a demo video.
  • Encourage everyone to layer in more of the fresh herb leaves than they think—the herbs bring important not-to-be-missed flavor to rice paper rollups.

Buffet with glass noodles for Vegetarian Rice Paper Spring Rolls |Letty's Kitchen

  • Use translucent cellophane bean thread noodles–they’re lighter and more fun than the usual rice noodles. You can find both cellophane noodles and rice paper wrappers in Asian grocery stores and many well-stocked supermarkets. Or buy them online via my Amazon links.
  • Cut matchstick lengths of carrot and cucumber with a mandoline.

rice paper for Vegetarian Rice Paper Spring Rolls |Letty's Kitchen

  • About soaking the rice paper: Remove the rice paper from the warm water as soon as it is pliable. The fragile paper tears if left in water too long. I’ve learned that lesson more than once. 😉
  • The warmer the water, the less time for soaking. Start with fairly hot water because it becomes lukewarm quickly in the shallow plate.
  • Be sure to lay the softened rice paper on a clean tea towel—if you put it on the plate right away, it sticks to the plate.
  • Try to place the carrots and the herb leaves so their color shows through the translucent rolls.

Notes and ideas:

  • For the optional tofu, buy Asian seasoned baked tofu, or make you own from scratch.
  • If your guests are omnivorous, not vegan or vegetarian, you might want to include shrimp in the rollup options. (Buy already-cooked shrimp, tear off the tails and cut them in half lengthwise.)
  • Have forks at the ready for expected newbie fall-apart rollups.
  • Spike store-bought chili sauce with a squeeze of lime, to brighten the flavor.
  • Start your party with a light cocktail, these Prosecco and Elderflower Spritzers. Serve with dry rosé wine and an assortment of brew choices.

Wishing you a fabulous week–get in the kitchen and cook something delicious!

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Vegetarian Rice Paper Spring Rolls |Letty's Kitchen
Print
Vegetarian Rice Paper Spring Rolls
Prep Time
45 mins
Total Time
1 hr
 
It's a party! Everyone has fun rolling their own spring rolls. With everything cut and prepped--the assembling is easy!
Course: Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine: Vegan, Vegetarian
Servings: 6 rice paper rolls.
Author: Letty Flatt | Letty's Kitchen
Ingredients
  • 2 ounces (about 1 cup) bean thread rice noodles
  • 6 sheets round rice paper wrappers 8 to 10 inches in diameter
  • 3 leaves butter (Bibb) lettuce, center ribs removed, leaves halved lengthwise
  • 1 cup julienned or grated carrot
  • 2 green onions, white and tender green parts, trimmed and cut lengthwise into slivers
  • 1 cucumber, peeled, seeds removed and cut into thin strips
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • Thin strips of baked seasoned tofu, optional (see note)
  • 1/3 cup (loosely packed) fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1/3 cup (loosely packed) fresh mint leaves
  • 1/3 cup (loosely packed) Thai basil, optional
Peanut Dipping Sauce:
  • 6 tablespoons unsweetened peanut butter
  • ¼ cup rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons tamari soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons honey or brown sugar
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons chili oil
  • Warm water, as needed
  • sea salt, to taste
Instructions
  1. Make the peanut dipping sauce: Mix all the ingredients, whisking in 1/3 to ½ cup warm water to dipping consistency. Add salt to taste. Set aside.
  2. Soak the bean noodles in hot water (120°F, almost too hot to touch) for about 30 minutes, until soft and pliable. Drain thoroughly.
  3. Have all the ingredients arranged nearby, in assembly line fashion: Prepare a glass pie plate or shallow bowl of hot water, 110-120°F. (see note) Lay a clean kitchen towel next to the water and dinner plates on the other side, followed by the fillings and sauces.
  4. Slip a sheet of rice paper into the warm water and soak about 10 seconds, just until soft and flexible. It will become a bit more pliable as it rests so don’t leave it in too long. (see note)
  5. Lay the softened rice paper on the tea towel.
  6. Place a lettuce leaf on the bottom two-thirds of the rice paper, leaving a 2-inch border. Add a portion of noodles towards the bottom of the lettuce, top with a portion of green onions, cucumber, avocado and carrots. Layer in a baked tofu strip, if using. Tuck the fresh herb leaves above the lettuce, directly touching the rice paper so they will be visible on the outside of the rollup. (see note)
  7. Fold the bottom 2-inch border of the rice paper over to enclose the vegetables, as snugly as you can without tearing the rice paper. Fold in the side edges, and then roll to the end, keeping everything fairly tight.
  8. Serve with peanut dipping sauce and purchased sweet red chili sauce mixed with a squeeze of lime.
Recipe Notes
  • For the optional tofu, buy Asian seasoned baked tofu, or make it from scratch.
  • Start with fairly hot water because it becomes lukewarm quickly in the shallow plate.
  • Remove the rice paper from the warm water as soon as it is pliable. The fragile paper tears if left in water too long.

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