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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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