Vegan Summer Rolls with Braised Tofu

GFGluten FreeNFNut FreeOFOil FreeVVegan

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These vegan summer rolls are filled with crunchy veggies, rice noodles, fresh herbs, and seasoned tofu for a simple yet satisfying meal!

Spring rolls, cold rolls, summer rolls…whatever you call them, I think we can all agree on two things: (1) they taste delicious, and (2) they can be a little tricky to make.

Never fear, friends! Today I’m breaking down the process into simple and easy steps for you. You’ll be a roll-making pro in no time at all!

hand putting herbs into rice paper roll on wood cutting board

Not sure what a summer roll is? I’ll break that down for you too ???? Rice paper rolls are kind of similar to sushi — they’re filled with rice (rice noodles, in this case) plus a wide variety of veggies and (usually) some form of protein. Where they differ though, is the outer portion – rice paper rolls skip the seaweed and are made of, well, rice!

three rice paper rolls on grey plate with peanut sauce

You can find Vietnamese rice paper rolls in most standard grocery stores, but you can also purchase them online or look at a local Asian market too. They’re naturally gluten and oil-free, and are pretty budget-friendly too!

Now that we’ve got the basics out of the way, let’s get to rolling…

Step One: Prep Your Ingredients

ingredients for rice paper rolls on wood cutting board

You’ll need to move quickly after you wet the rice paper, so it’s best to prep and chop all of your veggies ahead of time. The best part of rice paper rolls is that you can really stuff them with whatever you want. I generally like to have some form of

  • Fresh Veggies: bell pepper, carrot, and cucumber are classically used here, but other veggies like cabbage or even avocado are just as great! It’s also common to use cabbage, lettuce, or salad greens as an extra filler
  • Protein: summer rolls can be filled with seafood, but today we’re using tofu to keep things vegan-friendly! I used my Five Spice Braised Tofu for these rolls and it was so delicious. I would definitely recommend using some form of pre-seasoned tofu, otherwise it’ll taste kind of bland.
  • Fresh Herbs: I went with some mint and Thai basil from my garden, but cilantro would also work well here!
  • Rice Noodles: because rice is life ???? also known as vermicelli noodles, these thin noodles add an extra layer of heartiness and chew to our rolls

I like to arrange my ingredients on a plate and have it next to me while I wet my rice paper, which is…

Step Two: Soften the Rice Paper

hard rice paper over bowl of warm water

You’ve bought your rice paper and prepped your ingredients, so now it’s time to work! Fill a large bowl with a wide base with warm (but not too hot!) water. Then, quickly wet the rice paper — it’ll soften as it comes in contact with the water. You want to keep it in the water long enough to soften, but not too long, or it will stick together and turn to mush.

I’ve found that it’s better to under-soak your rice paper, as it will continue to soften after you take it out of the water. If it’s still not wet enough, you can use a basting brush to put a little extra water on it. It’s also easier to place the wet rice paper onto either a plastic or polished wood cutting board — this will make it easier to pick up later.

Step Three: (Quickly) Fill Your Roll

hand filling rice paper roll with rice noodles

Once wet, the rice paper becomes really sticky really fast. So it’s best to move quickly here! Fill the center of your summer roll with whatever toppings your little heart desires, then move on to step four.

If you care about the ~aesthetics~ of your rolls, it’s important to note that the items you put on the bottom will be the ones that show up on the top of the roll. You know, in case you wanted to share your finished product on Instagram and use #FromMyBowl or something ????

Step Four: Fold it Up!

hand folding bottom of rice paper roll

Folding a summer roll is essentially like folding a burrito — first fold in the sides, then fold the bottom up over the filling, and finally roll the entire roll (while compressing it a bit with your hands) up to the top.

You’ll need to move carefully while you roll, otherwise the rice paper may rip. It’ll also stick to the first thing it touches, so be intentional here! A little practice makes perfect, and you’ll have it down in no time at all – promise!

Step Five: Serve and Enjoy

hand dipping rice paper roll into peanut sauce

Rice paper rolls are pretty yummy on their own, but they’re especially yummy with a dipping sauce. As the fillings can be kind of dry, it really helps to bring everything together!

I prefer to serve my summer rolls with my Easy Peanut Sauce, but they’re also great with Sweet Chili Sauce or a simple mix of soy sauce, garlic, and ginger.

These vegan summer rolls are filled with crunchy veggies, rice noodles, fresh herbs, and seasoned tofu for a simple yet satisfying meal! #vegan #ricepaper #summerroll #springroll #glutenfree | Frommybowl.com

If you’re looking for more Asian-inspired recipes, you’ll also love these Spicy Sesame Noodles, this Vegan Miso Soup, and these Black Rice Bowls with Crispy Tofu!

Finally, if you make this recipe and decide to share it on Facebook or Instagram, don’t forget to tag me @FromMyBowl + #FromMyBowl! I love seeing your delicious recreations 🙂

Print

Vegan Summer Rolls with Braised Tofu

bowl of rice paper rolls with peanut sauce on wood cutting board

These vegan summer rolls are filled with crunchy veggies, rice noodles, fresh herbs, and seasoned tofu for a simple yet satisfying meal!

  • Author: Caitlin Shoemaker
  • Prep Time: 30 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 Minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 10-12 rolls 1x
  • Category: Main
  • Method: No Bake
  • Cuisine: American
Scale

Ingredients

For the Rice Paper Rolls: 

  • 1012 sheets of rice paper
  • Large, wide bowl of warm water

For the Filling: (Optional – use whatever you’d like!)

  • Crunchy veggies (I used bell pepper, carrot, and cucumber)
  • 1 small block of Braised Tofu
  • 1 cup cooked vermicelli noodles
  • Fresh herbs, such as mint and thai basil
  • Salad greens or shredded lettuce

For Serving:

Instructions

  1. Prep Your Ingredients: cook the vermicelli noodles according to the package directions and thinly slice all of your vegetables and tofu. Arrange all of the fillings on a large plate or tray for easy access, and set by a bowl of warm water and your rice paper.
  2. Soften the Rice Paper: by soaking it in the bowl of warm (but not too hot) water for 5-10 seconds. I find it easiest to rotate the paper in the bowl in a circular direction, and press the center of the rice paper into the bowl to completely soak it. Carefully remove the rice paper from the water and place onto a plastic or polished wood cutting board.
  3. Fill Your Roll: place any and all of the fillings that you prepared into the center of the rice paper. It’s best to move quickly here, as the rice paper becomes very sticky over time.
  4. Roll it Up: fold each side of the rice paper in towards the center, then fold the bottom portion over the filling, towards the top. Use both hands to compress the roll as you roll it towards the top of the rice paper to completely seal it. Tip: move slowly and carefully lift each side of the rice paper so it does not rip.
  5. Serve and Enjoy: serve as desired. I prefer to serve my summer rolls with peanut sauce or sweet chili sauce. The rolls are best consumed immediately, as they will start to stick together with time. To avoid this you can spray them with a bit of nonstick cooking spray, or sandwich them between salad greens or other veggies so they do not touch each other.

Notes

  • Substitute, Substitute! The main key ingredient here is rice paper – feel free to use different veggies, add in extras, swap out the tofu, or use a different kind of noodle. The world is your (vegan) oyster!

Keywords: summer rolls, cold rolls, rice paper rolls, spring rolls, vegan summer rolls, rainbow summer rolls, healthy rolls, vegan rice paper rolls

About the Author

Hey there, I’m Caitlin! I make easy-to-follow, wholesome, and budget-friendly vegan recipes that are mostly gluten-free and refined sugar-free. I’m also an avid yogi, love the great outdoors, am chocolate-obsessed, and enjoy eating almond butter straight off of the spoon.

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Comments

  1. SO delicious. Caitlyn, I am inspired by every video, photo and blog post. Keep doing what you’re doing – being a creative, wholesome, honest, true-to-yourself hardworking bada**!

  2. Love how fresh these are!! And with the peanut sauce it tastes heavenly 🙂 definitely becoming a staple recipe of mine

  3. I never write reviews, I just have been making your recipes and watching your videos for years, but this one pushed me to write!! I LOVED THIS it was so fun. I customized the ingredients to make it fully to my taste and preference but the foundation was fantastic for this, the peanut sauce, and the chinese five-spice tofu. I had such a fun time having an “excuse” to work with rice paper for the first time. I ended up overstuffing (like a big burrito) but it was still delicious, and now I know a little better! Thanks, Caitlin for a fun and yummy summer recipe 🙂

    1. That’s so kind of you! Happy to hear you had fun with the recipes and got to customize them to your taste. Thanks for sharing, Amanda!

  4. I made this along with her braised tofu recipe and her peanut sauce recipe and OMG SO DELICIOUS. The perfect meal prep food, amazing for lunch and dinner. Y’all gotta try this out, plus they are so fun to make!

  5. Made these with your chinese 5 spiced tofu recipe! It was insanely delicious especially with the tofu. Will definitely do it again 🙂