Steph and I have decided that one of our major goal this year is to look and feel our best. So naturally, we developed these vegan rice paper rolls to help our pursuit of ripping beach bods. But sometimes this is hard when you’re a food blogger. For example, the last few weeks have been monumental in terms of recipe development failures. I had so many attempts at my microwave sticky rice that it literally costed me a small fortune. Was I going to throw it away? Not a chance. I ate it and it’s all still happily sitting on my hips.
I have always been envious of people who have been able to eat their weight in food and not gain a single pound. A mate of mine whose nick name is “the shredder,” is a prime example. No matter what or how much he eats the guy hasn’t put on any fat since he was born. It is like he has an raging fire at the back of his mouth where food just gets obliterated before it goes down into his stomach as little puffs of flavoured smoke.
Thinking of this mate plus the amount of carbs I’ve consumed lately has made me want to put up something a bit healthier for this new post. I don’t claim that going vegan is healthier than a normal diet, but I think we can all do with a little more veg in our diet. This vegan rice paper roll recipe is a great dish for exactly that.
I normally have rice paper rolls with pork and prawn, but this vegan alternative is filled with tofu, rice vermicelli, fresh herbs and vegetables. One of the best things about rice paper rolls is you can tailor the recipe to your liking and to what you have on hand. I’ve given you the basic recipe, plus some suggestions for alternatives/additions. You’re really only limited to your imagination.
What I think works best though with the fillings I’ve suggested is that they are not in any way overpowering. Each element contributes more in terms of texture than taste, which allows the real star of this recipe to stand out… the spicy peanut dipping sauce. Think high quality, natural peanut butter, mixed with sweet hoisin and spicy sriracha and turned into a thick sauce that will cling to your filling and rice paper every time you dip. I’ve included the recipe for the sauce below, but if for whatever reason you’re not keen you can also try hoisin dipping sauce or the traditional Vietnamese nuoc mam cham.
So whether you’re vegan, need a bit of a detox or just need to clear out your fridge, give my vegan rice paper rolls with spicy peanut sauce a go. Also, I’d love to hear what flavour combinations you think are best… let me know in the comments!
Vegan Rice Paper Rolls with Spicy Peanut Sauce
These Vietnamese vegan rice paper rolls make a fantastic healthy lunch or dinner. Accompanied with a spicy peanut sauce, it will certainly please the family or friends.
- 250 grams of dried dongguan rice vermicelli
- 400 - 500 grams of freshly cooked tofu (from Asian groceries) or raw firm tofu (Note 1)
- 1 head of lettuce, shredded
- 1 continental cucumber, cut into strips
- 2 -3 medium carrots, julienned
- 1 bunch of Thai basil
- 1 bunch of coriander
- 1 packet of rice paper (at least 20)
If Using Raw Firm Tofu
- 1 cup of cornstarch
- 3 tbsp of vegetable oil (may need extra)
Extras / Alternatives
- 1 packet of bean sprouts
- 1 bag of leafy salad mix
- Any leftover veg from the week that needs to be eaten
Spicy Peanut Dipping Sauce
- 6 tbsp / 90 ml of natural no added salt pure smooth peanut butter. (Note 2)
- 4 tbsp / 60 ml of hoisin sauce
- 2 tbsp / 30 ml of Sriracha chilli sauce
- 6 tbsp / 90 ml of water
- 2 tsp / 10 ml of palm vinegar or white vinegar
Preparing the Filling
Wash and prep the vegetables and herbs then place on a plate. Leave the coriander and Thai basil whole
Add water to a large pot and bring to the boil.
Add the rice vermicelli noodles and cook as directed by the packaging. Once cooked, drain and leave aside to cool. Do not rinse the noodles with water.
If you are using cooked tofu then cut into slices then skip to step 8. If you are using raw firm tofu, then roughly cut it into 10 cm long x 2.5 cm width and 0.5 cm thick slices.
Using a paper towel, pat dry the tofu then add 1 cup of cornstarch into a large bowl and dust each slice with a thin layer of cornstarch.
Add 3 tbsp of vegetable oil into a fry pan on medium high and cook the tofu for 1.5 mins on each side. Each slice of tofu must be sitting in oil, so add more oil if needed.
Once cooked, place on a cooling rack to drain.
Make the dipping sauce.
Making the Spicy Peanut Sauce
Add the peanut butter, hoisin sauce, Sriracha sauce, water and palm vinegar into a medium sized bowl. (Note 3)
Whisk the ingredients together until combined.
Check the sauce for flavour, consistency and heat. If the sauce is too thick, add another tbsp of water. If there isn't enough heat, then add a tbsp of Sriracha sauce.
In large bowls add half cold water and half boiling water. Soften the rice paper by submerging it for a few seconds in the water. (Slideshow in this post)
Place the noodles towards the bottom of the rice paper.
Top with the vegetables and tofu.
Roll the rice paper from the bottom upwards.
- Fresh cooked tofu are usually sold in plastic packaging at your Asian groceries. It is stored in the fridge section and has a slight golden colour. The brand I prefer to use is Nhu Quynh.
- It is important that you use peanut butter with no added salt. This is because if you don't, the sauce will become too potent and strong once you mix all the other ingredients in.
- If you have adults or children who can not take heat, then try the hoisin dipping sauce version in the linked post.