Yes, I’m aware that summer is over, but I can’t stop eating these fresh salad rolls.
They are so bright and colourful and make me feel super healthy because they’re full of raw vegetables. I love incorporating raw veggies into my diet as much as possible because that way I know my body is getting all of its nutrients from the purest sources possible. The only food which is not raw in this recipe is the smoked tofu I used – which I like to fry up to make crispy on both sides – but cooking it that way is totally optional.
If you’ve ever had veggie salad rolls from a Vietnamese restaurant, you know how deliciously simple they are. I could probably eat like 10 of them because they’re literally just vegetables and rice paper. However, after making these a few times on my own, I have a newfound respect for the people who make them in restaurants. They make salad rolls look simple, but they are part of an intricate process that actually takes longer than one may think. The vegetables must all be sliced julienne, which (if you’re like me and can’t use a knife to save your life) is incredibly difficult with the hard veggies. Eventually I gave up on cutting the carrot and just ended up using a peeler to peel off the thickest strips possible (I’m not losing a finger for carrot strips).
This dish takes a bit of practice to master. If you’re not familiar with rice paper then I suggest you go slowly and be as delicate as possible while putting the rolls together. Remember, this is not a burrito – rice paper is very thin and can rip if you’re not careful. Of course that didn’t matter to me as I still ate all of the salad rolls I’ve broken in the past, but it was messy. The benefit of salad rolls is that they’re compact and easy to eat. My advice is to make these hours ahead of your meal so you don’t end up breaking all of your rolls in a downward spiral of hanger and frustration. Also, if you have someone to help you prep the veggies, it will save you a lot of time. This recipe makes 8 rolls (16 cut in half) which is more than enough for two people because they have tofu and vermicelli (rice noodles), meaning they are more filling than the traditional vegetable spring roll.
I’m excited to share this recipe because I’ve finally perfected my peanut sauce. It’s perfectly zesty and creamy from fresh lime and smooth peanut butter. If you like it a bit spicier, you can add a bit of Sriracha or grate up some ginger and blend it in. I could eat this sauce every day on every bowl of veggies ever if I wasn’t so lazy. Peanut sauce is my absolute favourite sauce (next to teriyaki of course). It just goes with everything!
This recipe makes about half a cup of peanut sauce you can store it with any leftover rolls for later if you don’t finish it. The tofu salad rolls actually make a great packed lunch so if you’re cooking for one like I usually do, then you will definitely have extra. 🙂 Enjoy!
Vegan Salad Rolls with Peanut SaucePrint This
For the rolls:
8 rice paper wrappers
1 package of extra firm tofu (I used Soyganic smoked tofu)
1 carrot, peeled or julienne
1/2 English cucumber, julienne
1 red bell pepper, julienne
1 yellow bell pepper, julienne
1 handful vermicelli noodles, cooked and rinsed
1/4 cup cilantro, stems removed and minced
1 tbsp. avocado oil (to fry tofu/optional)
For the peanut sauce:
2 tbsp. smooth peanut butter
2 cloves garlic
1 tbsp. soy sauce/liquid aminos
1 tbsp. sesame oil
1-2 tbsp. almond/cashew milk (to thin it out)
1. Press and slice tofu into long, thin strips. If cooking, fry on each side with oil in a pan for 3-5 minutes. Set aside to cool.
2. Place peanut sauce ingredients into a food processor and blend until smooth, adding enough almond milk to get to desired consistency. Put in a small bowl and sprinkle sesame seeds on top; set aside.
2. Fill pot with water and wait until it boils; then place vermicelli noodles inside and simmer for 4-5 minutes. Drain noodles and run under cold water for 2 minutes, separating noodles with a fork as you wash them. Set aside in a bowl.
2. Cut and prepare all veggies and line them up, one by one, for easier roll-making.
3. Fill a large bowl with warm water and place 1 sheet of rice paper into water. Submerge for 10-15 seconds until you feel the paper getting softer.
4. Remove rice paper from bowl and shake off any excess water. Place gently on a hard surface and straighten any folded edges.
5. With the rice paper in a perfect circle in front of you, start by placing the tofu on the end closest to you and adding a few strips of each vegetable on top of one another, making sure to leave enough room on the sides. Finish with a few sprigs of cilantro and salt if desired.
6. Fold the rice paper lengthwise into a tight roll and fold over “the wings” of each side of the salad roll. Continue to fold salad roll lengthwise while making sure each side is tucked in neatly.
7. Place finished salad roll on a separate plate and continue to make rolls one by one, until all ingredients are used up.
8. Serve on a plate with sauce. Enjoy!