Fresh Vegan Spring Rolls

In Appetizers & Healthy Snack Recipes

Packed with fresh basil, mint, and cilantro, these flavorful vegan spring rolls are served with a spicy peanut dipping sauce.

vegan spring rolls

All winter and spring we’ve been salivating over the recipes in The Herbal Kitchen, a gift from my sister (it was written by a chef based in her home city of Seattle). So as soon as our cilantro and mint were big enough to harvest, I knew just what I’d use them for – some fresh vegan spring rolls. These rolls were a delicious burst of fresh flavors. Spring and summer rolls can be filled with many different items, but the goal of the original recipe was to take a minimalist approach by using only herbs, chopped peanuts, and iceberg lettuce to provide a crunchy texture. We found the simplicity to be perfectly satisfying (though of course you can customize the filling to your own liking).

The original recipe called for a fish sauce-based dipping sauce, but in the spirit of making a “simple” recipe even simpler, we went with a hoisin peanut sauce that required minimal ingredients and no chopping (to further reduce the overall intensity of the experience). We loved the way the flavors in the sauce ended up complimenting the herb and peanut filling of the vegan spring rolls.

How to make spring rolls

Start by prepping your filling; all you have to do is finely chop or grate the ingredients, and mix them with a little sesame oil for extra flavor. Once the filling is prepped and ready to go, it’s time to move onto the rice paper wrappers. Prepping the rice paper wrappers is the trickiest part of this recipe, simply because they’re so darn sticky. To prep the wrappers, you’ll need to slide them into a bowl of warm water one by one. After about 30 seconds, the wrapper should be soft and pliable. Transfer the wrapper to a cutting board and fill it with the herb mixture (make sure not to overfill them, as they tear easily!). The rolling technique and sticky rice paper is a bit frustrating at first, but the work definitely pays off.

Once the vegan spring rolls are all finished, whisk together the dipping sauce ingredients and dig in! These spring rolls are best eaten right away, as they don’t hold up well in the fridge (the rice paper wrappers become gooey and the herbs on the inside wilt).

Looking for more vegetarian Thai recipes?

This recipe is…

Vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free (just double check that your hoisin sauce is gluten-free, as some contain wheat byproducts).

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Fresh Vegan Spring Rolls


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  • Author: a Couple Cooks
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 12 rolls
  • Category: Appetizer
  • Method: Raw
  • Cuisine: Thai

Description

Packed with fresh basil, mint, and cilantro, these flavorful vegan spring rolls are served with a spicy peanut dipping sauce.


Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup fresh mint leaves
  • 1/2 cup cilantro
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
  • 4 cups lettuce leaves
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 4 carrots
  • 1/2 cup roasted and salted peanuts
  • 12 rice paper wrappers
  • 1/3 cup hoisin sauce (sans corn syrup, if possible)
  • 2 tablespoons natural peanut butter
  • 4 tablespoons warm water
  • 1/2 teaspoon hot sauce (Sriracha or other)

Instructions

  1. Coarsely chop the mint, cilantro, basil, and lettuce. In a medium bowl, combine the herbs and lettuce, and add a teaspoon of sesame oil (optional). Grate the carrots. Coarsely chop the peanuts.
  2. Fill a bowl with warm tap water. Slide in one of the rice paper wrappers for about 20 to 30 seconds, until soft and pliable. Transfer the wrapper carefully to a work surface. The wrapper will tend to stick to itself and may tear, but stay strong! After a couple times you’ll get the hang of it.
  3. Place a handful of the herbs, lettuce and carrots in a line at the bottom third of the wrapper, leaving about an inch uncovered on each side. Sprinkle the filling with chopped peanuts. Fold each side of the wrapper inward, then tightly roll the wrapper up, starting from the bottom. Place the finished roll on a platter.
  4. Repeat Step 3 for each of the rolls. (You’ll improve as you roll each one.) Avoid stacking the rolls on top of each other so that they do not stick together.
  5. To make the dipping sauce, combine 1/3 cup hoisin sauce, 2 tablespoons peanut butter, and around 4 tablespoons warm water (adjust the water to reach the desired consistency). For some spice, add 1/2 teaspoon hot sauce. Garnish with remaining chopped peanuts.
  6. Serve immediately, or cover the rolls with a damp paper towel and plastic wrap; they’ll last for about 2 hours in a cool place (but do not refrigerate).

Notes

Inspired by The Herbal Kitchen by Jerry Traunfeld

Keywords: vegan spring rolls, how to make spring rolls

 

About the Authors

Sonja Overhiser

Cookbook Author and writer

Sonja Overhiser is author and recipe developer of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the “best vegetarian cookbooks” by Epicurious, and a recipe developer and healthy & sustainable food advocate behind the award-nominated food blog A Couple Cooks.

Alex Overhiser

Cookbook Author and photographer

Alex Overhiser is photographer and recipe developer of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the “best new cookbooks” by Bon Appetit, and a recipe developer, photographer, and technical expert at A Couple Cooks.

11 Comments

  • Reply
    Raquel @ Erecipe.com
    June 8, 2011 at 1:19 am

    This is my favorite recipe spring rolls we call it here lumpiang sariwa…

  • Reply
    Lisa
    June 8, 2011 at 1:30 am

    Ahhh I’m famous!

    These sound SO good. I want to try and make them this weekend! …

  • Reply
    farida
    June 8, 2011 at 3:49 am

    That Rolls looks so delicious and i want to try make it soon, thanks for share.

    farida
    http://kitchensuperfood.com

  • Reply
    Lindsay @ Pinch of Yum
    June 8, 2011 at 9:25 am

    Simple = I like! I love the fabric in your photo, too! :)

  • Reply
    Nicki
    June 8, 2011 at 10:33 am

    SO making these tonight! YAY for recipes that don’t require stoves and ovens!! :-)

  • Reply
    Sasha (Global Table Adventure)
    June 8, 2011 at 4:55 pm

    I love no chopping, fuss free recipes that are oven free… seriously. I just indulged in a coco-mango soup – chilled. It’s floating around 100 degrees here, in Oklahoma… sigh. At least I was cool while I was sipping on that. Spring rolls are a fabulous idea!

  • Reply
    Parsley Sage
    June 8, 2011 at 8:25 pm

    Brilliant recipe. No fuss = yes please! I wish I had my own garden :) Buzzed!

  • Reply
    Erin @ Dinners, Dishes and Desserts
    June 8, 2011 at 10:30 pm

    What a great recipe! I am always a little leery of spring rolls at restaurants, but this one looks awesome! And the dipping sauce looks perfect!

  • Reply
    Tiffany
    June 9, 2011 at 9:14 am

    Mint, cilantro, and basil… oh my!

  • Reply
    Maria Delgado
    June 22, 2013 at 6:25 pm

    What if I don’t like cilantro? What herb do I use?

    • Reply
      Alex
      June 23, 2013 at 2:25 pm

      You could try basil.

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