Homemade Fresh Vegan Summer Rolls are healthy, colorful, and fun to make using simple ingredients that are easy to find. Serve these rice paper rolls with a creamy spicy peanut dipping sauce, you’ll have a delicious and light appetizer, lunch or dinner!
Whether you call them summer rolls, spring rolls, salad rolls, or rice paper rolls – these fresh and healthy rainbow wraps are the perfect finger food for warm summer days! They’re easier to make than you may think and adaptable. Plus they have low calories while being so delicious!
If you haven’t made Summer Rolls before, you just need a bit of practice but after your second one, I bet you’ll be a master! I’ve also included plenty of tips which will help you to make them perfectly!
What is Summer Rolls “Vietnamese Goi Cuon”?
Essentially, Summer rolls, known as Goi Cuon in Vietnamese, are just made using rice paper, sushi rice or thin rice noodles, crunchy vegetables, fresh greens, and herbs. While traditional recipes also call for chicken or fish like shrimp or salmon, I made my summer rolls vegan with smoked tofu. So they require no cooking at all and can be stuffed with your favorite veggies.
You can keep them simple by adding just a few ingredients or add more colorful vegetables to make beautiful rainbow summer rolls. Anyway, in this recipe I show you how I make them, so you can create your own fresh summer rolls with your favorite add-Ins. Enjoy them for a healthy snack, fancy appetizer, or light lunch with my best ever creamy peanut sauce – you’ll love it!
Ingredients for Vegan Summer Rolls
The first important part is to have everything sliced and ready on hand before you begin assembling. You can use your favorite variety of veggies, some thin rice noodles or sushi rice, and tofu for protein. Here’s what I used in my summer rolls but as mentioned before, feel free to swap the ingredients to your liking.
- rice noodles
- yellow bell pepper
- red cabbage
For variation, you can try adding sticky rice, avocado, radish, lettuce, spinach, green onions, bean sprouts, etc. Also, other tasty herbs like Thai basil, cilantro, or even a combination is great for really flavorful summer rolls.
Rice paper wrappers for summer rolls
Everything’s wrapped up in rice paper wrappers. I like to keep them on hand so that I can make these summer rolls whenever I end up with extra veggies that I need to get rid of.
You can find rice paper wrappers for summer rolls in the Asian section of your grocery store. There are different shapes and sizes but I usually use round 9-inch rice papers. Each wrapper has only about 30-35 calories. So when they’re stuffed with all these healthy veggies, you have one seriously low-calorie meal!
Before rolling, the wrappers must be soaked in warm water briefly to slightly soften. Usually, you can find the instruction at the package but be careful not to oversoak them. Basically, you want them soft but a little firm as the rice paper will continue to soften after you placed it onto the plate. When they become too soft, you won’t be able to work with them anymore.
How to make summer rolls
Step 1: Prep your veggie filling
Pour boiling water over the rice noodles. Cover and set aside for 5-10 minutes. Then drain and rinse with cold water. In the meantime, cut your veggies and tofu (if using) into thin strips by hand or using a julienne.
Step 2: Soak the rice paper in water
Fill a large bowl or shallow dish with warm water. Dip the rice paper in the water for just 3 seconds to slightly soften, then lay onto a plate.
Step 3: Assemble your summer rolls
Assemble and roll the summer rolls like a burrito. Simply layer the ingredients as shown in the photos. Then start rolling the wrap from one end and tuck it gently but tightly over the top of the veggies. Finally, fold over the sides and continue to roll.
Peanut Sauce or Dumpling Dipping sauce (nut-free)
Helpful Tips for making summer rolls
- Do not over soak the rice paper. Just dip briefly into the water until slightly soften. It should be still a bit stiff, but it will continue to soften after you placed it onto the plate. If the rice paper is soaked too long it will become too soft to work with.
- Keep your work surface (plate) wet. To prevent rice paper wrappers from sticking be sure to keep the plate or your rolling work surface wet.
- Do not use too much filling. The rice papers are very delicate so if you overfill they may tear.
- Double the rice sheets. If you notice they tear, consider doubling up the rice paper to strengthen them.
How to store and make-ahead
If meal prep is your thing, feel free to make a big batch and keep leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 2-3 days. You could also double up the rice paper wrappers for each roll to strengthen them so they don’t tear from softening due to storing. To keep the rolls from sticking together, place a piece of parchment paper between each roll. The peanut sauce will last longer, for up to 5-6 days. Just make sure to store in separate covered containers.
These Fresh Homemade Summer Rolls are:
- Vegan (meat-free, fish-free)
- Dairy-free (lactose-free)
- Easy to make
- Stuffed with crunchy veggies
- Low in calories
- Rich in protein (from tofu and peanuts)
- So delicious!
More Vegan Asian, Chinese, or Thai Recipes to try:
- Vegan Pad Thai with Veggie Noodles and Tofu
- Chinese Eggplant with Chili Garlic Sauce
- Vegan dumplings with vegetable filling
- Scallion Pancakes (Chinese flatbread)
- Asian Peanut Noodles with Crispy Tofu
- Crispy Sesame Tofu with Tahini Peanut Sauce
- General Tso’s Tofu with Sweet-Sour Sauce
- Asian Chili Garlic Noodles
If you try these vegan Vietnamese summer rolls, please leave a comment and rating on how you liked the recipe! And if you take a photo of your healthy rice paper rolls and share it on Instagram, please tag me with @biancazapatka and use the hashtag #biancazapatka because I love to see your remakes! Enjoy!
Vegan Summer RollsAuthor:
- 12 round rice papers wrappers 9-inch in diameter
- 3.5 oz thin rice noodles
- 5.3 oz smoked tofu cut into small sticks
- ½ cucumber cut into small sticks
- 2 small carrots cut into small sticks
- 1 yellow bell pepper or red or orange, thinly sliced
- 1 ½ cup red cabbage thinly sliced
- 1 handful of mint leaves or other herbs
- *Note: I highly recommend reading the blog post for helpful tips on making summer rolls!
- Pour boiling water over the rice noodles. Cover and set aside for 5-10 minutes. Then drain and rinse with cold water. (Be sure to read the package instructions as the cooking method of the noodles may vary, depending on brand and type).
- In the meantime, cut your veggies and tofu into thin strips by hand or using a julienne.
- Fill a large bowl or shallow dish with warm water. Dip the rice paper in the warm water briefly to slightly soften, then place it on a large plate. (Please do no over soak! It should be still a bit stiff, as it will continue to soften after you placed it onto the plate).
- Assemble the ingredients as shown on the step-by-step photos above. Then start rolling the wrap from one end and tuck it gently but tightly over the top of the veggies. Fold over the sides and continue to roll (just like a burrito). Set aside.
- Continue this process with remaining rice paper wrappers and filling. (If you end up with any leftover filling, make more rolls or simply eat the veggies raw with the sauce.)
- Use your favorite vegetables, greens, and herbs (read my blog post for suggestions).
- Store leftover summer rolls in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 2-3 days (read storage tips above!)
- Nutrition facts are calculated without the dipping sauce.
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