The Best Vegan Spring Rolls (GF/V)

The best vegan spring rolls.

It finally feels like we are on the brink of spring up here in Maine, and that obviously calls for some seriously fresh and zippy summer food. That’s why we love these super-tangy, veggie-packed vegan spring rolls. They’re filled with crunchy Napa cabbage, carrots, soy-glazed tofu, cool cucumbers, and cilantro, and served alongside creamy vegan sriracha mayo. The best part is that they’re easy and quick to make, are undeniably fresh, healthy, and comfortable, and are literally the stuff that your summer craving dreams are made of!

Spring rolls are also incredibly fun to make, and you can get your whole family or friend group involved. We make these rolls pretty regularly — they’re hard to resist once you’ve tried them — and we get a fun little assembly line going. Ryan dips the wrappers, and I stuff them with the veggie mixture and roll them up in a neat little packages. Meanwhile, Karl catches all the stuff we drop (of course).

A spring roll spread.

So, why are these vegan spring rolls the best?

I get it. Spring rolls are pretty much inherently fresh. So, what makes our vegan spring rolls special?

First of all, spring rolls are customizable by nature. You can stuff them with pretty much anything. Most of the spring rolls I’ve tried in my time were filled with shrimp or chicken, cilantro, and rice vermicelli (noodles). I wanted to create a version that is completely vegan, filled with even more fresh veggies, and nixes the vermicelli for a healthier kick.

The bottom line is that we wanted to create something simple and flavorful with approachable and wholesome ingredients, and I think we achieved that with these spring rolls.

Wrapping spring rolls.

The veggies:

I’m a texture kinda girl, so Napa cabbage is the star of this recipe. I love how crunchy and refreshing it is. It’s also not too cabbage-y, which can turn some people off. We slice it thinly and then add in some grated carrots for sweetness. We also stir in some thinly shaved cucumbers and scallions.

Finally, we toss in some cilantro. Now, I realize cilantro is kind of a controversial ingredient. Half the population seems to think it tastes like soap (so sad!). If you are one of those people, you can sub in parsley, Chinese chives, more scallions, or even another leafy veggie like spinach or baby kale and you’ll be just fine.

The tofu:

Now for the fun part. We roast thin strips of tofu in sesame oil, turmeric, soy sauce, ginger, and white pepper, letting it crisp around the edges in a hot oven. The sesame oil and turmeric contribute some mouthwatering nuttiness to the spring rolls. Additionally, the tofu’s crispy but tender texture and umami flavor profile is a nice foil to the crunchy veggies.

Tofu strips baking.

The sriracha mayo:

Speaking of flavor foils, let’s talk about the sriracha mayo. These vegan spring rolls are definitely more on the acidic/tangy side of things. Thus, I wanted to create a dipping sauce that would counteract that a bit. That’s where Just Mayo comes in. You seasoned vegans out there probably know all about Just Mayo already, but for those of you who don’t, you only need to know that it is the best damn vegan mayo I’ve ever tried. Seriously, there is NO DIFFERENCE between this and regular mayo. And, I’ve sampled a lot of vegan mayo in my life.

Anyway, plop a little bit of Just Mayo in a bowl and add some rice vinegar, garlic, and a generous dollop of sriracha. Then, mix it all together thoroughly. There you have it! The perfect dipping sauce for your veggie-packed spring rolls. If you like a less spicy sauce, add more mayo and less sriracha. For more acid, add more vinegar. You can also add a little bit of mirin or even maple syrup if you want more sweetness.

Why you should make this recipe.

The best vegan spring rolls.

Once you’ve wrapped up your veggies and tofu in a cozy rice wrapper, you can get to dipping and go punish a whole platter of these spring rolls. Seriously, it’s really hard to stop eating them once you taste them ;).

In all seriousness, though, this recipe is super simple and fun. These rolls also make a great meal prep dish. They keep for a several days in the fridge, don’t need to be heated up to enjoy, and are easy to pack up for a healthy lunch on the go. I actually love throwing these into our soft cooler for hiking lunches or picnics.

If you like this recipe and want some inspo in the same vein, try our tofu stir fry with mushrooms, asparagus, and sesame soy glaze. Or if you’re not vegan but like veggie-heavy, super flavorful dishes, try our baked salmon with cilantro and scallion sauce.

Enjoy!

The Best Vegan Spring Rolls

These tangy, crunchy, and refreshing vegan spring rolls are loaded with healthy veggies and umami-rich crispy tofu, and take less than an hour to put together!

For the crispy tofu:

  • 14 oz. extra firm tofu (pressed and cubed)
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce (gluten free)
  • 1 tsp. sriracha sauce
  • 1 tbsp. sesame oil
  • 4 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 2 tsp. ground turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp. fresh ginger (minced)
  • 2 tsp. maple syrup

For the veggies:

  • 1/2 head napa cabbage (finely sliced or grated)
  • 1 medium cucumber (grated)
  • 2 large carrots (grated)
  • 1 bunch scallions (sliced thinly, white and green parts only)
  • 3/4 cup fresh cilantro (roughly chopped)
  • 3 tbsp. unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 1/2 tbsp. avocado oil
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp. white pepper

For the sriracha mayo:

  • 2/3 cup Just Mayo
  • 3 tbsp. rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. sriracha sauce
  • 1 tsp. mirin
  • 1/2 tsp. fresh ginger (grated)

Other ingredients:

  • 12-20 rice wrappers
  • 1.5 cups room temperature water

For the tofu:

  1. Preheat oven to 425ºF and press the tofu.

  2. Combine soy sauce, sriracha, sesame oil, garlic, turmeric, ginger, and maple syrup in a large mixing bowl and whisk together to thoroughly combine into a marinade.

  3. Once tofu is pressed, slice it in half width-wise, then in half length wise. This will leave you with four quarters. Then, slice the quarters into 1/4-1/2 inch slices (see photo).



  4. Place the tofu slices in the marinade and let sit for 10-15 minutes. Then, transfer the tofu to an oiled baking sheet using a slotted spoon. Bake for 15-25 minutes, checking occasionally. Remove the tofu from the oven when the edges are crisp but the middle is still tender.

For the spring roll assembly:

  1. Combine all veggies and the sea salt, white pepper, and rice vinegar in a large bowl and toss to combine until the veggies are coated in the rice vinegar and seasonings.

  2. Prepare your workspace by placing the room temperature water in a large, flat pan, such as a pie dish or 12-inch skillet. Lay out your your rice wrappers, veggies, and tofu in that order (you'll assemble the spring rolls in this order). Prepare two lightly oiled plates: one for wrapping the spring rolls and one on which to place the finished ones.

  3. Begin assembly by dipping a rice wrapper in the water, making sure it's fully saturated but still minimally firm (about 5-10 seconds). This will largely depend on your brand of rice wrappers, so go by feel.

    Lay the wet rice wrapper flat on a plate and place a heaping spoonful (about a 2 tbsp.) of the veggies in the center. Then, place 2 pieces of tofu on top of the veggies.

  4. Wrap the spring rolls by pulling the left and right sides of the rice wrapper towards the center until they meet.



  5. Then, starting at the top, tuck the edge of the spring roll wrapper tightly up underneath the veggie pile and begin rolling until the wrapper fully surrounds the veggies and tofu. Then, remove to a plate. Pro tip: don't be afraid to pull the wrapper a little bit tightly. They are pretty resilient, so they shouldn't rip.



  6. Repeat the process until you've used up all your veggies, tofu, and wrappers. Enjoy cold and fresh!



  7. Store any leftover rolls in a very lightly oiled airtight container. If you must stack them on top of each other, lay a piece of parchment or wax paper in between them to prevent them from sticking to each other. They will keep for 2-3 days.

For the sriracha mayo:

  1. Combine all mayo ingredients in a medium bowl and stir to thoroughly combine. Add more or less sriracha depending on how much spice you can tolerate. You can store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Appetizer, Main Course, Entree
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Gluten-free, easy vegan recipes, vegan food, best vegan spring rolls, spring rolls, summer food, fresh food, vegetable spring rolls, rice wrapper

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