Vegan Spring Rolls
Author: Fiona Lu
Photographer: Lia Kim
In light of my nostalgia for warm weather and to provide you all with an escape from the cold and dreary rain, I will be sharing one of my favorite springtime recipes…drumroll please…Vietnamese spring rolls!! I know, what a shocker. This healthier vegan version is an alternative to traditional shrimp spring rolls that I stumbled across one day while perusing YouTube workout and diet inspo videos (it’s safe to say that I skipped over all of the actual workout regimes and went straight to the recipe side).
I have since adopted and modified the recipe to make it my own. I can confidently say that It’s great for impressing your friends during potlucks because they taste amazing but are incredibly easy to make. Not to mention, you can buy the ingredients in bulk at your local Asian supermarket so you can make enough for an entire family feast…..or have enough to eat by yourself for a week straight.
Let’s get into the ingredients! Disclaimer: these amounts are relative estimates and highly dependent on how you like your spring rolls.
3 cloves of garlic
3 tbsp of avocado/olive oil
1 cup of chopped jicama
2 cups of chopped sweet potato
1 package of glass noodles
1 cup of chopped firm tofu
½ cup of toasted jasmine rice
Rice paper rolls
1 tbsp of honey/maple syrup
2 tbsp of soy sauce
2 tbsp of apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp of peanut sauce
½ tbsp of Thai chili pepper paste
Start off by cutting the the tofu, jicama and sweet potatoes in a julienne fashion.
2. Then, finely chop the garlic. In a frying pan over medium heat, heat up 2 tbsp of oil and add the garlic. Once the garlic starts sizzling, add in the jicama and sweet potato. Stir fry the ingredients until the jicama appears golden brown.
3. While that’s being heated, soak a package of glass noodles in a bowl of warm water to soften them.
4. In a separate frying pan, lightly sear the tofu with 1 tbsp of oil until the color appears golden yellow. Add the tofu into the jicama and sweet potato mixture and turn down the heat to low.
5. In a blender, blend the toasted jasmine rice into a flour. (Note: if you can’t find toasted jasmine rice, you can make it yourself by heating up jasmine rice in a frying pan until a golden brown color is achieved). Add the rice flour into the vegetable stir fry mix and turn off the heat.
6. Now time for the dipping sauce! Mix the honey, soy sauce, apple cider vinegar, peanut butter, and Thai chili pepper paste, and 1 clove of chopped garlic in a small bowl. If you want a fully vegan recipe, substitute the honey for maple syrup.
7. To assemble the spring rolls, soak a rice sheet in a plate of hot water. The texture will go from hard to sticky almost instantly, so be careful not to let the sheet stick to itself. Remove the sheet onto a dry plate and lay a leaf of lettuce in the center. Next, add in the desired amount of vegetable mix. Then, with scissors, cut off a medium pinch of glass noodles and add it to the spring roll.
8. Fold the spring roll like a burrito by first folding in the sides then rolling it up. This is always the hardest part so don’t get discouraged if you don’t get it on the first try.
I remember my first time making these, I added an overzealous amount of filling and everything ended up spilling out so I just ended up eating the filling with the sauce like a bowl of noodles (which tastes equally as good btw!)