Fresh and vibrant Vegetarian Rice Paper Rolls made with baked tofu, fresh vegetables, and black bean or rice noodles. Served with a spicy almond-ginger dipping sauce, these hand-held vegan salad rolls are great for picnics, packed lunches, or road tripping.
In the mood for something fresh, light, and totally fun to make and eat?
Well then I have good news for you, friends, because we're making Vegetarian Rice Paper Rolls today! Bright, beautiful, and packed with veggies and plant-based protein, these are one of my favourite things to make in the warmer months.
Not only are they endlessly customizable - YOU get to choose the fillings and pack them full of the veggies and proteins that you love - but they're a perfect vehicle for a spicy, tangy, almond-ginger dipping sauce that you're going to want to make a double batch of.
Yep, it really is that good!
Making salad rolls is also a great excuse for team work, and why not make a party of it? I'm of the opinion that sharing the work of making food makes it taste even better, so why not put out a platter of summer salad roll ingredients, some chilled wine, and let everyone make their own.
It's a guaranteed recipe for a good time.
What's in these Vegetarian Rice Paper Rolls?
Don't be intimidated by the long ingredient list - it's mostly different types of vegetables! And remember that you can mix things up and choose the fillings that you love, or that you have on hand. It's up to you!
- Rice paper --> This is kind of essential.
- Noodles --> I used a mixture of rice noodles and black bean noodles.
- Tofu --> We're going in with sticks of baked tofu today.
- Carrots --> I like to shred these up with a julienne peeler.
- Red pepper --> In nice thin strips.
- Green onion --> In long strips.
- Radishes --> Thinly sliced.
- Cucumber --> In thin sticks.
- Romaine lettuce --> Oops, I forgot to include it in the picture.
- Herbs --> I used both mint and cilantro.
How to make rice paper rolls:
If these look like they'd be too much work for you, I suggest you divide and conquer.
I did all of the prep work the night before - shredding and julienning the veg, baking the tofu, and cooking the noodles - so when it came time to roll it was simply a matter of creating an assembly station and getting started up.
Step 1: Soak your rice paper. You only want to do this for a few seconds, and it should still have some firmness to it when you pull it out of the water as it will continue to soak up liquid as you work.
Step 2: Add shredded veggies, tofu, noodles, and herbs to the center of the rice paper. If you're just starting out, I recommend less filling rather than more to make them easier to roll.
Step 3: Roll 'em up! I usually roll one long side over the filling, tuck the ends in, and then finish rolling the rest of the way.
Step 4: Repeat until you've used up all of your filling ingredients.
That's it! Super easy.
The best thing about making homemade vegetarian rice paper rolls is that they're a blank canvas. You can switch up the veggies according to what's in season or what you've got on hand:
- If you want lighter rolls, skip the noodles and pack in extra veg.
- Not a fan of tofu? Try tempeh or edamame instead.
- Got meat-eaters in the bunch? Get prawns or chicken up in there.
- Heck, you can even add fruit if you want. Mango is very delicious in these.
And let's not forget the sauce - a zippy almond-ginger-chili concoction that can be dunked in, drizzled on, or just straight up spooned into your mouth.
It's pretty similar to the sauce in these Spicy Black Bean Noodle Bowls, so if you're more into the idea of sesame than almond, then give that a go instead.
Are Vegetarian Rice Paper Rolls healthy?
Friends, there's so much goodness in here it's hard to know where to start!
Fresh summer veggies are loaded with flavour, crunch, vitamins, dietary fiber, and antioxidants. The black bean noodles, if you choose, are packed with dietary fiber and protein.
Other tasty recipes you might enjoy:
Vegetarian Rice Paper Rolls
- 16 ounces firm tofu
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
- salt and pepper
- 8 ounces uncooked rice noodles black bean noodles, or a combination.
- 2-3 large carrots shredded or julienned
- 1 large red pepper sliced into thin strips
- ½ long English cucumber sliced into strips
- 6-8 radishes sliced paper thin
- 2 spring onions sliced lengthwise and then into sticks
- 1 head romaine lettuce washed and torn into pieces
- 1 bunch cilantro washed and roughly chopped
- 1 bunch fresh mint leaves torn from the stems
- 12-16 rice paper wrappers
- 3 tablespoon almond butter
- 2 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
- 3½ tablespoon liquid aminos I use Braggs or light soy sauce
- 2 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon finely grated ginger
- 1 medium clove garlic crushed or minced
- sambal oelek chili paste to taste
Prepare the tofu:
- Preheat oven to 400°F / 200°C, and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Drain the tofu and pat dry, then cut into pencil thick slabs and arrange in a single layer on the prepared baking tray. Drizzle with olive oil, toasted sesame oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Turn over to ensure both sides are evenly coated.
- Bake for 15 minutes, then remove from the oven and carefully turn. Bake for another 10-15 minutes, until the tofu is golden and crisp.
- Remove from the oven, and set aside to cool.
- Once cooled, slice into pencil-thick (about 1cm) sticks.
Prepare the vegetables:
- While the tofu is baking, prepare the vegetables. Shred the carrot using a julienne peeler or mandoline, or a very sharp knife. Cut the other vegetables into similar sizes, and as thinly as possible.
- Prepare the noodles according to package directions. Once softened rinse under cold water and drain well. Add a splash of sesame oil to prevent them from sticking to one another.
To make the sauce:
- In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together sesame oil, almond butter, liquid aminos, rice vinegar, brown sugar, ginger, crushed garlic. Add a bit of sambal oelek or other chili paste if using, to taste.
Get ready to roll:
- Create and assembly station with a large dish of cold water for soaking the rice papers, something to assemble on (a cutting board does nicely), lettuce, veggies, tofu, and fresh herbs.
- Submerge a rice paper wrapper into the cold water and count to five. Then remove from the water, shake it off a bit, and set on the cutting board. It may seem too stiff, but it will continue to absorb water as you work, and soaking for longer will only mean too delicate a wrapper that will tear easily.
- Place a few pieces of lettuce, followed by tofu, a few pieces of each kind of vegetable, and a small handful of noodles. Top the noodles with some fresh herbs, then get ready to roll.
- Carefully lift one side of the rice paper over the filling, and then use your fingers to pull the filling back towards you a bit. Fold the ends in, and continue to roll until everything is sealed in.
- Repeat until you've run out of filling!
- Serve with almond-ginger sauce.
- Practice makes perfect! Your first roll may not look great, but I bet your last one will. Just keep trying! And remember, that looks aren't important here. As long as they hold together reasonably well, you're in business.
- Salad rolls are best served the same day they're made, but they can be made a day ahead if needed. Line a large container with parchment so they don't stick, and put a very slightly damp paper towel over the top to keep the rice paper from drying out.
- Nutrition Information is an estimate only.
Originally published May 2017. Recipe re-tested, edited, updated, and re-published July 16, 2020.