These Vegan Rice Paper Rolls with Baked Tofu are a delicious and healthy snack or light meal option. They are filled with vermicelli noodles, fresh vegetables, and baked tofu, and wrapped in a delicate and chewy rice paper wrapper.
Summer rolls are light, refreshing, and jam-packed with fresh flavors and a crunchy chewy texture. They are fun to prepare and easily customized!
Pair with my homemade creamy peanut dipping sauce for an excellent vegan and gluten-free meal!
What are Rice Paper Rolls?
Summer rolls, also known as fresh spring rolls, rice paper rolls, or Vietnamese gỏi cuốn are a Vietnamese dish that consists of a filling of fresh vegetables, herbs, rice noodles, and sometimes meat or seafood, all wrapped in a delicate rice paper wrapper.
The rice paper wrapper is thin and slightly chewy, and when soaked in warm water, becomes pliable and easy to work with. The filling is placed in the center of the wrapper, then the sides are folded over and the roll is tightly wrapped up from the bottom.
Summer rolls are often served with a dipping sauce, such as peanut sauce, hoisin sauce, or a sweet chili sauce.
They are a popular dish in many Southeast Asian countries and have become a staple in many Vietnamese restaurants around the world.
With their fresh and healthy ingredients, summer rolls are a perfect dish for the warmer months!
These vegetable rice paper rolls are made with a few key ingredients but are incredibly versatile and fun to make!
Baked Tofu: Extra firm tofu is pressed, quickly marinated, and then baked until crispy chewy perfection!
Rice Paper Sheets: Thin and slightly chewy, rice paper wrappers become pliable and easy to work with when soaked in warm water. I used the brand Dynasty.
Vermicelli Noodles: Vermicelli is a very fine noodle made of ground rice. You can find them at Asian markets and in the Asian foods section of some supermarkets. For my rolls, I used a bean vermicelli that is made from mung beans- I used the brand Pine Brand. I linked a similar one since I can't find the other one online. You can use rice vermicelli or bean vermicelli for this recipe.
Fresh Vegetables: You can use a wide variety of vegetables for this recipe. I used a variety of crunchy vegetables like carrots, cucumbers, red bell pepper, lettuce, green and red cabbage, and herbs.
How to Make This Recipe
The full recipe can be found in the recipe card below.
To prepare these vegetarian rice paper rolls, start by preheating the oven to 425F. Press the tofu for about 15 minutes to remove excess water, then cut it into 16-18 strips and place them in a shallow bowl.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, maple syrup, and chili sauce, then pour the mixture over the tofu strips until they are completely covered. Allow the tofu to sit for a few minutes to soak up the marinade.
Place the tofu strips on a baking tray lined with parchment paper and bake for 25 minutes, flipping them halfway through.
While the tofu is baking, cook the vermicelli noodles according to the package instructions and rinse them with cold water.
Prep the fresh vegetables while the tofu is baking.
To make the rice paper rolls, soak one rice paper wrapper in water for about 2-5 seconds until it becomes pliable, then lay it on a cutting board.
Start assembling the rolls by placing a piece of lettuce on the wrapper, followed by vermicelli noodles, red bell pepper, carrot ribbons, cucumber sticks, cabbage, cilantro, green onion, and 2 pieces of baked tofu. Avoid overstuffing the rolls.
Fold over the right and left sides of the wrapper, then take the bottom end of the rice paper and gently pull it over the filling. Tuck in any filling that may come loose and continue rolling the wrapper upward, away from your body, until it is completely sealed.
Place the finished roll seam side down and repeat the process for all the remaining rice paper wrappers. Serve with spicy peanut sauce and a sprinkle of sesame seeds. Enjoy!
Substitutions & Additions
These fresh rice paper rolls are a versatile and refreshing dish that can be served in a variety of ways.
If you don't have all the vegetables listed in the recipe, don't worry!
The ingredient list is flexible and can be easily adjusted to suit your preferences or whatever vegetables you have on hand.
Plant-Based Protein: Baked tofu is my go-to but tempeh, seitan, and edamame would be delicious.
Vegetables: Avocados, radishes, and bean sprouts can be added to replace certain veggies listed below.
Fresh Herbs: I typically go for cilantro and green onion but mint and Thai basil are great additions to add freshness.
Dipping sauce: Arrange the rolls on a platter and serve them with a variety of dipping sauces such as peanut sauce, hoisin sauce, or sweet chili sauce.
Tips & Tricks
If you want to achieve the best results, there are a few tips to keep in mind when making Vietnamese rice paper rolls!
Press the tofu! Yes, it's an extra step but it's worth it. Removing the excess water will help the tofu absorb the marinade.
Prep all ingredients in advance: Before you start assembling the rolls, ensure all your ingredients are prepped and ready to go. This includes slicing vegetables thinly and uniformly, cooking noodles if using, pressing and baking the tofu, and preparing any sauces.
Soften the rice paper properly: Dip each sheet of rice paper in warm water for about 2-5 seconds. Soaking it for too long can cause it to become fragile and tear easily.
Don't overstuff: Be careful not to overstuff the rolls as this can make them difficult to roll and also cause the rice paper to tear. Start with a small amount of filling and add more as needed.
Fold the sides in first: After placing the filling on the rice paper, fold the sides in first, then bring the bottom edge up over the filling and tuck it in, rolling tightly as you go. This will help prevent the filling from falling out.
Store: To store leftover rolls, place them in an air-tight container in the refrigerator. However, to prevent them from sticking together, it's recommended to place them at a distance from each other in the container. Alternatively, you can wrap each roll with a damp paper towel or cling wrap before storing them. Stored properly, the leftover rolls can last up to 3 days.
Freeze: I do not recommend freezing this recipe.
Frequently Asked Questions
Rice paper rolls can be a healthy option depending on what ingredients are used in the filling and how they are prepared. They are usually low in calories and fat and are a good source of fiber and nutrients.
The hotter the water, the faster the wrapper will hydrate. Cold water moistens the wrapper slowly which gives you more time to work. Cold or regular room-temperature water is preferred.
They need just a quick dip because they will continue to rehydrate when you're filling the rolls. Aim for 2-5 seconds.
Nope, simply rehydrate them and they are good to go!
Rice paper is made from rice flour and is used to make fresh summer rolls. Spring roll wrappers are made from wheat flour and are used to make fried spring rolls.
Vegan Rice Paper Rolls
- 14oz Block Extra-Firm Tofu pressed
- 2 tablespoons Low-Sodium Soy Sauce
- 1 tablespoon Maple Syrup
- 1 teaspoon Samba Oelak or Sriracha
- 8-10 Round Rice Paper Wrappers
- 2 oz Vermicelli Noodles
- 4 Large Lettuce Leaves halved
- ½ Medium Red Bell Pepper thinly sliced
- ½ Small Cucumber cut into sticks
- 1 Large Carrot ribboned
- ½ cup Shredded Cabbage
- ¼ cup Cilantro roughly chopped
- ¼ cup Green Onion roughly chopped
- Preheat the oven to 425F.
- Press the tofu for about 15 minutes to remove excess water. Cut into 16-18 strips. Add the tofu strips into a shallow bowl.
- Whisk together the soy sauce, maple syrup, and chili sauce then pour over the tofu strips until completely covered. Allow the tofu to sit for a few minutes to soak up the marinade.
- Place the tofu strips on a parchment-lined baking tray and bake for 25 minutes, flipping halfway.
- Cook vermicelli noodles according to the package instructions. After draining, rinse them with cold water.
- Prep all the fresh vegetables while the tofu finishes baking.
- Soak one rice paper wrapper in warm water until it becomes pliable, which should take about 2-5 seconds. It should still feel pretty firm as you remove it. It will continue to soften as you add the filling ingredients but If you let it soak for too long it will risk tearing.
- Once you've soaked a wrapper, lay it on a cutting board. Start assembling the rolls by placing a layer of lettuce on the wrapper, followed by the vermicelli noodles, red bell pepper, carrot ribbons, cucumber sticks, cabbage, cilantro, green onion, and 2 baked pieces of the baked tofu. Avoid overstuffing.
- Fold over the right and left sides of the wrapper then take the bottom end of the rice paper and gently pull it over the filling. Tuck in any filling that may be coming loose and continue rolling the wrapper upward, away from your body, until it is completely sealed. Place the finished roll seam side down and repeat the process for all the remaining rice paper wrappers.
- Serve the rice paper rolls with peanut sauce and enjoy!
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