Vietnamese spring rolls, also known as gỏi cuốn, turned into a vegan version. These spring rolls are stuffed with plenty vegetables and taste best when eaten with the easy peanut & hoisin sauce. Vietnamese spring rolls are healthy, delicious and make a great lunch or dinner.
What are Vietnamese spring rolls?
Vietnamese spring rolls is a dish everyone with Vietnamese parents knows. Vietnamese spring rolls are often mistaken for chả giò (the fried version). While the rolling method is similar, Vietnamese spring rolls taste nothing like the fried version. Vietnamese spring rolls are light to the stomach and have a fresh flavor due to the use of herbs. They’re often served as appetizers in the Western cuisine, but by making a few more rolls you can easily pass spring rolls for a healthy lunch or light dinner. Traditionally, Vietnamese spring rolls are filled with pork and prawns but you can basically fill it when anything you like. Today, I’m sharing my vegan version with you guys. Keep in mind this post is more of a lunch idea rather than a recipe so see this recipe as a guide and inspiration.
About rice paper (bánh tráng)
Rice paper is like an ultra thin, rice version of tortilla wraps. Traditional rice paper wraps are usually made of rice and/or tapioca, water and salt, making these wrappers naturally gluten free! There are other versions (like coconut flavored) for sale but I’ve never tried those. Less is more if you ask me. Anyway, I feel like the simple traditional rice paper wraps are the best option when making Vietnamese spring rolls anyway.
When you go to an Asian grocery store you’ll see a wide range of bánh tráng brands. Most brands use the same ingredients, but they usually differ in thick- and firmness. There isn’t really a “best brand” out there so find a brand you can work with. It’s a matter of personal taste.
Let’s talk filling…
Like I mentioned before, this recipe is really an inspiration post. I used baby spinach (easier to work with because it’s smaller than regular spinach), micro greens, julienned carrot, edamame and cucumber but you can use whatever you like. Sometimes I use red cabbage instead of spinach. Change the ingredients to incorporate healthy varieties in your diet. By the way: Remember to add mint because spring rolls never taste the same without mint.
How to make a peanut dipping sauce?
Before anyone starts yelling at me, let me make something clear: this recipe is NOT, i repeat: NOT, the traditional peanut dipping sauce. Traditional peanut dipping sauce take more ingredients and a bit more time. I like to make quick versions so I use this recipe. Although this recipe is not like the traditional one, it IS super easy, takes literally a few seconds ánd tastes delicious too. This sauce is perfect for anyone in a hurry or just too lazy to spend a lot of time in the kitchen. And I’ll share a little secret with you: sometimes my dad makes this version too when he serves us Vietnamese spring rolls. Who can blame him? It tastes so good and takes no effort at all!
What about spring roll leftovers?
Vietnamese spring rolls are best eaten right after they’re made. If you have leftovers (we rarely have) and are planning to eat the rolls the same day: cover the rolls well with cling film and store in a cool place (out of the sun). Don’t put spring rolls in the fridge because the fridge will dry out the rice paper making the rolls hard and dry. Should you still have leftovers at the end of the day (I’m guessing this will never happen), tightly wrap each roll individually with cling film and store these in an airtight container in the fridge. The spring rolls won’t be as good as fresh ones but the wrapper will still be soft and edible.
- 1 Tbsp hoi sin sauce
- 1 Tbsp peanut butter (smooth or chunky)
- 1-3 Tbsp water
- 10 rice papers
- 100 g baby spinach, washed and drained
- 60 g micro-greens (e.g. alfalfa)
- 100 g julienned carrot
- 175 g edamame (without pod)
- ½ cucumber, washed and cut lengthwise
- 20 g fresh mint, shredded
- bowl of warm tap water
- In a small bowl, mix the ingredients for the sauce. Add water until you have the desired consistency.
- Wet a rice paper with warm water.
- Place the rice paper on a flat surface.
- Distribute the ingredients at the center of the rice paper.
- Fold up the sides, then roll up into a spring roll starting from the bottom.
- Repeat steps for remaining ingredients.
- Serve immediately.