Today I’m going to show you one of my favorite things that’s easy, delicious, and really fun to make…fresh spring rolls! The great part about this recipe is you don’t have to be super specific. My ingredients change depending on what veggies I have in the fridge, so while you can follow this exactly as I’ve written it today, feel free to get creative and mix it up!
As a quick reminder, I try to make this with the anti-inflammatory diet in mind, meaning I steer clear of white rice products. So for the purpose of this recipe, I use brown rice spring roll wrappers, as well as Vietnamese brown rice noodles. If you aren’t trying to follow an anti-inflammatory diet, feel free to use the white rice versions of these products! While you can most definitely find the brown rice noodles and wraps at places like Whole Foods, I'm now always seeing them at our local grocery store as well, so have a look in the asian food aisle. They are becoming way more common and less of a specialty item, which I’m so thankful for!
The brand of brown rice noodles I use is by Star Anise Foods. You can get them with green tea or with seaweed, and I love both! I wasn't sure how I'd like the seaweed one, but it's not an overwhelming flavor, so I recommend it! Try them out and see which one you like best...I definitely go back and forth between the two. The wraps I get are also from the same brand.
So to start, you’re going to want to prepare all of your veggies. The ones I’m making today were completely up to what I had in the fridge! What did I have? Arugula, avocado, mushrooms, carrots, green pepper, and tofu. When I make spring rolls, the fundamentals that I want for crunch and flavor pallet would be tofu, carrots, and avocado. I feel like the rest is up for interpretation! For a more traditional approach to this recipe, cucumber and lettuce are great for crunch and freshness. But I have to say, I LOVED having the arugula in the wraps this time. It added a little spice that I was really into. Speaking of if you like things spicy, if you do, try adding some thinly sliced jalapeño to your wraps! I also enjoy adding alfalfa spouts and red cabbage when I have them available. Like I said, you can change it up each time!
I like to prep all my veggies in long thin strips so they fit the shape of the wrap nicely. Once you’ve prepped those, you can set them aside until you’re ready to make your spring rolls.
Next up, prepare the tofu. I always make sure to press out as much water from the tofu as I can before cooking, either with paper towels or a flour sack dishtowel. Cut the tofu into long 1/4" thick pieces that are cut the length of the brick. Heat up a teaspoon of olive oil on medium heat in a nonstick pan, and add your pieces of tofu. Cook one side until golden brown, then turn and repeat on the other side. Sprinkle a small amount of salt for flavor on the tofu while cooking. When these are done, remove them from the heat and set aside.
While you’re tofu is cooking, you’re going to want to make your noodles. I just boil some water, and then throw in the brown rice noodles. They only need a few minutes to cook, so check on them right from the start so they don’t get too soft. When they are ready, strain, rinse with cool water, and set aside.
You are also going to need to heat up water so you can soften your brown rice wraps. I usually just fill up my tea kettle and heat the water until right before it boils. From there, transfer into a large bowl.
Note: If the water is brought to a complete boil, it’s going to be too hot to put your wraps and your hands in the water! If you forget about the water and it comes to a boil, just add a little cool water so that you can use your hands without burning them. Just make sure the water is still hot enough to soften the wraps.
With all your items prepped and set aside, now it’s time to make your spring rolls! Take a wrap and submerge it into the bowl of hot water. They soften pretty quickly, so when they are pliable and ready, remove from the water and lay out on a plate.
Next, add all your ingredients! I like to start with my tofu on the bottom, followed by the veggies I’ve cut, and then end with the rice noodles on top. Of course, play around with it and see which one rolls up the best for you!
Once you’ve stacked your fillings, roll it up! I take one side of the wrapper and cover all the filling ingredients, and then take each side on the ends and fold them in to close it up, like a burrito. From there, just roll it all forward until everything is closed and covered, and you are done! Grab a serving plate to set your finished rolls on as you work.
If I use the entire tofu brick in this recipe and depending on how I thick I cut the pieces, I find I’ll usually get about 8-10 large spring rolls.
Want to dip your spring rolls into something? Try my Thai Basil Almond Pesto recipe! That with a little Tamari sauce is absolutely delicious. Or, just Tamari on it’s own is great!
I hope you have fun making these! As I said before, don’t be afraid to stray from the recipe and really make it your own. If you don’t have a protein, no worries! They can just be veggie rolls. Don’t have the noodles? No problem! Just add more veggies to bulk it up.
Have fun creating!
VEGAN BROWN RICE SPRING ROLLS
Prep time: 20 mins
Roll time: 5 mins
Total Time: 25 mins
Makes 8-10 spring rolls
1 brick of extra firm tofu
1/2 avocado, sliced
1/2 green pepper, sliced
1 to 2 cups arugula
4 white mushrooms, sliced
1 medium carrot, sliced thinly, lengthwise (I prefer to keep the carrots unpeeled, but it's your preference!)
Brown rice wraps
Vietnamese brown rice noodles
1 tsp olive oil
pinch of salt
1. Slice all your veggies thinly and lengthwise. Set aside.
2. Prep your tofu by pressing the excess water out of the brick with a cloth or paper towel. Cut into 1/4” slabs.
3. Add a tsp of olive oil to a nonstick pan. Heat on medium heat, and add your tofu. Heat on one side until golden brown, and then flip, repeating on the other side. Add a pinch of salt to your tofu for taste.
4. As your tofu is cooking, prepare your noodles. Boil water, then add your noodles. It takes just a few minutes for them to soften, so check them often, stirring occasionally. When they are to your desired texture, strain and rinse with cool water.
5. While the noodles are cooking, you can also boil the water for your wraps. Bring a pot or tea kettle of water almost to a boil. Transfer into a large bowl.
6. Once everything is prepped, it’s time to make your rolls. Take a dry brown rice wrap and submerge it into the hot water you’ve prepped. Once soft, remove and place on a plate.
7. Add all your ingredients! I prefer starting with a slice of tofu, then my veggies, then the noodles. Do whatever order works best for you!
8. Roll them up! Fold one side of the wrapper over your ingredients, and pull the ends in so your ingredients won’t fall out, like a burrito. From there, roll the entire thing forward until you’ve closed up the gaps, and you’ve got your first roll!
9. Repeat until you’ve used all your ingredients.
10. Make a dip (try my Thai basil almond pesto) or dip in Tamari sauce.