These fresh vegan summer rolls with peanut sauce are the ultimate easy meal! Made with tempeh (or tofu), they're delicious and gluten free.
Please note, these Summer Rolls are inspired by Vietnamese salad rolls, but they are not culturally authentic - this recipe is just my personal take on them. For a more authentic recipe, may I suggest these Lemongrass Tofu Fresh Spring Rolls from The Viet Vegan (an incredible Vietnamese Canadian food blogger).
I love vegan summer rolls, or salad rolls, mainly because they're an (almost) effortless meal that requires minimal prep and cooking, and because they contain an abundance of fresh veggies and protein.
If you haven't yet tried making your own summer rolls, then I heartily recommend. Don't be put off by the fact that rice wrappers can be a little fiddly to start with (and scroll down for my Reel showing you how I wrap them).
They're such a great way to enjoy a bunch of delicious fresh ingredients that you'll be a pro in no time!
Also, the beauty of fresh summer rolls is that they don't require any frying, and they lend themselves to so many fresh ingredients.
My recipe is just a guide, but if you want to add rice noodles, cilantro, peanuts, avocado etc. - do it! You can't really go wrong with ingredients here as long as you keep things fresh and light.
SUMMER ROLL FAQS
From my understanding, spring rolls are the general term for what is created when you roll ingredients inside a thin wrapper. Summer or salad rolls are a type of spring roll, usually associated with Vietnamese cuisine and fresh, not fried. They're often served with a peanut dipping sauce.
Because these rolls are both spring rolls and summer rolls, you'll find me using both terms in this post. Thanks to Lane of Cooking with Lane for explaining the difference much better than I can - you can find her full informative article here.
Personally, I'm not a hug fan of vermicelli (rice noodles), so tend to just pack my vegan summer rolls with plant protein and veggies. I'm aware that this makes the recipe less culturally authentic though, so feel free to add them to yours! They're a great addition and take just minutes to prepare.
Because I love tempeh! It has a great savoury taste that I enjoy and think compliments the rolls well. I frequently use raw tofu instead though, because it's faster to prepare (it doesn't need to be cooked) and lets the flavour of the dipping sauce really shine. Feel free to swap it out if you prefer tofu!
More easy lunch & dinner recipes
HOW TO WRAP RICE WRAPPERS
Rice wrappers can be fiddly at first, but I promise once you get the hang of them you'll be a pro. The key is to not let them get too sticky, and to wrap them tightly!
1) Pour about 1 cup of warm (not boiling or cold) water onto a dinner plate - ideally use a plate that has a bit of a dip in it.
2) Submerge one side of the rice wrapper in the warm water, then after 5 seconds flip it over to submerge the other side.
3) Remove and place the wrapper on a chopping board or similar flat surface (it will likely still feel a bit stiff - it takes a few seconds to soften fully).
4) Add your ingredients to the top half of the wrapper, in the centre.
5) Fold the bottom half of the wrapper up over the ingredients, then tightly wrap the left and right side of the wrapper over the filling, leaving it exposed it at the top. Voila!
And if you're still struggling, check out my reel below showing you exactly how to wrap spring rolls!
Check out my web story on how to make spring rolls with rice paper.
Wondering how to go vegan? Check out my simple guide!
Vegan Summer Rolls with Tempeh and Peanut Sauce
- 1 240g pack tempeh (can use tofu if preferred - see note below), sliced into thin strips
- 2 tablespoon unflavoured cooking oil (I like avocado or sesame)
- Salt to taste
- 1 carrot (medium), shredded
- ¾ cup shredded cabbage
- ½ red pepper, sliced into strips
- 4" piece cucumber, sliced into strips
- 1 cup shredded collard greens or spinach
- Alfalfa sprouts
- 8 rice paper wrappers
Peanut Dipping Sauce
- 2 tablespoon peanut butter
- ½ tablespoon Braggs or soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon unflavoured oil
- 1 tablespoon water
- Add all dipping sauce ingredients to a small bowl and stir to combine. Set aside.
- On a medium heat, sauté tempeh in oil until golden on all sides (about 10 mins). Season to taste with salt and set aside.
- Pour warm water onto a dinner plate and submerge your first rice wrapper in it. After 5 seconds flip it over to dip the other side in water, then remove. Place wrapper on a chopping board, and fill one half with carrot, cabbage, pepper, cucumber, collards, alfalfa sprouts and tempeh.
- Fold up bottom of rice wrapper, then fold each side over the ingredients tightly.
- Serve all rolls on a large platter with the dipping sauce.
- If using tofu instead of tempeh, there is no need to cook it. Raw tofu works fine in summer rolls!
- Although these rolls don't contain rice noodles (vermicelli), feel free to use them if you wish. To prepare, soak noodles in boiling water for several minutes until softened, then rinse.
If you’ve tried these vegan summer rolls, please leave a comment or tip for others below. I'd love to know how you’ve made it your own!