One of the hardest things about transitioning to a Vegan diet is missing out on my favorite Vietnamese foods… like spring rolls. Traditional Vietnamese spring rolls contain vermicelli noodles, shrimp, pork, and fresh summer herbs all bundled together in rice paper that’s then dipped into a yummy peanut sauce. I had been searching recipes on the Internet for vegan spring rolls and I’ve found two that seem promising: Veganela’s Spring Rolls w/ Peanut Sauce and White on Rice’s Spring rolls. I ended up creating rolls without the herbs, but will be sure to add them next time. This is a recipe that is very flexible. Avocado or cabbage would make great additions/substitutions. Be sure to eat the spring rolls fresh, as the wrapper will harden if they are refrigerated and don’t skip the peanut sauce!
Yield: 10 rolls
For the rolls: For the sauce:
10 sheets of rice paper 3 tbsp Hoisin sauce
a bundle of Vermicelli noodles 3 tbsp peanut butter
1 red bell pepper
1 orange bell pepper
2 medium-sized carrots
1/2 English cucumber
1. Cook the vermicelli noodles according to the directions on the package. After draining, keep the noodles in a colander, and allow it to cool before handing. In the mean time, julienne all of the vegetables and assemble neatly on a plate. Next, fill a pot with hot water, just enough to submerge your rice paper. To begin the process of rolling, submerge a sheet of rice paper and let it soak for about 20-30 seconds, keeping in mind that the longer your rice paper soaks, the softer it’ll become and the more likely it’ll be to tear. Remove the rice paper, shaking off any excess liquid, and lay on a plate.
2. Working quickly, start by ripping some lettuce and lay it on the bottom of your rice paper. Place the basil and mint on top of the lettuce. Place some vermicelli noodles on top of the greens and add the cucumber and pepper. Finish with several sprigs of cilantro. Feel free to play around with the vegetable-noodle ratios. I like more noodles in my roll, so I added more. Begin to roll according to the diagram on Veganela’s site.
4. To make the dipping sauce, heat the Hoisin sauce and peanut butter in a sauce pan. Thin the sauce out with ½ a cup of water and whisk, adding water in ¼-cup increments if necessary.