Whenever I visit a Vietnamese restaurant, I have to order the Summer Rolls. Typically, they are white rice paper wrappers filled with shrimp and vegetables and usually some type of thin noodle. As a plant based eater, I have to special order mine (welcome to my world) so that they leave out the shrimp or other meat. Most restaurants also serve them with a yummy peanut dipping sauce.
I was asked to bring an appetizer to a friend’s party and thought this would be a real crowd pleaser. They’re a refreshing change from a crudite platter or a bowl of chips and salsa. My rice paper summer rolls are filled with fresh mint and basil, as well as cucumber and peppers for a snappy crunch.
The other healthy twist to the restaurant version is that I use brown rice paper wrappers. They can be found in the Asian section of many grocery stores, or you can also order them online. I chose the vegetables here based on my preference and taste, but you can certainly adapt the recipe to include what you like.
It may seem like a lot of steps and preparation –– and it is, but in the end, it’s all worth it. Your first two or three rolls may look a little wonky, but by the time you’re done rolling, you’ll be a pro.
The easiest way to do this is to set up an assembly line of small bowls filled with each individual ingredient. The order that you fill your roll isn’t that important, except for the first 3 ingredients. You want to put the mint and basil down first, top with the noodles and then add the avocado. I found that if you put the avocado here (in the middle), then it is less likely to ooze out the sides. (You really don’t want to lose any avocado.) Then just follow my instructions in the recipe box to complete the rolls.
Vegan Summer Rolls
- 8 sheets of brown rice paper wrappers
- 2 packages of brown rice ramen noodles, cooked (do not use seasoning packet
- 1 avocado, sliced
- 2 C. broccoli slaw
- 1-2 colored peppers, sliced thinly (your choice of color)
- 1/2 large seedless cucumber, cut into long strips
- Fresh mint leaves, approx. 16 leaves
- Fresh basil, approx. 8 large leaves
Cook the rice ramen noodles according to package directions, drain and cut noodles with kitchen shears. Set aside in a bowl. Prepare all the other vegetables that you’re using. Set up an assembly line with each ingredient in its own bowl.
Take a round pie plate or other shallow bowl that will accommodate the rice wrappers. Fill the plate with warm water and gently dip one rice wrapper in the water. You have to work quickly and also not soak the wrapper too long or it will fall apart. Lay the wet wrapper on a flat work surface and start layering the fillings. I go in this order: mint and basil first, then a small layer of noodles, add the avocado slice next, and the rest of the vegetables. Try not to overfill, or it will be very difficult to roll.
Next, very gently pull the bottom edge up and over the filling (away from you). Then, fold in the sides (like a burrito) and continue to roll away from you until it is in a tight package. You should have a dish set aside with some parchment paper to lay each roll on. The outer skin gets very sticky, so try to have parchment around each roll to prevent them from sticking to each other. When you have finished all the rolls, you can store in the fridge until ready to serve. These can be made ahead of time, but should be served the same day.
You can buy already-prepared sauce for dipping, or try my peanut sauce from my recent Buddha Bowl post.
Leave me a comment and let me know if you made these. You can also snap a pic and tag #vegansummerrolls on Instagram. See you in the kitchen soon,