Fresh Spring Rolls

The rainbow of raw vegetables in this plantbased version of Vietnamese fresh spring rolls provides flavour and texture and is packed with nutrients.

Makes 10


  • 1 (400g/14 oz) package firm tofu
  • 1-2 tbsp canola or peanut oil
  • 10 leaves red leaf lettuce, leaves washed, dried, separated, and trimmed to fit within the diameter of the rice paper
  • 1 small bunch mint
  • 1 large red bell pepper, seeded and julienned
  • 2 carrots, peeled and julienned
  • 1 English or 2 Persian cucumbers, julienned
  • 1 cup thinly shredded red cabbage
  • 2-3 bundles Vietnamese rice vermicelli, cooked and cooled
  • 10 (12-inch) round sheets Vietnamese rice paper


  • 1
    Drain tofu, wrap in paper towels, and press for 30 minutes by sandwiching between two cutting boards topped with a heavy object, such as a pan. Cut pressed tofu into ¼ x 1 x ½-inch rectangles.
  • 2
    Once tofu has been pressed, pat dry with a paper towel. (Don't skip this step, or your tofu won't crisp.) Heat oil in a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add tofu rectangles in a single layer. Fry until golden brown, about 3 minutes per side. Remove from pan and set aside.
  • 3
    Set up your workstation for making rolls: set out all vegetables, cooked and cooled noodles, rice paper, and cooked, sliced tofu. Set aside a large bowl of warm water
  • 4
    To assemble, dip one sheet of rice paper into water and quickly rotate to moisten entire sheet, just a few seconds. It will appear hard, but it will continue to absorb water as it lays flat. (Do not soak it for more than the time it takes to get it wet, or it will get soggy and break.) Lay moistened rice paper on a flat work surface, such as a cutting board or large plate.
  • 5
    Arrange one lettuce leaf over bottom third of moistened rice paper, running your finger along its rib to crack and flatten it. Top with three mint leaves and a thin layer (about 40g) of rice noodles. Add a few slices of tofu and a handful of assorted julienned vegetables. Avoid the temptation to overstuff!
  • 6
    Fold in left and right sides of rice paper, then tightly fold bottom edge up and over filling and roll toward top end, enclosing filling completely and as tightly as you can.
  • 7
    Repeat with remaining ingredients to make additional rolls. To serve, cut each roll crosswise into halves or thirds, and serve with dipping sauce.

Well and Be Healthy with Globally
Inspired, Vegetable-Forward Recipes
by Linda Shiue, MD. Copyright © 2021.
(Available from Hachette Go, an
imprint of Hachette Book Group, Inc.)
Photography by Michelle K. Min.