Rice Paper Rolls

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I have always been a fans of rice paper rolls, also known as fresh spring rolls, but since my son's coeliac diagnosis they have been on the menu a lot more frequesntly as they are a fantastic gluten-free sandwich alternative.

A plate full of rice paper rolls with there colourful vegetable fillings visible being held up to the camera

Why This Recipe Works

  • Loaded with colourful plant-based goodness
  • Flexible (you can absolutely change up the fillings)
  • A great gluten-free alternative to sandwiches

Ingredients you will need

To make my tofu and vegetable rice paper rolls you will need:

  • zucchini or zucchini noodles
  • carrot
  • cucumber
  • red cabbage
  • fresh herbs
  • rice paper sheets
  • extra firm tofu or tempeh
  •  soy sauce
  • sesame oil
  • brown sugar
The ingredients to make tofu and vegetable rice paper rolls laid out on a bench top.

Ingredients Notes & Substitutions

  • Soy sauce: This recipe can easily be made gluten free by choosing to use Tamari or gluten free soy sauce.
  • Tofu: Choose firm tofu or use tempeh (like I have in these photos)
  • Zucchini noodles: One of my favourite ingredients for making rice paper rolls are zucchini noodles, you can either make your own 'zoodles' or buy them pre-cut
  • What no Vermicelli? Many rice paper rolls use vermicelli noodles (thin rice noodles) as a filling, which you can absolutely do, I find the zucchuni noodles I use provide the soft filling that the vermicelli usually does.
  • Vegetables: You can use seasonal vegetable alternatives; lettuce, mung bean spouts, capsicum, or fill with your favourite salads or coleslaw.
  • Herbs: I love mint and coriander/cilantro leaves in my rice paper rolls, but basil or Thai basil are also lovely.

I am an ambassador for Countdown supermarket, they support my blog by providing ingredients for recipe creation and testing. One of my favourite ingredients for making rice paper rolls quick and easy are zucchini noodles which you can find in their produce section.

Step-by-step instructions

Below are illustrated step-by-step instructions to make my Rice Paper Rolls recipe, if you prefer just the written instructions then head straight to the printable recipe card below.

Marinate your tofu

Step one: In a large flat-bottomed dish (one large enough to fit all your tofu slices) whisk together the soy sauce, brown sugar, and sesame oil.

Step two: Slice your firm tofu into slicesLie the tofu slices in the marinade. Flip the tofu over so that both sides are coated, and leave to rest for a minimum of 30mins (this can be longer if you want to meal prep earlier in the day or the day before).

Preheat your oven to 200 degrees Celsius (400 degrees Fahrenheit).

Step three: Bake in the hot oven for 30 minutes turning once (at the halfway mark) during cooking.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool.


Prepare the vegetables

Prepare the vegetables by slicing them into long thin batons or using the noodle-making blade on your food processor. Make sure you have the vegetables and tofu laid out in a way that makes them easy to reach. Essentially you want to make a little rice paper roll-making station.


How to make rice paper rolls

You will be making the rice papers one at a time, but it's quite fast once you get in the zone and if you have all the filling ingredients prepped.

Feel your rice paper, it will have a textured side and a smooth side (take note of which is which).

Step one: Fill a large bowl or casserole dish with room temperature (tepid) water.

Step two: Soak the rice paper in the water until you feel it soften. (around 30 seconds, but this will depend on the rice paper brand and the warmth of your water). I double up on rice paper using, two for each roll I make (see the tips section for more info)

Step three: Lift the softened rice paper out of the water and lay it smooth side down on your work surface. (I do it straight on a clean kitchen bench).

Step four: Lay the vegetables, then tofu, and then herbs on the softened rice paper so that they sit In the first third of the paper with a clear margin on either side.

Step five: Fold the two sides of the rice paper towards the centre (to close off the ends), and then roll your rice paper roll strethcing the rice paper gently so that the roll is nice and tight.

Step six: Set the roll aside, I like to cover the rolls with a damp piece of paper kithchen towel or a clean damp cloth to stop them from drying out. And move on to making the next roll.

Step seven: If I am serving these to a crowd of people I like to cut them in half so the vegetable filling looks colourful and inviting and serve them with a satay dipping sauce.If I am sending them in a lunch box I don't always slice them in half.

Enjoy


A platter of rice paper rolls, on a marble bench top with a dish of satay sauce, a side plate and fresh herbs.

Top Tips

Here is how you can make these rice paper rolls perfectly every time!

  • Double up on the rice paper: This is a tip that I learnt from Nagi of Recipe Tin Eats. Rice paper rolls can be fiddly to make and the rice paper can split. Rice paper is o thin, but if you double up i.e. soak, soften and roll two pieces of rice paper together, your rolls will be sturdier and no less tasty!
  • Serve with a satay sauce: You will find a very simple recipe for a peanut dipping sauce on recipe for satay tofu.
  • Serve with hoisin sauce
  • Add roasted nuts or seeds to the filling, chopped peanuts, cashews or roasted pepitas are all delicious.
  • Prep in advance: If you prep the fillings in advance and store them in an airtight container in the fridge, you can quickly make rice paper rolls on demand.. almost quicker than a sandwich and perfect for lunchboxes.
  • Try other proteins: Shrimp, prawns, chicken, egg omelettes, prawn, beef lamb or pork can all be fillings in rice paper rolls (depending on your preference).
  • Add avocado: Strips of avocado are delicious in fresh spring rolls and provide a creamy element.
A stainless steel lunch box packed with rice paper rolls, fruit, vegetables and cookies.

FAQs

Do you use warm or cold water for rice paper rolls?

To soak rice paper rolls use room temperature (tepid) water i.e neither too hot or too cool. Soak each sheet of rice paper until it softens, before removing it from the water and lying it on your work surface. The soaked rice paper will become more elastic and spongy as it rests on the work surface.

Are rice paper rolls gluten free?

Rice paper sheets are typically gluten free but not all fillings used in rice paper rolls are gluten free, so it is always safest to clarify before enjoying a rice paper roll.

A vietnamese rice paper roll filled with colourful vegetables resting in a small ceramic bowl.
A vegetable filled fresh spring roll drizzled with satay sauce being held up to the camera.

If you made my Tofu and Veggie Rice Paper Rolls or any other recipes on the blog please :

  • leave me a comment and a star rating below to let me know how you got on, I love hearing from you.
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A plate full of rice paper rolls with there colourful vegetable fillings visible being held up to the camera

Rice Paper Rolls

My rice paper rolls with marinated tofu and colourful veggie filling are a lovely plant-based meal or lunchbox idea.
Print Pin Rate
Course: Lunch, Lunch box, Main Course
Cuisine: New Zealand
Keyword: fresh spring rolls, rice paper rolls, rice paper rolls nz, vegan rice paper rolls, rice paper rolls with tofu
Diet: Dairy Free, Egg Free, Gluten free, Vegan
Servings: 12 rolls
Calories: 97kcal

RATE THIS RECIPE

5 from 1 vote

Ingredients

Tofu/Tempeh

  • 250 g firm tofu or tempeh
  • 3 Tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar

Rice Paper Rolls

  • 2 zucchini or zucchini noodles 300 grams
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 cucumber
  • ¼ head red cabbage
  • 1 handful fresh herbs
  • vermicelli (optional)
  • 12 rice paper 12 if going single layer or 24 if doubling up (see notes)

Instructions

Tofu/Tempeh

  • In a large flat-bottomed dish (one large enough to fit all your tofu slices) whisk together the soy sauce, brown sugar, and sesame oil.
  • Slice your firm tofu into slices. Lie the tofu slices in the marinade.
  • Flip the tofu over so that both sides are coated, and leave to rest for a minimum of 30mins (this can be longer if you want to meal prep earlier in the day or the day before).
  • Preheat your oven to 200 degrees Celsius (400 degrees Fahrenheit).
  • Bake in the hot oven for 30 minutes turning once (at the halfway mark) during cooking.
  • Remove from the oven and allow to cool.

Rice Paper Rolls

  • Prepare the vegetables by slicing them into long thin batons or using the noodle-making blade on your food processor. Make sure you have the vegetables and tofu laid out in a way that makes them easy to reach. Essentially you want to make a little rice paper roll-making station.
  • Fill a large bowl or casserole dish with room temperature water.
  • You will be making the rice papers one at a time, but it's quite fast once you get in the zone and if you have all the filling ingredients prepped.
  • Feel your rice paper, it will have a textured side and a smooth side (take note of which is which). Soak the rice paper in the water until you feel it soften. (around 30 seconds, but this will depend on the rice paper brand and the warmth of your water). I double up on rice paper using, two for each roll I make (see the tips section for more info)
  • Left the softened rice paper out of the water and lay it smooth side down on your work surface. (I do it straight on a clean kitchen bench).
  • Lay the vegetables, then tofu, and then herbs on the softened rice paper so that they sit In the first third of the paper with a clear margin on either side.
  • Fold the two sides of the rice paper towards the centre (to close off the ends), and then roll your rice paper roll strethcing the rice papwr gently so that the roll is nice and tight.
  • Set the roll aside, I like to cover the rolls with a damp piece of paper kithchen towel or a clean damp cloth to stop them from drying out. And move on to making the next roll.
  • If I am serving these to a crowd of people I like to cut them in half so the vegetable filling looks colourful and inviting and serve them with a satay dipping sauce.
    If I am sending them in a lunch box I don't always slice them in half.

Notes

  • Double up on the rice paper: This is a tip that I learnt from Nagi of Recipe Tin Eats. Rice paper rolls can be fiddly to make and the rice paper can split. Rice paper is o thin, but if you double up i.e. soak, soften and roll two pieces of rice paper together, your rolls will be sturdier and no less tasty!
  • Serve with a satay sauce: You will find a very simple recipe for a peanut dipping sauce on recipe for satay tofu.
  • Serve with hoisin sauce
  • Add roasted nuts or seeds to the filling, chopped peanuts, cashews or roasted pepitas are all delicious.
  • Prep in advance: If you prep the fillings in advance and store them in an airtight container in the fridge, you can quickly make rice paper rolls on demand.. almost quicker than a sandwich and perfect for lunchboxes.
  • Try other proteins: Shrimp, prawns, chicken, omelettes, prawn, beef lamb or pork can all be fillings in rice paper rolls (depending on your preference).
  • Add avocado: Strips of avocado are delicious in fresh spring rolls and provide a creamy element.
  • Soy sauce: This recipe can easily be made gluten free by choosing to use Tamari or gluten free soy sauce.
  • Tofu: Choose firm tofu or use tempeh (like I have in these photos)
  • Zucchini noodles: One of my favourite ingredients for making rice paper rolls are zucchini noodles, you can either make your own 'zoodles' or buy them pre-cut
  • What no Vermicelli? Many rice paper rolls use vermicelli noodles (thin rice noodles) as a filling, which you can absolutely do, I find the zucchini noodles I use provide the soft filling that the vermicelli usually does.
  • Vegetables: You can absolutely use seasonal vegetables, lettuce, mung bean sprouts, capsicum, or fill with your favourite salads or coleslaw.
  • Herbs: I love mint and coriander/cilantro leaves in my rice paper rolls, but basil or Thai basil are also lovely.

Nutrition

Serving: 1roll | Calories: 97kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 0.3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 2mg | Sodium: 385mg | Potassium: 237mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 1158IU | Vitamin C: 17mg | Calcium: 35mg | Iron: 1mg

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