Veggie Summer Rolls with Spicy Peanut Lime Sauce: Two Ways

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This is the first time I’ve featured a summer roll or lettuce wrap recipe on the blog, so today, I’m giving you both. A 2-for-1 deal rarely disappoints! Unless of course, you were hoping for a 2-for-1 chocolate recipe to kick off the weekend. Maybe this will help. Anyway, I’m not sure how I haven’t made a lettuce wrap recipe on here because I really do adore them. I just never think to make them at home. This recipe is going to quickly change all that.

Summer rolls, on the other hand, I haven’t always been so sure of. I tried them a couple years ago and wasn’t a fan of the sticky rice paper wrappers. It also didn’t help that I tried the rolls plain without a dipping sauce.

I finally got the nerve to make them recently – some two years later – and much to my great surprise, I really enjoyed them. The rice wrappers weren’t as scary as I remembered (although still a bit scary) and I found when paired with a great dipping sauce, I just couldn’t get enough. If you aren’t down with the rice wrappers I have a lettuce wrap option for you to enjoy too. Lettuce wraps are also good for those times when you don’t want to fuss with rice wrappers.

Really, the show stopper of this entire recipe is this peanut lime sauce. Oh my word, it’s good. I used roasted peanut butter, low-sodium tamari, fresh lime juice, sesame oil, fresh ginger & garlic, and a touch of sugar to balance it all out. Fresh ingredients make the best peanut sauces so I don’t recommend using powdered garlic or ginger for this one. You’ll be rewarded with a sauce so good it could make cardboard taste like a delicacy!

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Like many sauces that have come out of my kitchen, I could not stop dipping my greedy little finger in for a million tastes!

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For the filling, I used extra-firm tofu (pressing it for about 20 mins while prepping the veggies and sauce), cucumber, red pepper, roasted salted peanuts, carrots, Thai basil, cilantro, and green onion. You’ll want to julienne the filling ingredients, slicing into matchstick like pieces. I’m not very patient, so I’m sure yours will turn out looking better than mine.

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To make the veggie rolls, start by placing a rice paper wrapper into a large bowl of hot tap water. When it’s soft and bendy, place it carefully onto a tea towel as shown below. My wrappers kept folding up on me and my first one ripped, so I suggest keeping a few extras on hand if it’s your first time working with rice wrappers. If this happens, just unfold the edges carefully. No big deal. Now, start layering the veggies and tofu on, keeping everything near the centre.

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When the filling is all on, fold the two sides inward and then scoop one end over top the filling and roll forward. Repeat for the rest!

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It took me a while to get the hang of rolling these, but in the end they turned out decent looking. Next time, I will definitely roll them a bit tighter, but I guess that comes with practice.

If you have leftover veggies like I did, just serve them on the side – another great vehicle for peanut sauce!

IMG 2554   Veggie Summer Rolls with Spicy Peanut Lime Sauce: Two Ways

Summer Veggie Rolls with Spicy Peanut Lime Sauce

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Yield: approx 8 rolls + 1/2 cup peanut sauce

For the filling:

  • Spring Roll Wrappers (at least 8-10)
  • 1 block firm or extra-firm tofu
  • 1/2 English cucumber, julienned
  • 1 red bell pepper, julienned
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled & julienned
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 3-4 lettuce leaves, julienned
  • 1/4 cup fresh Thai basil leaves, minced
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, thick stems removed and minced
  • 1/3 cup roasted & salted peanuts
  • Herbamare or sea salt, to season

 

For the peanut lime sauce:

  • 1-2 garlic cloves
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1/4 cup natural roasted peanut butter
  • 1/2-1 tbsp peeled & roughly chopped fresh ginger
  • 3 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 2 tbsp low sodium tamari
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1-3 tsp water, to thin out as needed

 

1. Press the tofu while you prepare the filling and sauce. For pressing instructions, see here.

2. For the filling: Julienne the vegetables (slice into long thin strips). Set aside, along with peanuts.

3. For the sauce: In a mini processor, process the sauce ingredients until smooth. Adjust to taste. You may prefer more sweetener, tamari, oil, or lime juice. Or mince everything by hand and whisk.

4. Slice pressed tofu into long thin strips. You likely won’t need the entire block.

5. Set up a roll making station and gather all of your ingredients in one area. Place a tea towel on the counter and fill a very large bowl with hot tap water. Dip one rice paper wrapper into the water and carefully submerge it once it gets soft. Hold it under water for about 10 seconds, or until soft, and remove from water carefully. Place it onto the tea towel and unfold any corners that may have rolled up.

6. Add the filling ingredients in the centre of the wrapper (see pictures in post). Be careful not to overfill or the wrappers will tear. Sprinkle with peanuts and a sprinkle of salt.

7. Roll the two sides of the rice wrapper inward and then flip the bottom over top the filling and roll forward. Place roll on a plate and cover with damp paper towels. Repeat for the rest.

8. Serve the rolls immediately with the peanut dipping sauce. If you have any leftover vegetables enjoy them dipped in the sauce on the side. Sauce should keep for at least a week in a sealed container in the fridge. Rolls will keep for 1-2 days in the fridge.

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If you aren’t down with the rice wrappers, feel free to try this with lettuce wraps! I used President’s Choice Crispy Wraps, but use any kind of lettuce you prefer. Bibb/Butter lettuce would also work well. Lettuce wraps are certainly much quicker and less fussy than the rice wrappers, so it’s a good option if you are short on time.

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Thanks to those of you checked out the “Speak out against Walmart’s cruelty to pigs” petition and spread the word on Facebook yesterday. I always feel so hopeless and sad regarding factory farming issues, but thanks to grassroots organizations and committed individuals, change is possible no matter how large and overwhelming the problem. As some of you noted, the issues at the root of this are the incredibly low animal welfare standards. These industry standards need to change. No animal should have a life like that. Of course, let’s not forget the power in voting with our forks.

I don’t mean to end on a sad note, but this weighs heavily on my heart! I hope you all have a great weekend.

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{ 126 comments… read them below or add one }

Kerry July 20, 2012

YUM, can’t wait to try these!! And I feel the same way about farm animal issues… but incremental changes (like all these companies banning gestation crates) will lead to BIG changes down the road. Every little bit helps (especially the power of voting with our forks!)

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Maryea @ Happy Healthy Mama July 20, 2012

These look fantastic-especially with that sauce! Have a great weekend. :-)

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Erica { EricaDHouse.com } July 20, 2012

I’ve always been so apprehensive to try making these as well. I have no excuses now that you’ve done such an amazing tutorial!

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Christa @ Edible Balance July 20, 2012

so, I’ve had rice wrappers sitting in my pantry for EVER not knowing what to do with them… plus I admit, they scare me a little. I think I’m going to have to bite the bullet and finally crack that package open! Thanks for the delicious recipe :)

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Alex @ Brain, Body, Because July 23, 2012

Definitely do it! It’s a great way to eat tons of veggies :)

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Erica { EricaDHouse.com } July 20, 2012

Oh and I think ‘finger’ is supposed to be ‘ginger’ in the sauce ingredients!

Don’t want people slicing off parts of their hands to recreate this delicious recipe ;)

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Angela (Oh She Glows) July 20, 2012

ah that’s a funny typo. Fixed now :)

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Ashley July 20, 2012

Haha Ang, you accidentally wrote “Fresh Finger” instead of ginger. lol!

Recipe looks drool-worthy!! :)

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Angela (Oh She Glows) July 20, 2012

No matter how many times you read over something, sometimes a finger still sneaks in! lol

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Bradly July 20, 2012

I was starting make this recipe, but couldn’t continue due to the following ingredient:

1/2-1 tbsp peeled & roughly chopped fresh finger

Since I was forced to remove my finger, I had to stop chopping veggies and rush to the first aid kit we keep in the kitchen to repair my peeled and chopped finger. Later, at the ER, they were able to reattach most of it. Is there anything else I can use in place of finger, or should I peruse the morgue next time instead?

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Angela (Oh She Glows) July 20, 2012

hahahah omg I hate you! just joking. Thanks for the laugh.

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Bradly July 20, 2012

It looked so good and I was so excited I just got caught up in the directions!

Really, it looks amazing and I can’t wait to get home tonight and give it a test, thanks for the awesome recipe!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) July 20, 2012

I’ll never live that one down. ;)

Enjoy!

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Misty July 20, 2012

Hey I was gonna make summer rolls this weekend too!!! :)

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Edan July 20, 2012

1/2-1 tbsp peeled & roughly chopped fresh finger

Ahahahahaha!! This made my day!! ; )
OWWW!!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) July 20, 2012

Glad it gave you a chuckle! Not the sauce I was hoping for.

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The Mrs @ Success Along the Weigh July 20, 2012

These look sooo good! Perfect appetizer for a party or perfect lighter dinner! Nice! :-)

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Melanie July 20, 2012

Uhhh, does that say “1/2-1 tbsp peeled & roughly chopped fresh finger” in your sauce recipe? I’m SURE this is supposed to be ginger :)

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Angela (Oh She Glows) July 20, 2012

Unfortunately yes it did. haha. fixed now!

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Madison @ Pilates Makes You Happy July 20, 2012

Holy Batman. These look good. Of course I am stuck in Hickville Alberta and will not be able to find Rice paper for the life of me.

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Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table July 20, 2012

Love this idea – I’ve been doing nori rolls lately – they are good, but the nori is really hard to wrap tightly and cut. I need to do the rice paper! love lettuce wraps too – especially with giant collard greens.

Thanks for the heads up on Wal-Mart. i’m so disappointed with companies lately. I just posted this morning about Chick-fil-a discriminatory statement against the gay population. when will we learn to be better citizens of the world?

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Leanne @ Healthful Pursuit July 20, 2012

Coming from being vegan for oodles and oodles of years, it was hard for me to accept that my body did better on animal protein. As I transitioned to what I referred to as ‘the dark side’ I tried to make sure that the proteins I was choosing came from animals that were loved and taken care of as much as possible.

I will never understand why animal rights are basically nonexistent. I guess it’s the ‘out of sight, out of mind’ mentally that we’ve been stuck in for so long. The more we talk about it, the more people will know and learn that they have a choice in the matter and can make a difference by the foods they feed their families. Ah, I could talk about this forever…

On a lighter note, can’t believe this is the first time you’ve put lettuce wraps on the blog! They look delicious :)

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Liza July 20, 2012

THANK YOU for sorting this out! I was just walking by PF Changs the other day, noticed someone eating their chicken lettuce wraps and thought “I’ve got to figure out the veggie version” – and here you are! Thanks again for making my world a little easier and more delicious.

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Britny July 20, 2012

I am intolerant to peanuts. Do you think I could make the sauce with almond butter or do you think that would change the flavor profile too much?

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Angela (Oh She Glows) July 20, 2012

I’ve seen some almond butter sauces around the internet, so I would guess it would still turn out! It’s probably worth trying to see if you like it.

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Ksenija July 20, 2012

Thai spring rolls are one of my favorite summer dishes! And I’ll always have them with almondbutter sauce on the side – so yeah, that works fine and the flavor is a nice change to the usual peanut-thai-sauce.

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Steph Borutski July 20, 2012

Isn’t that peanut butter to die for ?? Its definitely my favourite now – sooo silky and delcious !!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) July 20, 2012

yes it’s so good!

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Cait's Plate July 20, 2012

Another recipe winner! Love these (as always!)

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Rachel July 20, 2012

I’m so gonna try this out! I have some of that lettuce at home :)

Ever since I became a vegetarian (almost 6 years now) it always makes me sad to hear about animals being abused. Sometimes you can’t help but take it to heart. It’s horrible the way they are treated :/

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Alex @ Raw Recovery July 20, 2012

This is making my mouth water. I love peanut sauce on lettuce wraps and I bet it would make a great dip with raw crudités even without a wrap. One of my favorites though is at the Cheesecake Factory and I get the Thai Lettuce Wraps and sub out the meat for avocado slices. It’s delicious!

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Sarina @ Earthgiven July 20, 2012

Yum, I love rice paper rolls! I also add avocado to mine. Yours look beautiful!

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Ashley @ Sweat for Sweets July 20, 2012

This looks so delicious! And your food photography is absolutely beautiful.

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Angela (Oh She Glows) July 20, 2012

Thanks Ashley!

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Michele July 20, 2012

In vietnamese restaurants, they often serve avocado, pineapples, vermicelli noodles, and daikon to add crunch, body, and texture.
tip: use just boiled water next time, let the wrappers sit for 5 seconds and then pull them out. The higher heat distributes the heat on the wrapper more easily and more consistently. (also helps when making a lot of rolls)
Also, this is great for a party! Everyone can make their own to their preference.
- Korean American living in NYC

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Angela (Oh She Glows) July 20, 2012

Thanks for the tips! I was wondering about the temp of the water – wouldn’t boiling water hurt your fingers or do you use something to pull it out?

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Michele July 20, 2012

Absolutely! haha, the tearing comes from a not enough heated water bowl.
For these purposes, we have these wide wood tongs that can easily take the wrapper out of the bowl. If impatient, a little burn won’t hurt =P
To prevent curling or tearing, I usually push the wrapper down to the bottom of the bowl (the curling happens because the heat is not distributed evenly).
And the process is very delicate so delicate fingers are needed ^^

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Andrea @ Vegvacious July 20, 2012

Yummy!!! I have some collard greens at home that these will work well with too!

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Lauren July 20, 2012

I love the taste of rice paper and making wraps with it. The only problem is I have a difficult time not tearing it, but this peanut sauce alone makes me want to try again! Thanks for another healthy meal idea!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) July 20, 2012

I agree, it’s a bit fussy for my liking (I’m so not patient) but in the end I enjoyed it for a change. I’ve been using some leftover sauce, thinned out, on salads! It’s really nice. You could always chop all the ingredients and make it into a salad.

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Lauren July 20, 2012

Thank you for replying! I’ll definitely keep the salad idea in mind. :)

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Margaret M. July 20, 2012

Oh, these looks delicious, love the rolls and the lettuce wraps. I have to try this, perfect for a healthy snack at home. Thanks for sharing Angela.

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Natalie @ FreshLifeFindings July 20, 2012

These look delicious! I love wraps of all kinds and I need to buy some spring roll wrappers.

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Amanda July 20, 2012

I’ve had rice paper sitting in my pantry for months – thanks for the reminder to actually use it! I don’t have any pb on hand, but I think I will give this a try with almond butter. :)

I couldn’t bring myself to watch that Walmart video (reading the summary on the petition site was enough to make me sick to my stomach), but I did sign the petition. Thank you for sharing it with your readers. It’s heartbreaking the way animals are treated, all in the name of mass-produced, cheap food. People need to stop turning a blind eye to where their food is coming from and demand better for the animals that don’t have voices.

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Carrie @Shrinkingcarrie July 20, 2012

Ohhh, these look delicious and I can’t wait to try them!!!

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Rachel @ Eat, Learn, Discover! July 20, 2012

goodness – that peanut lime sauce looks amazing! summer rolls are one of my absolute favorite things to make. I’ve never tried peanuts in them, looks amazing!
(and fabulous photography, as usual :-)

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Suzanne P July 20, 2012

This is exactly the recipe I was looking for!! Thank you Angela!

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Amanda July 20, 2012

These look so fresh and I love the colors! I helped make some similar wraps to these at a friends house, but she put the wrappers in the water all together for too long, plus the filling was way too hot. So they stuck and ripped and it was a mess. I’ll have to be more careful and patient when I try!

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Kasandra July 20, 2012

Haha, isn’t it all about the sauce, all the time?! Yum. Glad you’re matching my peanut butter cravings as of late! This is definitely a standby and perfect for our hot Ontario weather! Thanks for sharing Angela :)

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Christine Kay July 20, 2012

I’m not vegan but I LOVE having vegan meals a few times a week! This looks delish and I can’t wait to make it! Le Yum.

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Amy July 20, 2012

I LOOOOVE spring rolls with peanut sauce and make them all the time. I usually soak the rice wrappers in warm water for just 10 seconds, put them on a plate, and then fill. They won’t be very bendy, but by the time I’m done filling they’re the perfect consistency for rolling – still just stiff enough that I can wrap tightly without tearing them, and then after sitting for a few more seconds they thin out all the way. That said, I’ve used a few different brands and sometimes they vary – weirdly enough I’ve had some that tear no matter how careful I am, and some that hold up incredibly well. It definitely takes practice to get them tight!

This sauce looks delicious! Definitely trying it next time :)

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Angela (Oh She Glows) July 22, 2012

Ive heard it can vary by brand too! I will have to try other to compare. :)

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Christina July 20, 2012

I absolutely LOVE Spring rolls! They can be tricky due to the delicate nature of the rice paper, but they are fun to make. I feel that lots of cilantro is key inside spring rolls, and of course a tasty peanut dipping sauce is the highlight! Yum!

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Stephanie @ The Fitness Adventures July 20, 2012

I have always been nervous to make spring rolls, since my one try at rolling my own sushi didn’t turn out so great. I think I will go ahead and give it a try!

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Lexi @ You, Me, & A World to See July 20, 2012

Yum both types look great…though my mind is trained to love anything that is a vehicle for peanut sauce :)

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Averie @ Averie Cooks July 20, 2012

They’re gorgeous! Once you get the hang of wrapping them, they are fabulous to make at home. Customizable, and about 100-fold cheaper than in the deli case from the groc store. And that peanut sauce. mmmm, Love peanut sauce on anything!

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Janessa @ Epicurious Vegan July 20, 2012

Oh dang….. I have never been inspired to make salad rolls at home before, but you make it look actually doable… and that peanut sauce is enough to tempt me to try ANYTHING at home.

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