Meatless Mondays: Vietnamese-style Summer Rolls

The dipping sauce is so tasty that you may want to make some extra for these refreshing vegetarian rice rolls stuffed with summery herbs, seasoned tofu and marinated vegetables

Credit: Catherine Roscoe Barr

Catherine Roscoe Barr

Summery-fresh vegetarian rice rolls are an easy, healthy option for dinner

These delicious rice rolls are packed with fresh vegetables and seasoned tofu, and have a decadent peanut butter and hoisin dipping sauce

My brother, a fish biologist, is vegetarian so family get togethers involve a lot of meat-free options, and this recipe from our recent family reunion in Ucluelet was excellent. His amazing girlfriend, Jessica, gets full credit for this one as I was merely her sous chef for making this dish, based on a recipe she found at

The more I learn about the environmental impact of meat production, the more I want to incorporate more plant-based meals into my diet, but I sometimes find that vegetarian dishes don’t have much staying power – I’m left feeling a little hungry. But this recipe was filling and satifying, and really hit the spot after a day of surfing at Long Beach on Vancouver Island.

The gang taking a break from surfing at Long Beach near Ucluelet, BC

For more delicious recipes from our stay at the Water’s Edge Resort in Ucluelet, check out my posts for Coconut Shrimp and Mango Salad and Poppy Seed-crusted Goat Cheese with Crostini, Roasted Garlic and Fig Jam.

Roll Ingredients

Serves 8 

  • 2 ounces dried bean thread noodles (cellophane noodles)
  • 1 small carrot, cut into thin matchsticks (about 3/4 cup)
  • 1 Kirby cucumber, halved lengthwise, seeded and cut into thin matchsticks (about 3/4 cup)
  • 1 small fresh jalapeño, cut into thin matchsticks
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar (not seasoned)
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon plus 3/4 teaspoon fresh lime juice, divided
  • 16 rice-paper rounds (about 8 inches in diameter) plus additional in case some tear
  • 10 ounces packaged baked tofu, cut into 3 by 1/3-inch sticks
  • 1 cup fresh bean sprouts
  • 1/2 cup each of torn basil, mint, and cilantro leaves (1 1/2 cups total)

Sauce Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup hoisin sauce
  • 2 tablespoons chunky peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons pickling liquid


  1. Soak noodles in a medium bowl of boiling-hot water 10 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, blanch carrot in boiling water until softened, about 45 seconds.
  3. Drain and rinse carrots under cold water to stop cooking, then transfer to a small bowl along with cucumber, jalapeño, vinegar, sugar, 1 tablespoon lime juice, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Let stand 5 minutes. Reserve 2 tablespoons liquid and drain pickled vegetables.
  4. Drain noodles and rinse under cold water, then drain and pat dry.
  5. Toss noodles with remaining 3/4 teaspoon lime juice and snip with kitchen shears 5 or 6 times.
  6. Fill a shallow pan or pie plate with warm water. Soak 2 rice-paper rounds until they begin to soften, about 30 seconds, then let excess water drip off and stack soaked rounds on a work surface so that they overlap by all but 1 inch on either side.
  7. Top rice-paper rounds with one eighth of noodles (about 2 tablespoons), tofu (4 sticks), bean sprouts (about 2 tablespoons), herbs (3 tablespoons), and pickled vegetables (3 tablespoons).
  8. Roll up tightly around filling, folding in sides. Make 7 more rolls in same manner.
  9. Stir together hoisin sauce, peanut butter, water, and reserved 2 tablespoons pickling liquid. Serve rolls with dipping sauce.