The Perfect Appetizer: Fresh Rolls!
These fresh rolls are crisp, bright, and oh so satisfying! The spicy peanut sauce is the perfect pairing for these rolls and can also be used in a variety of other dishes. This peanut sauce is great as a dipping sauce, with tofu, or even on top of noodles!
Intro To Fresh Rolls + Pro Tips
These fresh rolls (also referred to as spring rolls or summer rolls) are made with rice paper and stuffed with crisp veggies, tofu, vermicelli noodles, and served with a rich and spicy peanut sauce. Rice paper can be a little difficult to work with because of its delicate texture so it can definitely take some practice to get used to.
PRO TIP: When making rice paper rolls, don’t over-soak your rice paper in water; this will make the texture too soft and mushy and can cause the rice paper to rip or break when you try to fold your rolls. You only need to dip your rice paper for a few seconds – it will continue to soften further once you take it out of the water.
PRO TIP: Also, make sure to use two (or even three) sheets of rice paper when making these rolls and layer them on top of one another. This will also give extra density to the rolls and prevent them from ripping when you’re rolling them. It makes the entire process a bit easier!
How to Make the Perfect Spicy Peanut Sauce
This peanut sauce is also one of the best dipping sauces I’ve ever made! Its so versatile and pairs well with pretty much everything. Plus, the contrast between the crispness of the veggies with the richness of the sauce is just *chef’s kiss.*
PRO TIP: To get the perfect consistency for this spicy peanut sauce, make sure the water you’re using is hot so the peanut butter emulsifies quicker and easier. Otherwise, the sauce will be really difficult to mix. If you’re still having issues mixing the sauce, you can pop the container your mixing your sauce in into the microwave (as long as the container is microwave safe of course) in 10 second intervals until the peanut butter softens. Keep mixing in between each 10 second interval until you get the consistency you’re looking for. It should be a thick, smooth, and creamy texture.
Fresh Roll Filling Options
Also, one of the best things about fresh rolls is you can fill them up with your favorite veggies. I’ve seen so many different variations when it comes to fresh rolls since they are just so versatile! I love adding baked tofu for protein because I love the texture, and for veggies I simply add shredded carrots. But you can add whatever veggies you like! For example, purple cabbage would taste great in these rolls as well and add a really wonderful crisp texture. And if you don’t enjoy tofu you can add shiitake mushrooms which add some more substance to this dish. I also think these vermicelli noodles are a must.
QUICK TIP: Make sure to rinse your noodles in some cool water and lightly pat dry before adding to your fresh rolls; if the noodles are too hot and you put them into your fresh rolls, it could ruin the texture of the other ingredients and wilt the veggies. So giving the noodles a quick rinse in cool water will prevent that.
Fresh Rolls with Spicy Peanut Sauce
Spicy Peanut Sauce
- 4 tbsp Peanut Butter
- 1/4 c Water
- 2 tsp Sriracha
- Juice of Half a Lime
- Chili Flakes (to taste)
- 2 tbsp Honey
- Romaine Lettuce
- Vermicelli Noodles
- Extra Firm Tofu
- Mint Leaves
- Shredded Carrots
- Rice Paper
Spicy Peanut Sauce
- In a bowl, add in your soy sauce, sriracha, lime juice, red chili flakes, and honey, and mix well.
- In a separate bowl, add your peanut butter and slowly mix in your 1/4c of water. Also, make sure the water is hot; this will make the mixing process a lot easier. If you're having some any trouble, you can heat the mixture of peanut butter and water in the microwave to help it dissolve.
- Combine all of your ingredients and mix well.
- Garnish with extra red chili flakes on top if desired.
- Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees.
- While the oven preheats, wrap your extra firm tofu in paper towel to soak out extra moisture. Place the wrapped tofu on a plate or cutting board and then rest a heavy object (like a pot or pan) on top of the tofu to press it. This will help release more of the excess moisture.
- Let the tofu press for 15-30 minutes and then cut it into cubes. By this time your oven should be heated up. Spread out your tofu evenly on a baking tray and cook it for 30 minutes.
- Now, prep all of your veggies you'll be using in the fillings. Wash your lettuce, carrots, and mint leaves. Then, peel and shred your carrots. Pat everything dry with a paper towel.
- 10 minutes before your tofu is done, start boiling your water to cook the vermicelli noodles. Just follow the package instructions for this. After your noodles are done, drain them and then give them a quick cold water rinse.
- Once your tofu is done you can start preparing your rice paper rolls. I like to use two sheets of rice paper, per roll. In a plate, add in some very warm/hot water and dip your rice paper in the water, then flip it and make sure to cover the other side with water too. You only need to dip it for a few seconds.
- Then place the rice paper sheet on a clean and dry plate. Dip another rice paper sheet in the plate with the water and repeat the same process as above. Then place that sheet on top of your first one.
- Then, start by placing your romaine lettuce on the sheet, and then add your veggies and other ingredients on top: your noodles, tofu, carrots, and mint.
- Then wrap the fresh roll like you would a burrito! Fold in the left and right sides towards the center, and then roll it up from top to bottom. Cut the rolls down the center, and serve with your peanut sauce.
- Do not over-soak your rice paper sheets otherwise they will get sticky and be hard to wrap.
- Use hot water to melt the peanut butter for your sauce and to ensure you get a smooth consistency.