Is it possible to make an adaption of a recipe that you’ve never actually tasted?
In my world, yes, yes it is.
I’ve wanted to make a simple, vegan version of Banh Mi – a Vietnamese baguette sandwich traditionally served with seasoned pork and pickled vegetables – for quite some time now. The problem is it’s not a simple recipe, nor is it vegan. I had some work to do.
On a recent car ride – often when many recipe ideas hit me unexpectedly – I thought spring rolls were the perfection solution. They’re easy, fast, and fresh, and are easy to keep both vegan and gluten-free. Yahtzee!
This recipe is simple with just 10 ingredients (give or take a garnish)! Prep and cook time is right around 45 minutes, as well, making this a great option for weeknight dinners.
For dipping sauce, you can either use the vinegar sauce used to quick pickle your veggies for a lighter option, or opt for a heartier sauce utilizing your favorite nut butter.
To keep everyone happy, I include three options below. You’re welcome.
These rolls are a veggie lover’s dream. They’re:
Hearty thanks to the tofu
Tangy from the pickled vegetables
& Seriously delicious
These would be a great make-ahead dish to take along for hikes, picnics and work lunches – all things I hope you get to enjoy this spring. Consider these rolls a big hug from us Minimalist Bakers to you.
If you give these a try, let us know! Take a picture and tag it #minimalistbaker on Instagram so we can see. It’s kind of our fave. Cheers!
Banh Mi Spring Rolls
- 2 cups vegetables (carrots, daikon or red radish // julienned)
- 3/4 cup unseasoned rice vinegar
- 1 cup water
- 4-5 Tbsp sweetener (i.e. agave nectar, sugar, or honey if not vegan)
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1 medium lime (juiced)
- 1 block extra-firm tofu
- 1 Tbsp tamari (or soy sauce if not GF)
- 12 spring roll rice papers
- 1 large bundle cilantro (large stems removed // or sub basil or mint)
- Sriracha or chili garlic sauce (optional)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (204 C) and wrap tofu in a clean, absorbent towel and set something heavy on top to press. Once preheated, slice tofu into medium-sized rectangles (see photo) and place on a parchment-lined (or lightly greased) baking sheet.
Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until golden brown on all sides. Generously brush with soy sauce and set aside.
While the tofu is baking, prepare pickling sauce by combining rice vinegar, water, sugar, salt, and lime juice in a jar and shaking to combine. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed, adding more sweetener of choice for sweetness, or vinegar or lime juice for tanginess. Transfer to fridge to chill.
Next, prep vegetables by julienning or thinly slicing radish, carrot and any other desired fillings (jalapeño is a common Banh Mi addition). Add to vinegar mixture to quick pickle in the fridge.
Prepare station for making spring rolls by getting a surface to lay rice papers on, and heat 2-3 cups (amount as original recipe is written // increase as needed if making larger batch) water to boiling, then turn off heat.
Drain pickled veggies at this time and reserve liquid for dipping. If opting for a nut butter sauce, prepare at this time (recipe links above).
To prepare a spring roll, dip rice paper in hot water for 15-20 seconds, or until soft and pliable and transfer to a damp working surface (such as a cutting board). Then add 3-4 pieces tofu, pickled vegetables, 1-2 tsp sriracha or chili garlic sauce, and a large handful of cilantro. Fold over once, tuck in edges, and continue rolling over.
Lay seam side down on a serving platter or baking sheet and cover with a slightly damp towel to keep moist. Continue until all spring roll fillings are used up - about 10-12 rolls (amount as original recipe is written // adjust if altering batch size).
Serve with leftover vinegar sauce OR my favorite almond butter or peanut butter sauce (recipes above). Leftovers store well covered in the fridge for up to 2 days, though best when fresh.
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated without dipping sauce.
Nutrition Per Serving (1 of 12 rolls)
- Calories: 147
- Fat: 1.9g
- Sodium: 147mg
- Carbohydrates: 20g
- Fiber: 1g
- Sugar: 6.4g
- Protein: 4g