Crispy Shallot Spring Rolls with Seared Tofu

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Tray of Crispy Shallot Spring Rolls made with Seared Tofu and fresh vegetables

I’ve eaten a lot of spring rolls in my life but these have to be some of the best.

Why? A secret, crunchy ingredient: crispy sautéed shallot!

Inspired by the spring rolls at Elizabeth Street Cafe in Austin, these are the perfect rolls to serve alongside your favorite Vietnamese-inspired dishes (Banh Mi anyone?) or — with the addition of some tofu — they are definitely entrée worthy. Shall we?

Wood cutting board with fresh vegetables and tofu for making Crispy Shallot Spring Rolls

Origins of Fresh Spring Rolls

Fresh spring rolls (also known as gỏi cuốn or summer rolls) are a common Vietnamese dish, but the concept is believed to have originated in China. It’s thought that they may be a modification from Chinese egg rolls, but with Vietnamese flavors.

They are typically made with fresh vegetables, herbs, and protein (such as tofu) that are wrapped in rehydrated rice paper and served with a dipping sauce.

How to Make Crispy Shallot Spring Rolls

These spring rolls require just 10 ingredients to make! They are a little more time intensive than my other spring rolls. But trust me — all the layers of flavor and texture at the end make it totally worth it!

Start by marinating pressed tofu in coconut aminos. Chili garlic sauce is optional and adds a nice amount of heat!

Bowl of marinated tofu for making Crispy Shallot Spring Rolls

While that’s happening, you can coat your shallot in brown rice flour and salt and begin sautéing until crispy and brown. These are the piece de resistance in the rolls, so be sure to get them nice and golden brown!

And to cook the tofu, simply sear on both sides then transfer to the oven to continue cooking. This will ensure it firms up and browns to perfection. Swoon!

Cast-iron skillet with freshly cooked crispy shallots for making delicious vegan spring rolls

Now it’s time to assemble! Simply:

  1. Soften your rice paper in hot water
  2. Top with veggies, rice noodles, tofu, shallot, fresh herbs
  3.  & Roll!

I recommend stacking all of the filling ingredients on top of each other — veggies on bottom, herbs on top — on the bottom third of the rice paper. Then fold the bottom of the rice paper over the fillings, tuck in the left side, tuck in the right side, and finally, roll away from you until the seams meet. Voila!

This process can take a little practice, but hopefully by roll 2 or 3 you’ll perfect the method!

Marble and wood cutting board with a softened spring roll paper topped with fresh ingredients
Showing how to assemble a delicious Crispy Shallot Spring Roll made with Seared Tofu

We hope you LOVE these rolls! They’re:

Tender
Fresh
Crispy from the shallot
Flavorful
Customizable
& Totally delicious!

These would make the perfect side to Vietnamese-inspired dishes like pho (still working on a recipe!), or our Cauliflower Banh Mi Sandwiches! Pair with peanut sauce*, leftover coconut aminos marinade, or a vinegar-based dip like this one!

*Note: you can learn more about the origin of peanut sauce here.

Into spring rolls? Be sure to check out our Collard Green Spring Rolls with Sunbutter Dipping Sauce, Thai Spring Rolls with Cashew Dipping Sauce, Rainbow Spring Rolls with Ginger Peanut Sauce, and Vietnamese Spring Rolls with Crispy Tofu.

If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo #minimalistbaker on Instagram. Cheers, friends!

Using a spoon to ladle peanut sauce over a Crispy Shallot Spring Roll with Seared Tofu

Crispy Shallot Spring Rolls with Seared Tofu

10-ingredient Vietnamese-inspired spring rolls packed with fresh vegetables, tender cooked rice noodles, seared marinated tofu, and crispy sautéed shallot! Paired with peanut sauce, they’re the ultimate plant-based meal or side.
Author Minimalist Baker
Print
Adding peanut sauce to a Crispy Shallot Spring Roll for a delicious vegan appetizer
5 from 15 votes
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 8 (rolls)
Course Entree, Side
Cuisine Gluten-Free, Vegan, Vietnamese-Inspired
Freezer Friendly No
Does it keep? 3 Days

Ingredients

TOFU

SHALLOT

  • 1 heaping cup thinly sliced shallot
  • 1/4 cup brown rice flour
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • ~2 Tbsp avocado oil (for cooking — if avoiding oil, omit and use a non-stick pan)

ROLLS

  • 8 rice paper wrappers* (we like the Three Ladies brand)
  • 1 ½ cups cooked thin rice noodles
  • 1 cup fresh mint, cilantro, or Thai basil (mint is our favorite!)
  • 4 cups thinly sliced/shredded veggies (such as bell pepper, carrot, radish)

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (204 C) so you’re prepared to bake your seared tofu.
  • Press tofu (see notes for methods) to drain out some of the moisture, then slice into thick long rectangles (see photo). Place in a shallow dish (or plastic/reusable bag) and add coconut aminos (start with the lesser amount and work your way up to coat) and chili garlic sauce or chili flake (optional). Toss / shake gently to coat and let marinate for 5 minutes.
  • Heat a medium, oven-safe skillet (we prefer cast iron) over medium heat. Once hot, add avocado oil and tofu (reserving any leftover coconut aminos for dipping). Sear tofu for 4 minutes or until golden brown, then carefully flip with a fork or spatula for even cooking. Cook for 3 minutes, then transfer skillet to the preheated 400 degree F (204 C) oven for 10 minutes to finish cooking. Then set aside to cool.
  • In the meantime, add thinly sliced shallot to a small mixing bowl and toss with brown rice flour and salt to coat. Heat a large skillet (we prefer cast iron) over medium / medium-high heat. Once hot, add oil and let it warm for 1 minute.
  • Once the oil is hot (you can test by adding a piece of shallot — if it sizzles quickly, it’s ready), add shallot. If your pan isn’t able to comfortably fit all of the shallot, cook in 2 batches. Sauté, stirring occasionally, until golden brown (about 8-10 minutes). Then remove from heat and set in a small dish to cool.
  • Prep vegetables and set aside. Then add rice noodles to a medium mixing bowl and top with just-boiling water. Cook for 4-5 minutes or until tender. Then drain and set aside.
  • Prepare peanut sauce for serving (optional). Set aside.
  • Prepare spring rolls: Add hot water to a wide shallow dish — wide enough to comfortably fit the spring roll papers. Add a single rice paper to the water and let soften for 30-45 seconds. Be careful not to soak too long or the papers can tear easily. It should feel pliable, but not too soft.
  • Once softened, quickly transfer to a clean, flat surface that’s been dampened with a little water to prevent sticking. Carefully smooth edges without tugging too much. Then, to the bottom third of the rice paper, add a modest layer of radish, bell pepper, carrots, cooked rice noodles, tofu, and crispy shallot, and top with fresh herbs.
  • To roll, tuck the bottom edge of the rice paper (closest to you) over the fillings. Then tuck the left side in over the center, followed by the right side over the center. Finally, roll forward and away from you until the roll meets the seam. Repeat with a freshly soaked rice paper until all fillings have been used up (about 8 rolls as the recipe is written).
  • Enjoy immediately as is, or with peanut sauce and/or sriracha and chili garlic sauce (optional). Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator up to 3 days. Not freezer friendly.

Video

Notes

*To press tofu, either use a tofu press or wrap in a clean, absorbent towel and set something heavy (like a cast iron skillet) on top to encourage moisture wicking. Press for about 10 minutes, then unwrap and proceed with recipe per instructions.
NOTE: This recipe calls for 8 ounces extra firm tofu, which is roughly half of one 16-ounce block tofu.

*Not all rice papers are created equal. We prefer Three Ladies brand. It seems to hold up better than other brands (less tearing).
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated without optional ingredients and with 2 cups red bell pepper, 1 cup carrot, and 1 cup radish distributed evenly among the 8 spring rolls.

Nutrition (1 of 8 servings)

Serving: 1 rolls Calories: 199 Carbohydrates: 26.7 g Protein: 7.1 g Fat: 7.8 g Saturated Fat: 1 g Trans Fat: 7.8 g Sodium: 252 mg Potassium: 350 mg Fiber: 3.3 g Sugar: 6.3 g

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  1. Lauren says

    The flavors in this dish are incredible — my family loved it! I subbed white rice for the noodles and opted to make tiny tacos using jicama wraps (found at Trader Joe’s), which made things a bit easier for a weeknight meal. This will definitely be something I make again and again. So good!

  2. Cara Jones says

    After I saw these posted on IG they were on my mind for days. Today I finally made them and the MB peanut sauce recipe and WOW they were amazing. I used chicken instead of tofu and it was delicious. I had to use coconut flour instead of rice flour for the shallots (all I had on hand) and they didn’t get super crispy but the flavor was still wonderful. Thank you for another staple recipe!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We’re so glad you enjoyed them, Cara! Rice flour should help with the crispiness next time =) Or you could also try increasing the heat if that’s not working!

  3. Sean Woestehoff says

    100% super delicious. We used chard instead of rice paper because we had a bunch from the farmers market. Totally worked, maybe a little messy, but fun and tasty.

    Thanks for the recipe :)

  4. Samantha says

    I’ve made a few spring roll recipes from Minimalist Baker which always turn out well. I think this version has made it to the top of our list as a new favorite! The crispy shallots definitely give off an excellent pop of flavor and combined with fresh mint really send it over the edge!
    I didn’t have brown rice flour so I subbed spelt which crisped up nicely in our cast iron pan.
    Highly recommend as a refreshing spring and summer meal!

  5. Mattie says

    Whoa! These rolls are beyond delicious and outshine my long time favorite spring rolls from a Vietnamese restaurant I love. They were so fresh! I made a few modifications:
    – didn’t have shallots- so I used thin sliced onions instead
    – used Trader Joe’s rice breadcrumbs instead of brown rice flour on the onions- turned out super crispy and good
    – due to a soy allergy, I don’t do tofu, so I marinated some shrimp instead in the coconut aminos and chili garlic sauce and then pan seared them- so tasty for those who are okay with shellfish
    – I used cucumbers instead of radishes
    – I used different combos of cilantro, mint, and basil on different rolls and did a taste test- my favorite were the rolls that contained all three!
    – for rice noodles, I used Lotus Foods brand “forbidden rice ramen” which is a black rice noodle and cooks up purple. It looked so pretty and vibrant through the translucent rice paper with all the colorful veggies!
    Thanks for this great recipe! I will definitely make these again.

  6. Jenna says

    Omg! The crispy shallots ? I ate so many before they even made it into the rolls. These spring rolls are SO good! I made the peanut dipping sauce to go along with them. The only modification was I used bob’s red mill 1-1 GF flour because I didn’t have just plain brown rice flour for the shallots. Worked just fine that way. For veggies I used grated carrot and radish and sliced red bell pepper and topped with mint. Perfection.

  7. Tara says

    Great recipe! This was my first experience using rice paper. It was a little tricky, but worth it. I also made the peanut sauce for dipping. It was awesome as well. I am looking forward to making these again soon.

  8. Stacey Lang says

    I’ve tried a lot of rice paper rolls and these were by far my favourite! Ive made them 3 times in the last month and the peanut sauce is equally as delicious. I made them for my husband with shrimp although the tofu is so delicious even on its own. Thanks for the recipe- one of my favs for sure and has been a hit with my guests as well!!

  9. Danielle Libine says

    My family is unanimous… this is absolutely DELICIOUS!!
    Have been asked to make more :)
    It does take a little more time though to make than one hour, but maybe if I do it again, it will be shorter (or ask for help and get all that chopping done faster ;) )

  10. Daisy says

    These were delicious! My picky teen who I struggle to get veggies on his plate was excited that we had some left over. We used the seared tofu and a package of sesame tempeh together to make them “meatier” and left out the fresh herbs. Our air fryer made the outside nice an crispy and the inside cooked a bit. We will definitely be making these again! Wish I was able to post a picture. ?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Lovely!! Thanks for sharing, Daisy! You can always share a photo on instagram and tag it #minimalistbaker so we can see!

  11. Meagan says

    Do you need to use brown rice flour, or can you use chickpea flour? Only asking because I have so much different flour, I’d hate to get yet another type of flour.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Meagan, we haven’t tried that, but it might work! Our only hesitation is that the flavor may be too strong. If not gluten-free, try a blend of all purpose flour and bread crumbs! If you give it a try, we would love to hear how it goes!

  12. Mia says

    Hi Dana,
    Thanks for all your wonderful recipes! Please be sure to label this (and other unlabeled posts, like the chocolate protein powder review) as vegan. I don’t want to miss out on any plant-based goodness because I want to filter out animal products on your blog. Cheers!

  13. Chris says

    Used this recipe for a date night activity with the wife and we had a lot of fun making them. They also came out incredibly well and working with the rice paper wrappers was far easier than I thought it would be. We made 8 and only one of them tore a bit!

    The shallots stole the show, however. Great recipe and definitely doing these again.

    Thanks for helping me score points with the Mrs.! :D

  14. Mel says

    So darn GOOD! I didn’t add rice noodles and made the peanut sauce but used sunflower seed butter instead. Took me a long time but it was worth it! The crispy shallots were the perfect addition, as was the mint!

  15. Shannon says

    I’ve made this twice so far and love it! I don’t often use radishes so I replaced with spinach. I also use regular flour instead of brown rice flour and think it works well. This is great with and without any sauce, and perfect for lunch meal prep!

  16. Meagan says

    These were awesome, the crispy shallots were the ingredient I didn’t know I was missing in my spring rolls. Good job, Dana.

  17. Cassie Thuvan Tran says

    YUM, spring rolls are my freaking addiction! I actually love consuming spring rolls as an entree, but depending on how much is served at a restaurant, I request one or two orders. Personally, I like leaving out the rice vermicelli noodles because I don’t particularly like the texture (kind of wormy, if you ask me), but crispy shallots and seared tofu ALL THE FREAKING WAY. Oh yeah, and the more peanut sauce on the side, the better!

  18. Michelle says

    These were so good and so fun to make! Your directions were super clear and approachable and our rolls stayed together! Thanks for the yummy and fun weeknight date night!

  19. Bridget B says

    I made these, and they were delicious – both beautiful and delicious. Since I was also making the cauliflower bahn mi, I allowed myself a shortcut on this recipe and used Trader Joe’s Sriracha tofu. The rice paper I used didn’t need to be soaked as long. A quick pass through the water and laid it out. It continued to soften while I was adding the ingredients, and by the time I was ready to roll it was perfectly pliable without tearing. All around awesome meal!

  20. daphne says

    hi hello! lovely recipe, so flavourful and colourful – what brand of rice noodles would you recommend when making spring rolls?

  21. Kelly Davis says

    Made this and it was amazing! I’ve never made anything with Rice paper before but it was easier than I thought. I didn’t have the brand Dana recommended but the rice paper I got didn’t tear and worked really well. These were crunchy, flavorful, delicious, and colorful. The peanut sauce was excellent too. I didn’t have tamari or coconut aminos but soy sauce seemed to work fine. I will definitely make again but play around with ingredients…maybe add carrot or shrimp.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      I assume you mean, can you sub rice flour? In which case, yes. You could probably sub all purpose or GF all purpose.

  22. Adnan says

    Sounds delicious! Could I replace the brown rice flour with all purpose flour or cornstarch for the same effect?

  23. T says

    Absolutely loved this recipe! I always thought cooking with rice paper would be too difficultly but it was easy! I can’t recommend this recipe enough!

  24. Kelly Davis says

    Is there something I can use instead of coconut aminos? I don’t think I’ll be able to fine that locally. Thanks :)