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Vietnamese-style vegan spring rolls made with sweet potato noodles and ginger peanut tempeh for a light and refreshing plant-based gluten-free meal. Made in just 20 minutes!
Remember those sweet potato noodles from last week?
Well, now that I’m thoroughly enjoying the art of spiralizing sweet potatoes, I am constantly dreaming up new recipes that use these glorious noodles. You’ll start seeing some of them pop up here and there and today is no exception; I’ve got my first sweet potato noodle recipe for y’all.
Vegan Spring Rolls with Sweet Potato Noodles!
Let’s take a closer look.
Recommended Ingredients & Equipment
I’ve been making Vietnamese spring rolls for years. After first discovering these rice paper wrappers at my local grocery store and realizing that they, too, can be made at home, I started experimenting right away.
Vietnamese spring rolls are traditionally filled with vegetables, protein, noodles, and fresh herbs. The good news is that spring rolls are incredibly versatile, meaning you can mix and match as you please.
Ingredients & Substitutions
- Spring Roll Rice Paper
- Sweet Potato –Traditionally spring rolls are filled with vermicelli noodles. For a healthier (lower glycemic) version I prefer sweet potato noodles. These noodles provide more flavor, nutrients, and beautiful color that makes these Spring Rolls awesome. However, feel free to use vermicelli noodles instead.
- Sesame Oil – Peanut or coconut oil would also work well.
- Tempeh – I love the added texture tempeh provides but feel free to use tofu or omit it altogether.
- Soy Sauce
- Maple Syrup – This is to add sweetness to the tempeh. You can replace it with agave nectar, brown sugar, or omit it all together.
- Fresh Vegetables – I recommend red bell pepper, cucumbers, and carrots
- Fresh Herbs – Mint and basil are my go-to herbs for this recipe
- Thai Peanut Sauce – I recommend using my fan-favorite Thai Peanut Sauce for this recipe.
Most importantly, you will need a spiralizer. I love my spiralizer because:
- They don’t take up a lot of room
- They are super simple to master
- And they turn almost any vegetable into beautiful ribbons and noodles.
Check out the full list of my recommended kitchen tools and gadgets.
How to make Vegan Spring Rolls
Step One – Spiralize the Sweet Potato
Peel and spiralize the sweet potatoes into noodles.
When spiralizing sweet potatoes, I recommend using the smallest blade on your spiralizer. Unlike zucchini, which is full of water, sweet potatoes are a dense vegetable and thick sweet potato noodles can be overwhelming.
Step Two – Make the Tempeh
Sauté the tempeh in very hot oil for about 5 minutes until it becomes beautifully brown and crispy. Add soy sauce and maple syrup and continue to sauté until all the liquid has absorbed. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
Step Three – Slice the Vegetables
The vegetables should be chopped into matchsticks. If you’re using avocado or mango, slice those thin as well. De-stem your fresh herbs while keeping them whole.
Step Four – Assemble
Clean your workspace and carefully place your noodles, rice paper, tempeh, and vegetables within arm’s reach.
To assemble, follow these steps.
- Fill a shallow pie pan with warm water and place it next to your fillings. Add one single rice paper wrapper to the water and let it soak for 15-20 seconds until it is pliable but not too soft. If it’s too soft, the paper will likely tear when rolling.
- Lay your pliable rice paper wrapper on a dry surface. Place a layer of sweet potato noodles on the bottom 1/3, leaving about 1″ on either side to fold in. Top noodles with remaining ingredients.
- Fold both sides over the filling as snuggly as you can. Then fold up the bottom (see image below) so that it tightly fits over the fillings. From there, slowly roll up, as snuggly as possible, until the rice paper is completely rolled up.
- Set aside to dry and repeat with remaining spring rolls.
Serving and Storing
Serve these spring rolls shortly after they are made. As they sit, the wrappers will start to get tough and hard to chew. Serve them with Spicy Peanut Sauce alongside my Vegan Pad Thai, Thai Red Curry, Pumpkin Peanut Curry, or just enjoy them on their own for a light meal.
Store leftover spring rolls tightly wrapped in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Uneaten Thai Peanut Sauce can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 7 days.
Tips and Tricks
- Don’t soak too long. It’s okay if the paper fills a little stiff still when taking it out of the water. It will continue to soften as it sets.
- Leave lots of room to fold side and bottom when placing the filling.
- Don’t fill so full that you can’t snuggly roll.
- And, most importantly, if you get a tear, don’t sweat it. It will still be delicious.
- Serve spring rolls with homemade peanut sauce and fresh lime.
More Asian-Inspired Recipes
More Vegan Appetizers
Vegan Spring Rolls with Sweet Potato Noodles
- 6 spring roll rice paper wrappers
- 1 small sweet potato
- 2 tbsp sesame oil, divided
- 4 oz tempeh
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- 1/2 small cucumber, cut into 2-3" matchsticks
- 1/2 small carrot, cut into 2-3" matchsticks
- 1/2 red bell pepper, cut into 2-3" matchsticks
- 1/4 cup loosely packed fresh basil
- 1/4 cup loosely packed fresh mint
- 1 batch Thai Peanut Sauce
- Peel the sweet potato. Then using your spiralizer with its smallest blade, spiralize the sweet potato into thin noodles.
- In a large skillet, heat 1 tbsp of sesame oil over medium heat. Add sweet potato noodles and lightly sauté for 3-4 minutes until the noodles are deep orange in color and soft enough to bite into. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Wipe clean the skillet and heat the remaining sesame oil over medium heat. While oil is heating, cut the tempeh into 1"x1/2" rectangles. Add tempeh to hot oil - it should sizzle when they drop - and sauté for 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until tempeh is browned. Add soy sauce and maple syrup and continue to sauté until all the liquid has absorbed. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
- Prepare your vegetables. De-stem the mint and basil but keep it whole.
- To make the rice noodles, fill a shallow pie dish with warm water. Place one rice paper wrapper in the water for 15-20 seconds until the wrapper is pliable but not so soft that it rips.
- Place the pliable wrapper on a dry surface. On the bottom 1/3 of the wrapper, place 1 small handful of sweet potato noodles leaving 1" on each side. Top with 2-3 pieces of sautéed tempeh, vegetables, and herbs.
- Fold in the sides and the bottom over the filling. Then wrap the spring roll as tightly as you can without ripping. Set aside and continue with the remaining 5 spring rolls.
- Serve immediately with Thai Peanut Sauce or wrap in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
- Don't soak too long. It's okay if the paper fills a little stiff still when taking it out of the water. It will continue to soften as it sets.
- Leave lots of room to fold side and bottom when placing the filling. Don't fill so full that you can't snuggly roll.