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Crispy vegan spring rolls square
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5 from 1 vote

Vegan Spring Rolls

These vegan spring rolls are full of crunchy bamboo shoots, carrots, red cabbage, and tender tofu. They’re much easier to make than your typical Chinese dumpling and they can be baked, deep-fried, or air-fried. They’re also crispy after reheating, which makes them perfect for a party appetizer!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Resting time10 mins
Total Time55 mins
Course: Appetizer, Dinner
Servings: 28 rolls
Author: Thomas

Ingredients

Spring Roll Filling

  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tbsp fresh ginger minced
  • 1 cup carrot shredded
  • 1 cup bamboo shoots shredded or minced
  • 2 cups red cabbage shredded
  • 1 pack tofu firm or extra firm, drained and cut into cubes (about 1 pound)
  • 4 Tablespoons peanut oil separated
  • 3 Tablespoons soy sauce separated
  • 1 teaspoon cumin ground
  • 1 teaspoon chile powder ground
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup green onions thinly diced

Dipping sauce

  • 2 Tablespoons peanut butter
  • 1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon ginger powder
  • 1/2 Tablespoon sriracha
  • 2 Tablespoons water

Instructions

Cook the spring roll filling

  • Heat 2 Tablespoons peanut oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When the pan and oil are hot, add the ginger and garlic. Stir for about 1 minute until fragrant. Add the carrot. Continue to stir for 2 minutes. Add the bamboo, cabbage, cumin, chile powder, and 1 Tablespoon of soy sauce. Continue to stir and cook for 2 minutes.
  • Transfer contents of skillet to a large mixing bowl.
  • Wipe skillet clean with a paper towel and return it to the stove.
  • Heat the remaining 2 Tablespoons of peanut oil over medium heat until hot. Add the tofu into the skillet. Use a spatula to break it apart into small crumbles. Stir and cook for 1 minute once the tofu is thoroughly broken up. Add the remaining 2 Tablespoons of soy sauce and the maple syrup. Stir well and cover the skillet. Cook for 2 more minutes, then transfer the tofu to a plate to cool.
  • After the tofu has cooled for 5 minutes, add it, along with the green onion, to the bowl and stir everything together well.

Assemble the spring rolls

  • Prepare the wrapping station: Add some water to a small bowl. Place the spring roll wrappers on a plate along with a spoon and the filling. Prepare a large plate or tray to hold the wrapped rolls and a cutting board for wrapping them.
  • To wrap a spring roll, gently remove one wrapper from the stack using both hands and place it on the cutting board, with a corner pointing toward you. Add 2 to 3 tablespoons of filling onto the lower end of the wrapper, making a 4-inch (10-cm) wide, tight and even mound. Tightly roll from the bottom corner toward the top, until about halfway up. Tightly fold the left and right corners of the wrapper towards the center, so it looks like an opened envelope. Dip your finger into the water and brush the top corner of the wrapper. Tightly roll the spring roll upward until it’s completely sealed.
  • Repeat the process, until you’ve used all the filling. Although you can freeze the spring rolls at this stage, I prefer to cook them all at once and store the cooked ones so I only need to do one deep-frying session.
  • On the other hand, if you want to make the spring rolls in advance and serve them fresh at your party, you can freeze them without cooking them. To do so, place the spring rolls on a baking sheet with gaps in between. Wrap them tightly with plastic wrap and store them in the freezer until ready to cook. You can fry them straight out of the freezer, but remember to add 1 minute of frying time. 

Cook the spring rolls

  • Prepare a baking sheet with a rack on top, for cooling the spring rolls.
  • Option 1 - To deep fry the spring rolls, heat 1 inch (2.5 cm) of oil in a deep medium pot or a dutch oven over medium heat to 350 F (177 C). If you do not have a thermometer, insert a wooden chopstick into the heated oil. You should see continuous tiny bubbles coming up around the chopstick. If the bubbles only come up here and there, the oil is not hot enough. If the bubbles are large and bursting to the surface, the oil is too hot. Fry the spring rolls in batches of 5 to 6. Flip and move them occasionally for even browning. Fry until the spring rolls are golden, 5 to 6 minutes. Drain and transfer the spring rolls with a slotted spoon or wire spider onto the rack to let them cool. Repeat until you have cooked all the spring rolls.
  • Option 2 - To bake the spring rolls in the oven, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 C). Place the spring rolls onto a lined baking sheet, seam-side-down, with about 2 fingers’ width gap between. Generously spray oil on top. Bake for 9 minutes, or until the bottom turns a golden color. Flip the spring rolls and spray oil onto them again. Return the tray to the oven. Bake for another 6 to 8 minutes, until the other side is golden as well. Once done, let the spring rolls cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes before serving to maximize crispiness. 
  • Option 3 - To fry the spring rolls in an air-fryer, preheat the air-fryer to 390 F (10 mins or so). Cook them in batches. Spread a few spring rolls in the basket without overlapping them. Spray with a thin layer of oil, or you can cook them without oil. Air-fry for 6 minutes, flip, and air-fry for another 5 minutes. Once done, let the spring rolls cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes before serving to maximize crispiness.   

Make the dipping sauce

  • Combine all the ingredients for the dipping sauce in a bowl until smooth. You may need two batches of sauce, depending on your usage.

Serve

  • Serve the spring rolls hot with the included dipping sauce or whatever sauce(s) you prefer.

Notes

You can substitute other vegetables in the filling, but be sure to keep the total volume of veggies the same as given here. See the blog post for suggestions.
See the photo in the blog post for an idea of how to roll the spring rolls.
You can freeze the wrapped, uncooked rolls if you like, and fry them straight out of the freezer. Just cook them for a minute or so longer than prescribed here.
You can reheat cooked rolls in the oven – preheat the oven to 350F and reheat them on a baking sheet for 8-12 minutes until crispy. If reheating in the air-fryer, preheat to 300F and air-fry for 10-12 minutes until crispy.
Feel free to use any dipping sauce you like, or skip the dipping sauce altogether.