I get a lot of requests for easy, quick and healthy recipes. Here’s a recipe that can’t get any easier or quicker, and can be super duper healthy! These were inspired by Vietnamese rice paper spring rolls and can be 100% vegan or vegetarian-friendly if you want them to be. If you’ve ever tried Vietnamese food, you probably know exactly what I’m talking about.
Rice paper wraps are my best friend. They’re so quick and easy to use and they don’t cost much at all! Rice paper is like thin, steamed rice crepes that have been dried out into thin, hard, round sheets. You dampen the sheets, one by one, in warm water and you’re ready for wrapping! They get nice and sticky and adhere to themselves to make a gorgeous fresh roll in one step. They’re also much healthier than fried spring rolls. You can find these rice paper wraps at Asian and Vietnamese grocery stores. Many regular grocery stores also carry them in the ethnic/asian aisle.
I use Rose Brand rice paper. This is usually a brand you can trust, however there are other manufacturers that borrow the rose as a symbol of quality. Any package you find with a rose on it should be okay to use. These are easy to work with, and don’t fall apart. I’ve learned to stay away from things labelled bánh tráng dẻo (soft/pliable rice paper) or bánh tráng mỏng (thin rice paper), also sometimes labelled tapioca sheet. It’s hard to tell what you’re buying if you don’t read Vietnamese!
The beauty of these wraps is that you can put almost anything in them. I’ve tried lots of different combinations of fillings. They make for a quick and tasty meal (also great for on-the-go meals!). Once you have all your fillings laid out, it takes only about a minute to make each roll.
Here are some rolls I made for lunch last week. I spiced and baked slices of firm tofu and wrapped them up with tuna and lots of veggies. They were a little on the plump side. I was so hungry I overstuffed them a bit. 🙂 These are really great with fresh raw veggies. The crispness of the veggies goes wonderfully with the softness of the rice paper. SO DELICIOUS!
Spiced Tofu, Tuna & Veggie Fresh Rolls
(Most of the ingredients I use are organic)
- Rice paper wraps
- Package of firm tofu
- Seasoning for tofu
- Sea salt
- Ground black pepper
- Can of tuna, drained, seasoned with salt and pepper (or whatever seasoning you’d like)
- Romaine lettuce leaves
- Carrot, peeled and cut into matchsticks or thin pieces
- Cucumber cut into long pieces
- Avocado (cut in half, remove seed)
- Bean sprouts (washed)
- Fresh basil
- Sriracha sauce
- Hoisin sauce
- Water to moisten rice paper
Here are some other ideas of wrap fillings I’ve tried:
- If you’ve got leftover meat like ground beef, or stir-fried chicken, or fish you can totally incorporate that into a wrap.
- Canned salmon
- Shrimp. Cook and cut in half, lengthwise
- Green onions
- Mint leaves
- Chili peppers
- Bell peppers
- Vermicelli noodles
- Peanuts (any nuts you like)
- Peanut sauce
- Enoki mushrooms
There are infinite amounts of filling ideas. Experiment!
I like my tofu seasoned, to add more flavour, and baked, to give it a more chewy firmness. Slice the tofu into thin slices, lay all the slices on a cookie tray lined with parchment paper, sprinkle with spices and bake. I have an organic, all-purpose seasoning with no salt added. Lightly salt and pepper the tofu slices and then sprinkle the all-purpose seasoning over top. If you don’t have an all purpose seasoning, spices like oregano, white pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, cayenne powder, cumin or paprika could work. Bake for about 10-15 minutes at 350 degrees until golden, or until the tofu has reached the texture you want it to be. Set the slices aside in a bowl while you get your other goodies ready for wrapping.
**I often bake a bunch of these tofu slices and keep them in the fridge for future salads, sammies and wraps. They’re a really convenient addition to quick meals.
Rice Paper Wrapping:
1. Take your rice paper round and run it under room temperature water (not too hot, not too cold). I usually have the tap running and hold the paper under the faucet for 20 seconds or so. Make sure the paper gets wet all over and remove from water when it starts to soften. You don’t want your rice paper too mushy, it’ll get sticky and soggy and start to tear. It’s ok for your paper to seem a little too stiff because it will continue to soften as you fill it.
2. Put the wet rice paper on a plate.
3. Lay your fillings in a straight line down the centre of the wrap, like you’re making a burrito. I broke a romaine lettuce leaf in half and set it down first. Sprinkle a little tuna, add two slices of baked tofu, two carrot sticks and two cucumber sticks over the lettuce. Add a small scoop or two of avocado and sprinkle bean sprouts and fresh basil over top. I added a touch of sriracha and hoisin sauces for extra yumminess. Add whatever sauces you love!
4. DON’T GET CARRIED AWAY WITH THE FILLING. Less filling, better wrap. If you overstuff, it may get difficult. Take it easy!
5. Fold one side of the wrap over your fillings and use both hands to tighten it up (kind of like how you roll wrapping paper back onto the roll). You can fold the two ends in to prevent spillage/leakage. (If your wrap’s not too full!) Just keep rolling until the wrap sticks to itself. Its nice and sticky so just play around with it until it’s sealed. Set aside.
6. Start the next roll and repeat until you’ve made as many rolls as you wanted to.
7. Eat up!
I hope you find this idea/recipe as useful and delicious as I do. Let me know what you think. I’d love to hear about what fillings you used and how they turned out! Please share!
Happy wrapping and rolling! Xx