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Delicious, Easy & Vegan Vegetable Spring Rolls

A plate of crispy vegan vegetable spring rolls with sesame seeds, lime and coriander. Spring rolls are cut open to reveal filling inside

I’m sure I’m not the only one, but every time I see vegetable spring rolls at a buffet or on a menu I just have to make a bee-line straight to them. I can’t help it – they’re just so irresistible with the crunchy pastry that’s oh so crisp and mildly spiced shredded vegetables stuffed to the brim inside. Spring Rolls are to Chinese cuisine what Samosa are to Indian cuisine – nobody can resist, and for good reason!

Having said that, I’ve had plenty of bad Spring Rolls in my time. Ranging from mislabelled vegetarian spring rolls which turned out to be meat (luckily I always check first!) to soggy wrappers, greasy wrappers and lacklustre fillings packed full of just cabbage – I’ve experienced it all.

These vegetable spring rolls are absolutely nothing like that. They’re so crispy that when I was cutting them open the pastry shattered! Not only that but they’re light and completely non-greasy, which makes them so addictive and moreish. The vegetable stuffing inside is subtly seasoned with the deep richness of soy sauce, nuttiness of sesame oil and pungent spice of garlic & green chillis which allows the flavour of the vegetables to shine through. A flirtatious sprinkling of sesame seeds on top just finishes it off marvellously.

If you haven’t accidentally eaten 20 spring rolls are at once because they were so good, you haven’t tasted proper spring rolls!

These Vegetable Spring Rolls are Vegan and Nut Free!

Yes, you read that right! This recipe is Vegan, Dairy Free and Nut Free, which means it’s great for people with allergies.

Please note that you do need to be careful about Spring Roll Wrappers being Dairy Free or Vegan – some of the more popular brands have milk in them. As always, especially if you have allergies, make sure you scan the ingredients throughly. I recommend Taj Spring Roll Pastry, which is both Vegan and Dairy Free.

The recipe is not Gluten Free as the Spring Roll Wrappers are made with wheat flour. However, the rest of the recipe (fillings etc) is completely Gluten Free, so if you can get hold of or make your own Gluten Free Spring Roll Wrappers it would be perfect.

Let’s talk about the Ingredients.

These spring rolls are packed full of colourful vegetables! I chose a selection of vegetables which I think work well with Asian flavours – cabbage, green beans, carrots and beansprouts.

The beansprouts I used in this dish are my homegrown ones made from Moong Beans. Sprouting beans is incredibly easy to do and I find it’s an absolutely great thing to have in the fridge or the freezer, as I love adding my home-grown spouts to meals like these! They add a wonderful sweet crispness.

I haven’t added many flavourings to the stuffings of these spring rolls as I want the taste and freshness of the vegetables to shine through. However, there are two ingredients which are so important to the flavouring of the dish – Sesame Oil and Shiitake Mushrooms.

A good toasted quality sesame oil will make all the difference. The oil coats the vegetables perfectly with a subtle nutty, rich, earthy and slightly smokey flavour – and the aroma is out of these world! I recommend this great quality, organic sesame oil.

Finally, the shiitake mushrooms – a cornerstone of authentic vegetable spring rolls. You may have heard the word ‘umami’ thrown around a lot in reference to mushrooms, and that’s because it really is the perfect descriptor. Umami is an intensely savoury flavour which is deep, nutty, meaty, earthy and incredibly well rounded. Mushrooms are a prime example of these flavour, and Shiitake in particular are perfect with a rich, buttery and smoky flavour. I’ve chosen to use dried shiitake mushrooms and then rehydrate them. The dried mushrooms pack a punch of flavour and are more more economical than the fresh variety – plus I can use them whenever I need to for delicious recipes!

You can try variations on this recipe too!

If you want to include even more vegetables, some great ones to add would be onions, snow peas, spring onions, bamboo shoots, or even multicoloured bell peppers (capsicum). Additionally, you could mix a few herbs into the vegetables like Chinese chives or Coriander.

Another wonderful addition for some added flavour and protein would be tofu. This is a traditional ingredient and would taste absolutely wonderful if marinated the night before, cut into thin strips, and then added to the spring rolls. If you’re interested in adding tofu, do consider checking out my post about how to make your own tofu – it’s so much more delicious than store-bought!

Can you make these Spring Rolls ahead of time or freeze them?

Yes you can! These spring rolls are absolutely perfect to make ahead of time or to freeze. You can do all the prep-work and rolling and then freeze the spring rolls to cook whenever you want.

To freeze the spring rolls, first lay them out on a baking sheet and put into the freezer until just frozen. Then you can remove them from the baking sheet and place them into an airtight bag or container. This first step stops them from sticking together, making them much easier to cook later. They will last in the freezer indefinitely, but taste within the first 2 months of freezing.

Frozen spring rolls should be cooked directly after removing from the freezer – no need to defrost them. However, do bare in mind that because the spring rolls are so cold they will bring the temperature of your oil down quite a lot when you’re deep-frying them. So try not to overcrowd the pan and cook in smaller batches for the best results. Also, be careful around hot oil – when you add the cold spring rolls to hot oil it may bubble and spit, so exercise caution and keep your distance.

If baking, they will take a little longer to cook than freshly made ones – allow around 40 minutes, but do check on your oven periodically as this depends on the size of your rolls and your oven.

This Recipe is …

  • Vegan, Dairy Free and Nut Free
  • Simple and easy – no cooking of the vegetables
  • Full of simple but impactful flavours
  • Great for snacking!
  • Non-greasy while being really crispy
  • Can be baked or fried!
  • Easy to freeze

If you’re interested in other Starter recipes, do check out my Bread Samosas which are stuffed with spiced potato and peas, these Vegan Seekh Kebabs, or these incredibly addictive Mushroom Arancini. Okay, so now to the recipe …

Crispy Vegetable Spring Rolls displayed with sesame seeds, lime and coriander on a blue plate

Delicious, Easy & Vegan Vegetable Spring Rolls

Yield: 15 Spring Rolls
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

Ingredients

For the Spring Rolls:

For the 'Glue':

Instructions

  1. Re-hydrate your mushrooms. Add the shiitake mushrooms to a pot and cover with 100ml hot water. Let them sit for around 20 minutes, while you do the rest of the work.
  2. Prepare your Spring Roll Sheets. Most spring roll wrappers come frozen. Defrost your spring roll sheets and then start peeling them apart. Once you have separated one from the pack, cover it with a tea-towel and repeat until you have 15 sheets.
  3. To cook the vermicelli, follow package instructions or simply add water to a pan and bring to a boil. Once the water is boiling add the rice noodles and turn off the heat. Let them soak for around 5 minutes or until tender, then drain and use in the dish.
  4. If you haven’t prepped your vegetables, do so now. Just finely slice everything to be roughly the same size. Cut the vegetables fine and thin so they cook quickly. Once the mushrooms have re-hydrated, cut them into small pieces as well.
  5. To prepare the stuffing, add all the vegetables, rice noodles, mushrooms, garlic, green chilli, soy sauce, sesame oil, salt and black pepper to a bowl. Massage the mixture with your hands to mix and coat everything evenly for around 1-2 minutes. Now separate it into roughly 15 sections to stuff the spring rolls (or just do this by eye)
  6. To make the glue, simply mix together the cornflour and water until a thick paste is formed. Set aside.
  7. To roll the spring rolls, take one of the spring roll sheets in-front of you. Turn it so that one corner is facing you. Take your vegetable stuffing and place it about an inch away from the corner which is facing you. Now fold that corner over the stuffing and carefully pull taut, towards you. Roll the pastry once and then fold in the sides of the wrapper. Continue rolling until quite close to the end and then apply the ‘glue’ with your fingertips all around the edge of the remaining wrapper. Roll up and it should stick. Repeat with all spring rolls, covering them with a tea-towel as you work to prevent them from drying out.
  8. To fry the spring rolls, heat oil in a deep-fryer or kadai. Always exercise extreme caution around hot oil as it can be very dangerous – and never do this as a child. When the oil is hot (you can check by using the handle of a wooden spoon or a wooden chopstick – if the oil bubbles around the wood, the oil is ready), carefully add the spring rolls. Fry in batches until a light golden brown. Drain on kitchen paper.
  9. To oven cook the spring rolls, pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees C 10 minutes before you’re ready to cook. Gently brush each spring roll with sunflower oil and line on a baking tray. Bake for around 15-20 minutes, or until golden brown on both sides. I didn’t need to turn my spring rolls midway, but depending on your oven you may need to – so check after 10 minutes and if needed flip and cook that side too.

Serve with dipping sauce of your choice and sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Notes

*Note: To Julienne means to cut into very thin, long strips.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 15 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 219Total Fat: 11gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 18mgSodium: 545mgCarbohydrates: 24gFiber: 2gSugar: 2gProtein: 7g

Nutrition information isn’t always accurate.

Did you make this recipe?

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How to Serve Vegetable Spring Rolls?

These vegetable spring rolls taste incredible when eaten on their own. Honestly, I could probably get through the whole batch by myself if you left me alone with them! However, a dipping sauce really elevates the humble spring roll to another level. In Shanghai these spring rolls are traditionally served with a Chinese Black Vinegar. However, if you’ve ever eaten at Chinatown (we’ve all scoffed about 20 mini Spring Rolls at a Chinese buffet, right?!) there’s a good chance you’ll have been served many dipping sauces, from Hot Chilli Sauce, Sweet Chilli Sauce, Soy Sauce, Plum Sauce, or Chilli Garlic Sauce, just to name a few. I chose to serve mine with a Hot Chilli Sauce, but it’s really up to your own personal preferences.

Of course, although the spring rolls are an amazing snack, you may sometimes want to up the ante and serve them as part of a larger meal. Any East-Asian courses would work here, but I love to serve them with Indo-Chinese style dishes like Gobi Manchurian or Chilli Tofu!

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