For vegans wanting an appetizer to start their dinner with, having some vegetable spring rolls on the menu is a great choice. This Vietnamese classic recipe is an assortment of sliced or shredded veggies--carrots, cabbage, bean sprouts, onions, and mushrooms--all wrapped up in paper-thin dough made from a rice flour batter is pretty popular among various restaurants across the world. Even non-Asain locales tend to serve them up from time to time.

However, don't let the fancy look and backdrop of this recipe fool you into thinking it's complicated for your own machinations at dinner.

In fact, vegetable spring rolls can be made at home quite easily especially considering the spring roll wrappers are sold pre-made almost everywhere and that the vegetables could be served up raw, though they can also be grilled before wrapping to your liking.

Vegetable spring rolls are also typically served with a dipping sauce which is also pretty easy to make and there are a few to choose from. This variation will call for a garlic-soy dipping sauce that might not be common to many foodies but it's pretty simple as it can be combined simply by whisking everything together in a bowl. just follow along and the friends and family you have over will praise your culinary skills.

The recipe

Spring Rolls Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cabbage, shredded
  • 1 medium carrot, shredded
  • 1/2 onion, sliced
  • 1 red pepper, sliced
  • 1/4 large button mushroom, sliced
  • 1 cup bean sprouts
  • 1 tsp cilantro, chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 8 thin square spring roll wrappers
  • Water as needed

Dipping Sauce Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 2 tbsp peanut oil
  • 1 tsp hot sesame oil
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 pinch sugar

The directions

  1. To make the vegetable spring rolls, caramelize all of the vegetables in a wok or saute pan for 2-3 minutes. Toss around for a few times to mix them.
  2. Place all eight of the spring roll wrappers on a table, positioning the edges pointed at you. Divide the vegetables into equal portions among the wrappers, placing them on the bottom third areas. Fold the pointed edge over the vegetables and fold in the sides tightly. Dab some water on the top pointed edge and tightly roll the wrappers.
  3. To make the dipping sauce, combine all ingredients but the cilantro in a bowl and whisk them together until smooth.
  4. Add the cilantro to the dipping sauce when serving with the vegetable spring rolls.

Serves: Eight Spring rolls