Social Vegan Rice Roll Salad Recipe (Video)


     We have all been there where a last minute social call starts with popping over for a morning coffee then ends with a light brunch. This happened to me last month when a vegan friend of mine came over to talk to me about something that was bugging her. What was supposed to be a couple of hours chat ended up with time for brunch. We were in my garden enjoying the lovely March breeze of Dubai bringing with it the scent of flowers and the sun was kissing our skin gently. Now this ambience called for something light, fresh, crisp and, of course, vegan. Whenever I think fresh and crisp, the Vietnamese cuisine jumps to mind, in particular, rice rolls. The Vietnamese have a unique style of cooking that has taken advantage of the abundance of aromatic herbs native to their terrain like mint, coriander, amaranth leaves, shisho and more. Vietnamese love rice and lettuce rolls, which are used as a vessel to bind all the freshness together with grilled meat or seafood in one single morsel. Rolls are typically dipped in a sauce that could be sour, sweet or spicy or a combination of all like my chili lime fish sauce. In my recipe, I used marinated tofu for the protein element combined with a variety of fresh crisp vegetables. I call this one the social rice roll, because it can be prepared and ingredients laid on a platter and become a centre piece of a social gather where each person makes his or her own. 

This makes a great gluten free snack, meal or a healthy school lunchbox option. 




  • 400 grams firm tofu, sliced into 2 cm batons

For Marinade:

  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce

  • 1 tablespoon sugar

  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons lemongrass, diced fine

  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed

  • 3 tablespoons green onion, chopped

  • Pinch of salt


  • Rice noodles, cooked

  • Lettuce

  • Fresh herbs

  • 1 carrot, sliced match sticks

  • 1 cucumber, sliced match sticks

  • Green onions

  • Bean sprouts

  • Any filling of your choice


  • Place the tofu batons in a bowl.

  • In a jar, put all the marinade ingredients, seal and shake then pour over the tofu and work gently with your hands making sure all the tofu is coated. Place in the fridge for at least 1 hour.

  • On a flat griddle or fry pan heat 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil and sear the tofu on all sides until slightly browned and put aside to cool.

  • In a bowl of hot water soak and squeeze two cheese cloths. Place one on the work top then put a sheet of rice paper over then then top it with the second cheese cloth. Pat for 15 seconds. When you remove the rice paper, it should be soft enough to bend but not too soft to fall apart.

  • Carefully arrange all the fillings including the tofu on a big platter.

  • Make the roll by putting your choice of fillings, then wrap it by folding both ends in and rolling it.

  • Use chili lime fish sauce dip. For a vegan sauce follow the tips in that recipe.




  • Use this marinade for any type of meat.

  • This is an ideal meal for gluten intolerant people.

  • You can use cooked rice instead of the noodles in the event you don’t have them.



Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 117 Calories; 5g Fat (32.4% calories from fat); 9g Protein; 12g Carbohydrate; 2g Dietary Fiber; 0mg Cholesterol; 531mg Sodium.

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