These Vegetable Tempeh Spring Rolls are fresh and delicious! Made by marinating tempeh in a miso tamari and almond butter sauce, pan frying, and then rolling into rice paper spring rolls with fresh green veg. I thought I’d share a little Spring inspo with these healthy tempeh spring rolls!
When it comes to fresh and healthy meals, nothing fits the mould better than fresh spring rolls. I love to make these as the weather is warming and I’m craving lighter meals. They are really fun to pack on picnics with friends, or to make as a fun date night with your loved one.
What makes these spring rolls different from others I’ve shared on the blog is they uses tempeh! This is an ingredient I’ve started incorporating more often into my meals, as it’s a great source of protein. It took me a while to warm to making tempeh, I’m not going to lie. The first few times I tried it I wasn’t so convinced, and opted-in for tofu instead.
But, now I’ve learned how to cook and marinade tempeh properly it’s become a wonderful new ingredient that’s so versatile in plant-based dishes. It’s wholesome and hearty and a popular favourite in our household!
What is Tempeh?
Tempeh is a lot like tofu, but a less processed version. It’s made from cooked and fermented soy beans, and are pressed into the shape of a brick or log. You can see tempeh looks more grainy than tofu. Tofu is more of a spongy texture, while tempeh is much harder and bulky.
But the look itself shows you Tempeh is a less processed version of tofu. You can really see the soybeans pressed together, instead of being processed further into a spongy consistency like tofu.
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I love the fact that tempeh is a less processed soy. In fact, I have trouble digesting processed soys, like milks and yogurts, as it causes my skin to break out in acne. I learned this the hard way about a year ago when I changed to drinking soy milk from almond milk.
This change initiated deep rooted pimples on my face and back, something I never suffered from, and milia all around my hair line. Once I stopped drinking soy milk and eating soy yogurt the issue went a way.
What’s interesting, however, is how more natural versions of soy have no effect on my body. I eat edamame, organic tofu and tempeh almost every day with no issues whatsoever. So I was very excited to find out how tempeh was a natural form of soy that my body had positive response to.
See my Skincare post for more about my soy issue, and what I did to overcome it.
Tempeh is a great source of plant-based protein – more than tofu in fact! Making it a treasure for plant-based foodies who have trouble getting protein into their diet. When marinated and cooked correctly it can take on a variety of different flavours (just like real meats). So if you are someone who likes more meaty dishes, than you’re going to love this marinated tempeh. This is exactly why I have labeled this Vegetable Tempeh Spring Rolls recipe husband approved.
How to cook Tempeh
This brings me nicely to my next point. How to cook Tempeh! I’ll be honest with you, the first time bought tempeh I hated it! I tried making spring rolls by cutting it into strips and adding it straight to the roll with no cooking or marinating. It was so yuky that me and my husband pitched the lot.
When it comes to tempeh you definitely want to cook, sauté or bake before eating – at least in my personal opinion it tastes yummier this way.
Tempeh also tastes more delicious when you marinate it ahead of time. Much like real meats, marinating the tempeh will give it more flavour. It can take on many different types of flavour from asian sauces to American bbq. It’s the marinating that makes tempeh such a versatile mock meat.
For this recipe I marinated the tempeh for 30 minutes in advanced with a miso tamari and almond butter sauce. The longer you can marinade the better – so feel free to do it the day before. Chop the tempeh into long strips and add to bowl with your sauce. Keep covered in the fridge until ready to cook, occasionally checking and rotating the tempeh so all pieces are nicely marinated.
I pan fried my tempeh by adding the strips and sauce into a frying pan, and cooking on medium heat until the sauce was mostly absorbed and the tempeh became puffy and spongy in consistency (about 15-20 minutes). Once your tempeh is cooked you can enjoy it on it’s own, in buddha bowls, or wrapped into Vegetable Tempeh Spring Rolls as I have done in the recipe below.
How to make fresh spring rolls
It’s a lot easier than you’d think.
For this Vegetable Tempeh Spring Rolls recipe I’ve filled each roll with a strip of the cooked tempeh, bib lettuce, avocado, and thinly sliced cucumber. My recommendation is to chop all your veg ahead of time. Lay out the veg so it’s readily available, like toppings to a pizza, and get decorating. The process is actually really fun! Like arts and crafts for adults. We love to do it for date night.
Start by filling a rimmed plate with warm water, and dip a sheet of rice paper into the water, ensuring all is submerged for 3-5 seconds. Place the wet rice paper sheet onto a flat surface and fill the bottom half with tempeh and veg. My best advice is not to overstuff the spring rolls or it will be too hard to fold. And leave about 0.5-1 inch of space on the bottom and sides for folding.
Tuck in the sides of the rice paper, and then tuck in the bottom. Roll the spring roll away from your body to form a burrito shape.
For the dip
Dip is optional for this recipe, as I find the marinated tempeh gives it plenty of flavour. But my husband loved this additional sauce for dip. If you want extra flavour then try a simple mix of almond butter and miso with lemon juice and water to thin. It’s bright, creamy and refreshing, and makes a lovely dip for these spring rolls. You can find the recipe below.
A few more notes on these Vegetable Tempeh Spring Rolls:
The tempeh for this dish can certainly be prepared 1-2 days in advanced, but I would prepare the spring rolls just before eating. Otherwise the rice paper might dry out, and the avocado will brown.
If you’re someone who likes meal prep than I would encourage you to cook the tempeh in advanced. But leave the veg for slicing and spring rolls for rolling until you’re reading to eat, so they are their freshest.
A couple other notes, mentioned above, is not to overstuff the Vegetable Tempeh Spring Rolls as it will make it hard to roll.
If it’s your first time making spring rolls it’s good to know that the rice paper is much more flexible and durable than you’d think. So don’t be afraid to tug and pull to get a tight wrap.
It’s also important to mention you’ll get better as you go. So have fun with it and enjoy the process!
So there you have it! A deliciously healthy Vegetable Tempeh Spring Rolls recipe for the Spring! It’s light and refreshing, flavourful and protein packed. I hope you’ll give this Vegetable Tempeh Spring Rolls recipe a try.
And, if you do make this recipe please let me know in the comments below what you think! I love hearing from you. And of course, tag me on Instagram with the hashtag #twospoons. Nothing makes me happier than to see your recreations.
Other recipes to try:
Vegetable Tempeh Spring Rolls
For the tempeh
- 4 tbsp gluten-free tamari
- 2 tbsp almond butter
- 2 tbsp white miso
- 2 tsp fresh ginger , grated
- 4 tbsp water
- 1 package tempeh
For the rice paper rolls
- 1 head Bibb lettuce
- 2 avocados, small
- 1 cucumber
- 10 rice paper sheets , medium sized
- 4 tbsp almond butter
- 2 tsp miso
- 1 lemon , juiced
- water , to thin (I used about 3 tbsp)
- In a bowl combine tamari, almond butter, miso, grated ginger, and water. Chop tempeh into thin strips and add to sauce. Ensure tempeh is well covered in marinade. Cover and place in fridge for at least 30 minutes. (You can leave the tempeh to marinate overnight).
- Add marinated tempeh and the sauce to a skillet, and bring to medium-high heat. Cook tempeh, rotating to ensure all sides are cooked evenly, until tempeh is soft and spongy in texture (approx. 15-20 minutes). Remove skillet from heat.
- Chop bibb lettuce, thinly slice avocado, and cut cucumber into matchstix (also known as julienne). I like to use a mandoline to cut the cucumber into matchstix, but you can also use a knife.
- Fill a rimmed plate with warm water and dip sheet of rice paper into the water, ensuring all is submerged, 3-5 seconds. Place wet rice paper sheet onto a flat surface and fill the bottom half with tempeh, bibb lettuce, avocado, and cucumber. Be sure not to overstuff, and leave about 0.5-1 inch of space on the bottom and sides for folding. Tuck in the sides of the rice paper and roll the rice paper away from your body to form a burrito shape. Continue this step until you've used all the rice sheets.
- Make your dipping sauce by mixing almond butter, miso and lemon juice in a bowl. Add water as needed to thin, I used about 3 tbsp. Serve dressing as dip for the rice paper rolls.