These amazing spring rolls are stuffed full of veggies and noodles then wrapped up in a crispy cabbage leaf. To sweeten the deal, we add an amazing peanut sauce that packs in big flavor. Spring rolls are so versatile that you don’t need to follow the recipe exactly and you can put in whatever veggies you like or have on hand. I used cabbage, carrot, red pepper, and green onion, but lots of other vegetables would be delicious.
In order to soften the cabbage leaves enough to wrap the spring rolls, we need to blanch them. Blanching is a wonderful cooking method that involves cooking something in a pot of boiling water for a short time, followed by immediately immersing in cold water. I love this method because it only partially cooks a vegetable so it maintains some of the crunch.
The trickiest part of these spring rolls is removing the cabbage leaves without tearing them. I found it easiest to cut the leaf at the stem and then wiggle the cut stem to loosen the leaf. Then, you will want to start carefully peeling the edges of the leaf all the way around and eventually, the entire leaf will loosen and come off. Just go slow at first, you have plenty of tries even on a single head of cabbage so if you rip a couple just set them aside to be used for the filling later.
The peanut sauce is the most flavorful part of the recipe so don’t skip it. It is a simple blend of pantry ingredients, perfectly balanced to give you the amazing umami flavor. These spring rolls are perfect eaten at room temperature or cold. They are great to prepare in advance for lunches, picnics, and long car trips. They would be super fun at a potluck, or cut and served as an appetizer.
The star of this recipe, cabbage, is also a star in nutrition. Cabbage provides us a wide array of nutrients including thiamin, magnesium, phosphorus, vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin B6, folate, calcium, potassium, and manganese. This recipe is extremely high in fiber and antioxidants provided by all the fresh veggies. This meal is rich in nutrients and will nourish your body from the inside out.
Spring rolls made with a cabbage leaf filled with vegetables, noodles, and sesame seeds. Dip in the delicious Asian peanut sauce for maximum flavor.
- 1 medium head cabbage
- 4 oz brown rice vermicelli *
- 1 red bell pepper
- 3 medium carrots
- 1 bunch green onion
- 3 tbsp sesame seeds
- 1 tbsp soy sauce or tamari
- 2 tsp sesame oil (optional)
- 2 tbsp natural peanut butter
- 2 tbsp soy sauce or tamari
- 2 tsp agave, maple syrup, or honey if not vegan
- 1 tsp rice vinegar
Bring a large pot of water to a boil while you remove cabbage leaves. First, remove any outer wilted leaves. Then, continue to remove the next 6-8 leaves. (see notes)
One at a time, place cabbage leaves in boiling water for 1-2 minutes then remove, and place in colander under cold running water, or in a large bowl of ice water. Remove after 1 minute and set aside to dry. Once all leaves have been blanched place noodles into the boiling water and cook according to package directions.
To prepare filling, shred or chop 2 cups remaining cabbage and carrots. Heat a skillet over medium heat and add cabbage, carrots, 1 tbsp soy sauce, and sesame oil if using. Cook on medium-low heat for 10-12 minutes.
While cabbage cooks, prepare peanut sauce. In a small bowl, vigorously stir together peanut butter and soy sauce until completely smooth. Then stir in liquid sweetener and rice vinegar.
Prepare other vegetables. Slice red pepper into long, thin slices. Roughly chop green onion, discarding white portion. Dry the cabbage leaves if they have any remaining water on them. With a small pairing knife, cut off the back of the thick, tough stem where it protrudes. Be careful not to cut through the cabbage leaf.
To assemble, place a leaf in bowl shape in front of you with the stem facing you. Fill with desired amount of noodles, cabbage/carrot mixture, red pepper slices, green onion, and sesame seeds. Fold the sides inwards and begin to roll from the stem, up. Roll tightly and don't overfill for best results. Dip in peanut sauce and enjoy.
- You can substitute with other rice noodles, ramen, soba, or spaghetti.
- The easiest way to remove the cabbage leaves to cut the leaf's stem and then wiggling the cut stem to loosen the leaf. Start carefully peeling the edges of the leaf all the way around and eventually, the entire leaf will loosen and come off. Just go slow at first, you have plenty of tries even on a single head of cabbage so if you rip a couple just set them aside to be used for the filling later.
If you loved this recipe, let me know in the comments below. What are your favorite spring roll fillings? For more healthy vegan recipes sent directly to your inbox once a week subscribe below.