These crispy, crunchy deconstructed spring roll bowls are packed with veggies and drizzled with a creamy peanut sauce. They're ready in under 30 minutes and are perfect for meal prep!
Since I'm absolutely worthless at rolling up spring rolls, I decided to take matters into my own hands and make spring roll bowls, also known as deconstructed spring rolls in a bowl.
This recipe is by no means traditional, as it is inspired by Trader Joe's tofu spring roll bowls. They have matchstick carrots, shredded cabbage, and cucumbers, but feel free to use your favorite spring roll fillings here.
If you're like me and don't want to actually assemble spring rolls or you just want a nutritious vegetarian lunch, this recipe was made for you! It features crisp and crunchy fresh vegetables, a creamy peanut sauce, and protein from both edamame and tofu.
Why this recipe works
- Easy to prep: I love making these spring roll bowls for meal prep because I can make four days of lunches in just 25 minutes.
- Nutritious: This is a balanced bowl that features crisp, crunchy, and refreshing vegetables alongside two types of plant-based protein, healthy fats from peanut butter, and carbs from the udon noodles.
- Delicious peanut sauce: It's easy to eat vegetables when they're topped with a deliciously creamy 5-ingredient peanut sauce. Have a nut allergy? This recipe also works with sunflower seed butter!
What you'll need
- Peanut butter is a key ingredient in the peanut sauce. I use creamy natural peanut butter but any kind of creamy will work. Crunchy will work in a pinch.
- Toasted sesame oil is commonly found in the international section at grocery stores. Regular, untoasted sesame oil also works but will have a slightly different flavor. A little bit goes a long way with sesame oil, thanks to its strong toasted flavor.
- Udon noodles. These wheat noodles can be swapped out for rice or glass noodles to make this dish gluten-free.
- Tofu: I usually use extra-firm but firm or super firm also works. Sesame tofu or marinated tofu would also go really well in this recipe.
- Edamame adds extra protein. I use frozen edamame (usually labeled "mukimame") and let it thaw at room temp before using. You can also just cook it in the microwave per package instructions.
- Veggies: Purple cabbage, shredded carrots, and sliced cucumbers contribute crunch and refreshing flavor. Green cabbage or sliced carrots are also good options.
Pro tip: Start sautéing the tofu while you prep the sauce and other spring roll bowl ingredients. A little bit of multitasking helps this recipe be ready quickly.
- Cook the udon noodles according to the package instructions. Drain and rinse in cold water to cool. Toss with sesame oil and set aside.
- Cook the tofu: Meanwhile, prep the tofu by cutting it into squares. Drizzle sesame oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the tofu and 1 tablespoon of soy sauce. Sauté tofu until golden on both sides. This will take 3-4 minutes per side.
- Make the peanut sauce: Mix together all sauce ingredients in a small bowl. Add water as needed to thin to a drizzle-able consistency. If you're not using a "natural" peanut butter (ingredients are only peanuts and maybe salt) you may need to add a little extra liquid to thin the sauce.
- Assemble the bowls: Divide the sliced veggies, tofu and edamame between four bowls. Drizzle with peanut sauce to taste. Top with sesame seeds, a lime wedge and a sprinkle of fresh chopped cilantro. Enjoy!
For meal prep: Divide all ingredients, except for the sauce, between four bowls or jars. Store the sauce and any other condiments (sesame seeds, lime wedges) in another container.
Storage: All of the spring roll bowl components are best within 4 days. The peanut sauce keeps for up to a week. Keep all ingredients refrigerated in closed containers.
Best served cold: Just like spring rolls, these bowls are best served cold. However, if you prefer serving the tofu warm, I recommend storing it separately from the other meal components so that it can be microwaved before serving.
To freeze the peanut sauce: Freeze for up to 3 months in a mason jar or freezer-safe container. Let thaw completely in the fridge before using (this will take at least 8-12 hours).
Looking for more recipes?
If you like this sauce you'll also love my baked peanut tofu and peanut stir fry sauce. If you're craving extra peanut sauce, try these spring roll bowls with spicy peanut noodles instead of udon noodles.
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Spring Roll Bowls with Peanut Sauce
- 8 ounces dry udon noodles
- 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil divided
- 1 block (14-16 ounces) extra firm tofu
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 2 cups shredded purple cabbage from ½ purple cabbage, see note #1
- 1 medium cucumber sliced
- 1 cup shredded carrots see note #2
- 1 cup frozen edamame thawed, see note #3
- 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
- lime wedges and fresh chopped cilantro for serving
- ½ cup creamy peanut butter
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 2 teaspoons sesame oil
- 4-5 tablespoons water or vegetable broth for thinning
- Cook the udon noodles according to package instructions. Drain and rinse under cool running water until cold. Toss with 1 teaspoon sesame oil and set aside.
- While the noodles are cooking, prep the tofu. Slice the extra firm tofu into thin squares (about 1 cm thick). Pat pieces of tofu gently with a cloth or paper towel to remove external moisture.
- In a large skillet, heat one teaspoon sesame oil over medium heat. Once hot, layer the tofu slices evenly in the skillet. You may need to do 2 rounds of sautéing, depending on your skillet size. Sauté until lightly browned, then flip. This will take about 3-4 minutes on each side.
- To make the peanut sauce: In a small bowl, whisk together the peanut butter, soy sauce, rice vinegar and sesame oil. Add water or veg broth one tablespoon at a time to thin. It should be an easily drizzle-able consistency.
- Assemble the bowls: Divide all ingredients between 4 bowls (tofu, edamame, noodles, cabbage, carrots, cucumber). Drizzle each serving with peanut sauce. Serve topped with sesame seeds, fresh chopped cilantro and a lime wedge. Enjoy cold.
- Shredded carrots: I buy preshredded carrots, but you can also grate large carrots or chop into matchsticks.
- Purple cabbage: This can also be bought preshredded, but I usually buy a large head of cabbage and slice it. To do this, slice the cabbage into thin strips, then chop into smaller pieces.
- Frozen edamame: Find labeled as "mukimame" in the freezer aisle. This means shelled edamame. I let it thaw at room temp while I'm prepping the other ingredients. You can also zap it in the microwave for 1-2 minutes to thaw more quickly.
- Leftovers: Keep leftovers refrigerated in a closed container for 3-4 days. Store peanut sauce in a separate container.
- For meal prep: Divide all ingredients, except for the sauce, between four bowls or jars. Store the sauce and any other condiments (sesame seeds, lime wedges) in a separate container.