Grilled Eggplant Spring Rolls

I know that it may sound non-BBQ-ish, but these spring rolls are what I ate on the 4th of July. At least the eggplant is grilled, right? ;) Before this, I had never made spring rolls, on my own. Earlier this year, I bought a large pack of rice paper with the intention of trying it out, but it took about 2 months of staring it down (totally intimidated) to even take it out of the cupboard. 

It wasn’t until I had dinner with my good friend Annie at Au Lac, that I was inspired to make it happen. She ordered this crazy assemble-your-own spring roll plate, complete with hot water/rice paper holder dish (clearly a technical term), and I saw just how simple they are to make. It turns out, that Annie makes them at home all of the time! She suggested adding coconut milk to the warm water in which you dip the rice paper; which got me super excited.

Fast forward to last Thursday, when I searched my fridge for some veggies to create a super tasty set of rolls for myself. I knew I wanted something savory and smoky to go with my fresh herbs and crunchy carrots; maybe a little heat, too. Marinated and grilled eggplant ended up being the perfect solution! I love eggplant, but I buy and use it MAYBE every 6 months. Pathetic, really.

So, if you were ever a little worried about making spring rolls being something that is labor intensive and kind of hard, fear no longer! Give these a try for a light lunch or as an appetizer for a couple of friends. I can’t wait to experiment some more with this!

One Year Ago: Savory Rosemary Veggie Oats

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Grilled Eggplant Spring Rolls
Recipe type: Appetizer, Light Meal
Cuisine: Asian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1-4
A light recipe for Spring Rolls with Grilled Eggplant, crunchy zucchini and fresh herbs.
Spring Rolls
  • 1 C. Eggplant, Cut into ½"x1/2"x2" sticks
  • ¼ C. Water
  • 2 T. Liquid Aminos or Soy Sauce
  • ½ T. Liquid Smoke
  • ½ T. Maple Syrup
  • ½ C. Water
  • ¼ C. Light Coconut Milk
  • 4 Sheets of Rice Paper
  • 1 C. Carrot, Julienne Cut
  • 1 C. Zucchini, Julienne Cut
  • 1 Fresh Jalapeño, Julienne Cut w/o Seeds
  • ½ an Avocado, thinly sliced
  • Handful of Fresh Mint
  • Handful of Fresh Cilantro
Spring Roll Sauce (Optional)
  • 2 T. Light Coconut Milk
  • 2 tsp. Sriracha
  • ½ T. Liquid Aminos
  • 1 tsp. Lime Juice
  • 1 tsp. Creamy Peanut Butter
  • 1 tsp. Sweet Chili Sauce
  1. Place the eggplant sticks into a shallow dish. In a small bowl, stir the 1/water, liquid aminos, liquid smoke and maple syrup together; then pour over the eggplant and marinade for 1-2 hours.
  2. Heat up your grill and prep the veggies during the last 15 minutes of marinating time.
  3. Grill the eggplant on all 4 sides until each one has brown grill marks, and pour the rest of the marinade over the pieces as they grill.
  4. Warm the ½ C. of water with the light coconut milk in a medium sauce pan until it is just hotter than luke warm, and turn off the heat.
  5. Dip one sheet of rice paper in the water/coconut milk on each side for 2-3 seconds, then transfer to a small plate.
  6. Place 2-3 pieces of eggplant in the middle of the paper, along with carrot, zucchini, jalapeno and avocado pieces. Add a couple leaves of mint and cilantro to the middle and fold the rice paper like a burrito.
  7. This means: fold in one side parallel to the filling, then the two side panels over it, next hold it firmly and wrap the rest of it up and press down on the seam.
  8. Repeat 3 more times and place in the refrigerator.
  1. Whisk all of the ingredients together until completely smooth, you may need to warm up the peanut butter before doing this. Serve!

These rolls would also go great with a sweet & sour-type sauce, or anything else that you prefer. If you want to get a little fancier plating going, slice the rolls into 3 parts and place them cut-side up on a long plate; garnish with mint.

Have a great week, everyone!


Filed under Healthy Recipes, Savory Recipes

25 Responses to Grilled Eggplant Spring Rolls

  1. Michelle

    Jackie the first time I used rice paper it took a little time to get it….. I wrapped it around garden grills mushed and shaped oval and fried it on oil it’s like fried chicken… Rice paper is the crust… Haven’t used it since…. This sounds awesome I love love eggplant….

  2. Those looks so good. I’ve made spring rolls before, but I’ve never put eggplant in them. Love this idea. Next time for sure.. and I just found some rice paper recently. I swear I have been looking for over a year – finally.

  3. I had the same rice paper roll fear! The only difference is that my rice paper sheets stayed in the cupboard for over a year. Then I watched a video of Kittee using them to make rice paper samosas and another video with Christy Morgan making spring rolls. I tried it myself and was totally hooked. I love it that you can have little bits of any vegetables, tofu, peanuts, or whatever, and it all adds up to one very pretty, hand-packaged meal.

    The smoky/spicy combination of flavors in your spring rolls sounds right up my alley! Congrats on facing your spring roll fears! :)

    • Jackie @ Vegan Yack Attack!

      OOOOH! Thank you for the tips on the videos, Cadry! I may have to link to one in the post for extra helpfulness. <3

  4. Did you read my mind? I was *just* brainstorming this morning on how to use up some leftover veggies in the fridge, and the idea of spring rolls popped into my head–definitely a little anxious to try them, though, due to the rice paper fear. I’ll just take this as a sign that it’s worth trying :)

  5. These look much easier than I would have guessed! Did you have to buy the spring roll wrappers at a specialty store?

    • Jackie @ Vegan Yack Attack!

      I bought them at Sprouts, which is a store local to me (“natural” food store). I’m sure that you could find these in a WholeFoods or MAYBE the Asian section of a supermarket. Definitely in an Asian Market, but I’m not sure how many of those are in Iowa. :)

  6. I have tried to make spring rolls but mine never come out looking like something I would want to eat, but this tutorial seems like one I could follow.

  7. These summer rolls sound delightful! I’ve been making some of my own lately, since it’s too hot to really cook, but I’ve never tried them with eggplant before. Super interesting!

    • Jackie @ Vegan Yack Attack!

      Thank you, Eileen! I think I might use marinated tempeh next time with some other herbs and such. So many different ways to go with it!

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  10. Adeana

    I was intimidated to work with rice paper, but it was so easy. I ran out of eggplant and replaced it with smoked mushrooms. I also mixed the sauce with the veggies so I wouldn’t need a dipping sauce. OH MY GOODNESS! These are SO good!.

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