spring rolls

plated

i first bought rice paper (spring roll) wrappers because i wanted to try to make a fried egg roll-ish thing that was gluten free. well, they are decent fried, but i think a much better use is the spring roll.

i was first introduced to spring rolls with a couple friends in high school at a boba tea shop we used to frequent which was housed inside of a comic book store. basically, spring rolls are rice or tapioca paper wrappers filled with a mixture of ingredients and served cold/unfried.

it was more recently that i attempted to finally make a somewhat traditional spring roll. the guy i was dating at the time and i kept going to get pho at this place called “vietnam 2000″… pho is a vietnamese noodle soup and probably the best hangover cure known to man. we got spring rolls with it most times, and one day we were thinking… well, how hard could these be to make?

so i started making them. they were a bit difficult to put together at first and a little time consuming, even when i forced him to chop things up for me and peel shrimp for me. but once you get the hang of it, they’re pretty easy and definitely worth the effort.

so tonight i find myself wanting some spring rolls. i’m going to put in cooked, rinsed, and drained rice noodles, cooked shrimp, cilantro, green onion, and a little pickled ginger. you can really put anything you want in them, but i’d say you need at least some form of noodle, some protein, and some leafy greenish thing (i love cilantro, but basil or even just lettuce would be fine if you aren’t down with cilantro). in the past i’ve also put cucumber, avocado, chicken… it’s all good. i also tried using bean thread noodles once because i didn’t have any rice noodles. this actually didn’t turn out so well because bean thread noodles tend to stay wetter even after sitting in a colander for half an hour, and they make the rolls kind of soggy.

the easiest way to do this i think is to get everything ready– washed, chopped, cooked, whatever it needs to be. then you can just roll up the spring rolls quickly and easily all at once. so i started by washing the cilantro, chopping up green onions, cooking/rinsing/draining the rice noodles and cooking and peeling the shrimp. then you need a fairly large bowl of warmish water to soften the wrappers, which are basically like large flat dry noodles, and a surface to roll on (a damp, clean towel works really well). here’s a picture of my whole setup:

layout

take one of the dried rice papers and hold it under the warm water for about 10-15 seconds, or until you can easily bend it but before it becomes too mushy. then just arrange the ingredients on the wrapper like so and fold the ends over…

rolls

then roll it up!

rolled

once your rolls are done, let them sit a few minutes so the wrappers can stick together well and dry off a bit. then serve them with whatever sauces you like! i usually have a peanut sauce, soy sauce, and sriracha sauce and just kind of let people dip or pour them on as they desire.

these are surprisingly filling, too… even the grown men i’ve made these for could usually only eat about 4 tops before they were stuffed. luckily, they keep pretty well sealed up in the fridge, so you could make a big batch at once and save them for later. just be careful not to stick them in containers or bags until the wrappers are nice and dry to prevent them from sticking together…. or package them in a way so they don’t touch each other in the fridge.

yum. spring rolls are a really tasty, refreshing, and light kind of entree. of course, they can be pretty complicated if you include lots of ingredients, but they are generally simple and easy. i really don’t think it’s best to try to crowd them with too many ingredients or too much filling… just keep them simple and you will probably be pleasantly surprised!

happy rolling šŸ™‚

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~ by agent229 on September 21, 2009.

3 Responses to “spring rolls”

  1. This looks totally yum! ::nostalgia for Cafe O:: Maybe I’ll try it someday, if I can find some wrappers (I hope they aren’t expensive!).

    • aw faithful reader šŸ™‚ haha. yeah! they are pretty good! i have found the wrappers at talin… of course… they’re like… 1.19? they also have them at whole foods for not much more. i haven’t seen them anywhere else though…

  2. Yum, this blog is making me hungry!
    Very interesting and entertaining. You are right, my tofu was terrible. Please come cook dinner for me & Dad soon,
    MOM

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