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Jul 27, 2007 07:21 PM

making spring rolls

what a fun summer activity! stopped by a vietnamese grocery (in the bronx, ny of all places!) and got rice paper sheets and holy basil. with a packet of rice stick and some fantastic crisp cucumbers, i was ready to go.

this is a helpful thread:

this also has helpful tips:

used this sauce:
we subbed some soy sauce and balsamic vinegar for hoisin sauce, which i didn't have; lovely fresh scallions from our CSA for the onion, and added some water and some more soy sauce in the end. it's probably worth doubling this, though fresh lime juice alone is also great.

fillings (not all at once)--rice noodles with some lime juice and rice vinegar, basil, sliced cucumber, sliced pepper, sliced peaches, sliced avocado, scallions, tofu with soy sauce and sesame and ginger oil.

all in all, it was a pleasure to assemble these, and it was a great light summer meal highlighting great fresh herbs and other produce. assembly was a bit of a challenge--the key is to soak the rice paper for 10 seconds and not more, then stick it onto damp towels. And do not overstuff. of course, i couldn't help myself from overstuffing, resulting in misshapen, lumpy blobs. you'll note that i'm not attaching pictures!

Phnom Penh-Nha Trang Market
2639 Jerome Ave, Bronx, NY 10468

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  1. Thanks for the post... I have not made these in years and I think I hve rice papers in my pantry! Love the lime juice idea. I usually put shrimp in mine...

    1. rose water, I love spring rolls! My homemade attempts have gone from a lumpy mass (that tasted great but looked ridiculous) to something that nearly resembles my local take out spring roll. I too learned how important a "quick soak" was for the rice paper and I used a tablespoon to gauge filling so I don't overstuff (my tendency too). The moist towel is a must! As for fillings, variations-I've only recently begun to experiment with all the delicious choices..and only after my "technique" had improved.

      So far my fav combo is medium shrimp and shredded chicken with basil, mint, rice noodles and a dressing of 1 part red pepper hot sauce and 2 parts soy.

      practice, practice! :0()

      2 Replies
      1. re: HillJ

        Such discipline! I will admit that I reached a point when I gave up on even my lumpy blob rolls, and went for open faced rice paper sandwiches! I did figure out how to make pretty ones--not overstuffing is key, as well as putting the basil down first so that it shows through the skin of the rolled roll.

        1. re: rose water

          Funny! I usually end up cutting the up the holey ones to throw in a bowl and use the dipping sauce as a dressing. I know this basically ends up being a noodle bowl, but i really like the chewy consistency of the rice paper wrapper.

          Usually put in poached shrimp, some kind of marinated grilled meat, lettuce, cilantro, mint, noodles, bean sprouts, thin slices of fresh jalepeno, and one time -- BACON. yum yum. :o)

      2. Thanks for reminding me that I should make some rolls (I call this non-fried version "summer rolls") soon since I have some wrappers in my pantry. Great way to keep cool in the kitchen and to use up odd and ends in the fridge.

        I like your use of peaches since fruit can add brightness and go well w/ the dipping sauce. I like to use manila mango w/ red bell pepper and shrimp.

        Does anyone have a brand of rice paper wrapper they are loyal to? My Viet market has a number of different brands that vary in translucency and size. Last time I was at one market, the cashier was adamant that the one w/ three ladies was best so I bought that to try. Will report back...

        4 Replies
        1. re: Carb Lover

          Ah, I forgot to link to this thread, which I didn't end up using, but it was a pleasure to come across it again. Such gorgeous, tempting photos!

          I'm very excited about the summer roll possibilities, and would love to hear about your odds and ends rolls--what a great use for leftovers!

          I ended up buying Peacock Brand wrappers, but I can't say how they compare with others without having done this before. When I get through the many dozen wrappers in this package, I'll compare to other things, and report back.

          1. re: rose water

            I actually don't make summer rolls that often, but your thread made me realize that I can deviate from the traditional fillings for a quick weeknight meal. For instance, I have some leftover grilled chicken in the fridge right now that would be great for this application. And I often have small amounts of cucumber, radish, carrot, green beans, etc. along w/ many fresh herbs that I can't use quickly enough before they spoil. Oh, the possibilities are endless! I'll report back on what I throw together in the coming weeks...

            PS. Nice photo below, Rubee!

          2. re: Carb Lover

            I used Asian Boy Banh Trang Que Huong brand recently when I made a version on the Nigella thread (I used rice noodles, Chinese roast duck, scallions, cilantro, mint and purple basil).

            I LOVE the idea of using peaches - I've used mango and shrimp before, but I think peach is brilliant. Hmmm. I might have to try peach and duck summer rolls next weekend.

            1. re: Carb Lover

              I find them at Cost Market Place, Blue Dragon, I buy those when I can't get into Chinatown. I find them very good quality.

            2. I love fresh spring rolls! The fresh, clean flavors really shine through. I really like the texture of rice paper wrappers too.


              2 Replies
              1. re: ctl98

                Great pictures!! Not to mention that the korean rib thing looks delicious as well.
                I like a little mint in my spring rolls too.

                1. re: chef chicklet

                  Thanks Chef Chicklet! I like mint too, and cilantro. But unfortunately all I had that day was Thai basil. Still very good though..

              2. I love those things!!
                I use very hot water and just dip the rice paper several seconds. On to a wet towel and fill. It's great with shrimp or left over whatever. Fresh mint and Thai basil is almost a requisite. They don't keep well, but that is seldom a problem.