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filing for spring rolls?

I plan on making them for the first time this weekend using rice paper (not the fried variety). I'm looking for filing suggestions- some funky, some more simple- I have a few fussy eaters here.

Final question- has anyone made spring rolls with some sort of cheese inside?


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  1. I've made these stuffed with shrimp, mint, lime juice and ginger a few times; they're very good-


    1. I've never thought about using cheese - I'm not certain I'd like the texture even tho cheese is my number one favorite thing to eat. When I make them, I use the basic cellophane noodle, napa cabbage, carrot mixture and then I start adding things - mint is good as is cilantro if you like it, shrimp or firm white fish or tuna, different veggies - I go to the store and see what they have that looks good. I've been toying with the idea of fruit too - mango or papaya.

      1 Reply
      1. re: AlaskaChick

        Texture is my big problem with the cheese idea, too. That and I just can't think of a cheese flavor that would work with the usual "salad" sort of ingredients you use in summer rolls. I could see cheese working well in the right fried roll, but not the uncooked ones. If I were going to try it, I think I'd stick to something aged, blue or otherwise strong-flavored as a seasoning/accent rather than the ingredient meant to provide "bite" (like the shrimp or pork in traditional recipes.)

      2. Oh these are about one of my favorite appetizers to eat.
        I use soft lettuce, mint, cilantro, basil, pink shrim, bean sprouts, cellophane noodles,carrots, avocado, cucumber. Dipping sauces, are many.

        But you could even use, cooked chicken and turkey, radish sprouts, avocado, bacon and cream cheese. Dipping sauces could be salad dressings - raspberry poppy seed, or soy and fish sauce, rice vinegar with sugar, chilies and garlic.

        And I am on a pineapple kick this week, so you could even use cooked pork with grilled pineapple and then all or any of the toppings, smear with hoisin.

        1. I've always done summer rolls as a make-your-own type of thing, with a bowl of hot water to soften the rice paper and then a bunch of little bowls with filling options, allowing people to make whatever they like. This works best with a small group, six or less, because everybody needs to be able to reach everything. I've usually used chopped up chicken (leftover soup chicken, actually), very thin rice noodles, mint, basil, parsley (I hate cilantro, and avoid it, but it would be the more authentic option), chopped scallions, shredded carrots, red leaf lettuce, and chopped roasted peanuts as my filling options. I could certainly see putting in plenty of other things - slivered cucumber, chopped tropical fruits like mango, water chestnuts, chopped cooked beef, chopped scrambled or hard-boiled eggs, tofu, etc. Cheese seems pretty unappealing, though.

          I always serve mine with this peanut sauce. It's a bit more complicated to make than other dipping sauces (you could easily serve yours with a dipping sauce of lime juice and zest, nam pla, and a little sugar), but it's very good - my husband eats it out of the fridge with a spoon when I'm not looking, so I can't keep any leftovers!

          3 small dried chilis, stemmed and seeded, or to taste
          3 cloves garlic
          2 shallots
          1 stalk lemongrass, white part only, sliced thinly
          2 teaspoons turmeric
          1 teaspoon peanut oil, or other neutral oil
          1 cup coconut milk
          2 tablespoons nam pla or soy sauce
          1 tablespoon brown sugar
          2 tablespoons lime juice
          1 teaspoon salt
          1/2 cup crunchy peanut butter

          Puree the first five ingredients in a minichopper or food processor until smooth-ish. Heat the oil in a small saucepan over medium heat and saute the paste for about a minute, or until it starts to smell really good. Add the rest of the ingredients and stir until smooth, then simmer until the sauce thickens, about 10-15 minutes. You can keep this in the fridge (if nobody eats it!) for a week or so, but serve it warm as it's very thick and not dipping/spreading-friendly when cold.

          1. I have done it with cheese but while I liked it, it didn't go over well with others.

            I've used any combination of the following:
            strips of carrot, zuchinni, eggplant, broccoli stems (lightly steamed until tender/crisp)
            grilled chicken, pork, or beef (cut into thin strips)
            torn lettuce
            steamed rice
            daeng myon (Korean sweet potato noodle)
            daikon radish
            egg strips
            fish cake
            shredded meat
            hot dogs
            various types of Asian sausage
            pickled ginger
            pickled daikon ( http://www.chow.com/recipes/12006

            1. I make a southwestern roll-with diced chicken, scallion, black bean, corn, chili flake..I use a cream cheese/monterey jack cheese combo to sort of bind the mixture together. Serve it w/ some peppercorn ranch dressing-people love it.

              1. have you ever tried bacon in your salad rolls? like they say, everything is better with bacon! :o)

                some other things i've had occasion to add: vinegared daikon & carrot shreds, cilantro, thai basil, bean sprouts, sliced jalepenos, mesclun greens, thinly sliced onion, green onion shreds, sliced mangoes, sliced mushrooms, and leftover teriyaki chicken (to name a few.)

                the beauty of salad rolls is that you can add almost anything and it will taste great. so i say clean out your vegetable drawer and go to town! :o)

                1. Okay, funky but delicious authentic dessert/sweet snack spring roll is to quarter bananas, roll them in brown sugar and roll in a thin wrapper. Shanghai wrappers are best for this but the full round rice sheets will work. After rolling and wrapping, fry gently in a skillet....rice wrappers really want to form Siamese twins when fried in a wok and you have better control in a skillet, when browned all over, serve hot with vanilla ice cream on top or dulce de leche. I used dulce de leche ice cream from either Haghhen Daz or B&J, can't remember which brand at the moment. It is a recipe from the Phillipines. Very delicious. Yeah, it is fried I know but give it a whirl, you might be surprised at how delicious they are.

                  1. I made them with lettuce and bean sprouts and mint and chucks of mango and papaya once. They were delicious but you have to eat them fast or the fruit juice gets the rice paper soggy and it starts to disintegrate.

                    1. Not sure what funky means in your books, but if it is your first time, try some classic combinations, such as shrimp, pork, greens etc. just like as suggested by others, before you venture into other truly funky types (and believe me, there'd be no end to it!)

                      I put cheese into my rice rolls whenever I'm in the mood for such. And yes, I agree with the other poster that cheeses with more "crunch" and flavour, such as parmesan, do better than the softer cheeses whose texture do not seem to go as well.

                      One simple combination I have enjoyed, off the top of my head: toasted nori, ham, shaved parmesan, greens and shredded carrot etc. If your guests are into dips too, some tangy, mayonnaise-based dip should go well.

                      1. I admit I have never done this, I usually go the trad Asian option, but I gots to thinking, the wrappers don't have much flavour, so you could go with a schmear of blue cheese dressing, some julienned apples and pears, some celery and some walnuts, or go Greek with a souvlaki style.. chipped seasoned lamb, lettuce, tomato, olives and fetta and use some traziki as a dipping sauce

                        1. I've gotten off my kick finally, but for a while all I made and wanted to eat were Smoked Salmon Salad Spring Rolls. I use slivered cucumber, shredded lettuce, slivered avocado, and a wasabi/honey/sesame oil/dab of mayo I think- and the dipping sauce is crucial- a hot/sweet one I like best I think it's sometimes bottled and sold as "Tiger Sauce"- very tasty and addictive.

                          Another one I do is cooked shrimp, thin noodles, cukes, etc with a soy/ginger dressing- you can put in anything you like.

                          My manicurist and most of the staff are from Vietnam and they love to talk about food with me- one gal taught me that I didn't need to blot the rice paper on paper towels like I was doing, and I was soaking them way too long (thanks Fawn!)
                          She showed me a cracker made from stacks of rice paper imbedded with black sesame seeds. They warm it in the toaster oven. She said it really has no taste, she adds the salt. My nails were wet and I didn't feel like letting her feed me. Maybe next time I'll try it....

                          1. You could do it the Taiwanese way with a sweet peanut powder. It's so much better than it sounds. You can use a variety of vegetable fillings and different kinds of meat but the ground peanut powder makes it.


                            1. Try mango, leafy lettuce and grilled salmon. Actually, grab a sushi menu - and anything that sounds good in a sushi roll will work great in a roll.

                              Also love Cashew Nut Dipping Sauce:

                              1 tbl sugar
                              1/3 cup hoisin sauce
                              1 tablespoon vegetable oil
                              4 garlic cloves, minced
                              1 tbl chili garlic sauce
                              1/4 cup water
                              3 tbl cashew butter

                              In a small saucepan over medium heat, warm the oil. When it is hot, add the garlic and cook until lightly browned, about 30 seconds. Add hoisin, sugar, chili garlic sauce, and half of the water, stir well and simmer for 15 seconds. Add the other half of the water if you want a thinner consistency.