HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >


Help with Summer Rolls

I'm making summer rolls (nim chow) as part of a mother's day luncheon and need to do them as far ahead as possible. Does anyone know how I can store them properly so they will still be soft and fresh? I'd like to make them the day or night before.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I would individually wrap them in plastic wrap to ensure moisture retention.

    1. Rolls made the the day before are not good. The rice paper becomes leathery and unappetizing. Even made hours ahead they aren't very good.

      1. Definitely MUCH better when freshly made but I've had good luck keeping them moist by covering the plate/tray with a dampened piece of fabric (tea/dish towel etc). I've never "held" them like this more than 4 hours or so.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Miss Mac

          Yup, that's probably the best way to do it.

          Alternatively, you could keep them warm and moist in a steamer, kept at a very very low temp.

        2. I have done over night, but a damp towel and wrapped in plastic, not the best but mine were fine. I always recomment fresh, but these were fine. Just test the first. if un sure

          2 Replies
          1. re: kchurchill5

            You must have some very special rice paper wrappers that can last overnight. What brand do you use?

            1. re: KTinNYC

              Not sure, don't have any on hand. Next time I go to the market I will look. I got them at a small market up north of me close to a friends house. Every time I am up there I pick some up. Better than any others I have bought. But other than my local grocery store, I haven't tried too many brands. I'll try to find out the name for you.

          2. I don't know if this is possible for you, but I had my guests roll their own! I had a station in the kitchen with all the fillings and I had them choose what they wanted and taught them how to roll their own. They had a great time! Took the pressure off of me too. It was interesting to see what they chose. I've tried to make some ahead of time and my rice paper always got really tough, dry and leathery. Good luck!

            1 Reply
            1. re: mochi mochi

              This is a great idea. If you try to hold them in plastic wrap, they can get gummy, too, from the vegetables.

            2. I just don't think you can do Summer Rolls any way but "make and eat". Even storing for an hour or two lets the skins get either mushy or leathery.

              1 Reply
              1. re: KiltedCook

                Actually, I've made them an hour or so ahead of time for dinner parties, and cover with a damp tea towel, and they are still wonderful.

              2. You might want to make a couple, cover them with a damp tea towel and or plastic wrap, and then taste them in an hour or so, later in the day, and the next day, and see what you think.

                5 Replies
                1. re: MMRuth

                  Excellent advice. I think once the OP sees/tastes how their rolls are made ahead, they may re-think the idea. I've never had luck with these leftover... I get mine from our Viet grocery: http://www.amazon.com/Spring-Roll-Wra...
                  They develop serious character flaws when left to 'age'.

                  1. re: Boccone Dolce

                    Yes - I think those red rose ones were the favorite when we did the Vietnamese books as COTM.

                    1. re: Boccone Dolce

                      Those are the ones my in-laws and mom use. If the OP does decide to try to do them ahead, I'd recommend making sure they don't touch each other, too. They are best made just before eaten, edible for a couple of hours but longer than that and they're not good. I've had some at take out places that obviously let them sit too long.

                      1. re: chowser

                        Ooooh yeah I forgot about that- no touchy! I found out from my nail tech (she's from Vietnam) that I was getting mine too wet- she told me to barely wet them, only enough to make them pliable. I was waiting until they got soft.

                        Our favorite are Smoked Salmon Salad Rolls...

                        Rice Paper - Described as Spring Roll or Vietnamese Rice Paper (Use the smallest circle
                        size available from your favorite Asian market)
                        Cucumbers - Cut into long, thin strips
                        Smoked Salmon -
                        Prepared Tiger Sauce or Sweet/Hot Chili Sauce

                        Killer Wasabi Mayo Dressing
                        1/4 C Mayo
                        1 T Honey
                        1 T Dijon Mustard
                        2-3 T prepared Wasabi
                        1-2 T Horshradish
                        Juice of 1 little lime
                        Sesame Oil

                        1. Have all ingredients pre-prepped for best results. You will need to work quickly once you soak the rice paper.
                        2. Prepare the Killer Wasabi Mayo Dressing by whisking the mayo, mustard, honey, wasabi and horshradish, tasting as you go for heat intensity. Add the lime juice and a few drops of sesame oil for flair. Mix well.
                        3. Peel cucumber and slice into long, thin strips. Set aside.
                        4. Cut avocado into long, thin strips. Set aside.
                        5. Open your package of smoked salmon (lox)
                        6. Grab a large flat dish or something that has some depth- fill with warm water.
                        7. Have a stack of paper towels handy, and working one at a time, moisten 1 disk of rice paper then blot on towel. Fill as follows: salmon, cucumber, dressing, avocado.
                        8. Working quickly, roll into a tube, keeping rice paper stretched tight as you can and not letting the filling ooze from the top or bottom. The rice paper will self-seal as long as you do not over-stuff it. Avoid the tendency to add too much dressing as it will get goopy fast.
                        9. Slice in half at a jaunty angle, serve with Sweet/Hot Chili Sauce.
                        Serve immediately

                    2. re: MMRuth

                      Just try, I have had luck, but fillings and the wraps can make a difference, doesn't hurt to just try.

                      What works for one person doesn't always work for another, just try and then see how you feel about them.