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Spring Rolls - Home Cooking Dish of the Month (April 2013)

It was a close vote this month, but Spring Rolls won out for the new dish of the month. You can see the vote here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/895810

Spring rolls are a dish with lots of variations and room for creativity. As usual, you are invited to use published recipes, old favorites, or a recipe you've invented. Please describe your recipe, share your source, and your outcome. Photos are always encouraged. Please remember to paraphrase any recipes that are not your own; verbatim copying of recipes to the boards is a violation of the copyright of the original author. Posts with copied recipes will be removed.

Looking forward to some great spring rolls!

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  1. Thanks, Dave, for handling this month!

    I have a question for Dave MP and any other spring roll people...
    Are we including non-fried spring rolls also? (Also known as raw spring rolls or summer rolls.)

    4 Replies
    1. re: L.Nightshade

      Raw and/or cooked is kind of what I had in mind when I threw spring rolls out there---but I'm not in charge :) I guess we'll wait and see what people think?

      1. re: alliegator

        Agreed--it would be nice to mix it up a bit with both varieties.

        Looking forward to trying this month out--I've already got a few recipes bookmarked, and this is one food that my husband will not tire of so I am ready to dig in!

      2. re: L.Nightshade

        expanded to non fried works for me too. i actually prefer a cold rice paper summer roll; even if the filling is cooked. plenty of ways to go either way we "roll."

        1. re: L.Nightshade

          I can get behind either fried or non-fried.

        2. On Friday as part of a small pottery class I'm hosting in the studio I'm going to make a few finger foods to go with a sparkling water punch. I thought it would be a good opportunity to give a spring roll a try. I'm going to make a summer roll with crab (I almost typed crap again!!), mint, thai basil, slivered carrots and rice noodles and a fried spring roll with a cheeseburger filling-an idea I found on one of the blogs I follow. I usually offer two dipping bowls with summer rolls-a bowl of fresh lemon juice and a bowl of thinned hoisin sauce. The cheeseburger filled rolls-no dip.

          this archived article from Serious Eats ask the proverbial question and I found the offensive about strange spring roll fillings inspiring-but I usually gravitate towards riffs and unexpected pairings.

          Can't wait to see what everyone is planning!!


          4 Replies
          1. re: HillJ

            I ordered crab spring rolls from an Asian-fusion place for lunch today - they came bursting with lumbs of REAL crab and were absolutely delicious! They served a wasabi dipping sauce, which went really well with the sweet crab - maybe something to think about!

            1. re: biondanonima

              great idea! I love wasabi! thanks.

              1. re: biondanonima

                I love crab spring rolls. I was looking around this morning for spring roll inspiration and came across this recipe:
                It'll definitely appear on my table this month.

                1. re: alliegator

                  Oh and this one includes pickled ginger and the very interesting inclusion of pink grapefruit sections-love it!

            2. I am keep to join in! I love all kinds of spring rolls but am a bit scared of deep fat frying so have only ever made summer rolls.

              I made some mango, chilli and chicken ones recently with a peanutty hoisn dip. I am keen to try something different though! Crab sounds good actually...

              1. question-
                why were there so few ppl who voted?

                2 Replies
                1. re: jpr54_1

                  jpr54, when I noticed a low voting turnout, I mentioned it here:

                  When a Sticky post was added to the Home Cooking board heading, voting improved a bit more.

                  1. re: HillJ

                    thanx i hadn't read those posts

                2. Classic Cha Gio (fried, with rice paper wrap) are the favorite spring rolls in our house. We serve them Lao style, with lettuce, cilantro, mint, cucumber slices, khao poohn noodles, pickled shallots, and dipping sauce.

                  This NYT recipe is very close to what I do; I just don't add dried shrimp:

                  Once rolled, you can fry these for 3 minutes on each side, cool, and freeze in plastic-wrapped batches of 6. You'll have to fry them again before serving, but one recipe will make dozens of rolls if you use the small papers.

                  1. i am going to make some summer rolls
                    i am going to use prepared wrappers?
                    does anyone make wrappers from scratch?

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: jpr54_1

                      I have never made rice paper wrappers, wonton sheets or Asian noodles from scratch. (only green onion pancakes)

                      Interesting question.

                      1. re: jpr54_1

                        Andrea Nguyen has a very detailed recipe and method in her book, Asian Dumplings.
                        Also found this video tutorial on her website. I've always wanted to try; it looks really fun!

                        1. re: jpr54_1

                          I can occasionally make my own wrappers. I had to make Shanghai Pork, Bamboo and Mushroom Rolls. The recipe is Andrea Nguyen's Asian Dumplings. It was one of the recipes I was testing for the book. The wrapper is a little fiddly but quite doable. I have also made steamed rice wrappers for Beef and Orange Rolls, same book and author. If you don't have the book, I highly recommend purchasing it.

                          1. re: jpr54_1

                            I use store bought wrappers for fried spring rolls (lumpiang prito), but if I'm having fresh spring rolls (lumpiang sariwa), I will make the wrappers from scratch. It's not terribly difficult, though painting the batter onto a pan with a pastry brush does get tedious if you have to make a lot. In the end, though, the texture and flavor of the homemade wrappers justifies the effort.

                          2. For the Super Bowl, I went with a SF theme and served pork chop suey spring rolls as one of the snacks.

                            1. Just stumbled across this for anyone not in an Asian mood:
                              These will definitely be on my plate sometime this week, maybe with a few tweaks.

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: alliegator

                                That is super interesting. To be honest I always think of spring rolls as Asian but mixing it up with non Asian flavours will make for better diversity this month.

                                1. re: alliegator

                                  The cheeseburger rolls sort of fill the same non Asian flavor I was suggesting up thread for the same lesson I'm hosting. One with an Asian flavor, one without.

                                  Non traditional fillings are very popular at bars.

                                2. I had some ham & cheese spring rolls a few weeks ago at a local pub. I may just have to recreate them (no recipe, tho).

                                  5 Replies
                                  1. re: linguafood

                                    Hmmm, prosciutto, fontina, basil and marinara dipping sauce? Could work...

                                    1. re: alliegator

                                      Oh, these were pretty low-brow: cheddar and ham (could've been diced Canadian bacon, too). Mustard for dipping, but I didn't need it. I think you're on to something tho with some tomatoey dip.

                                      1. re: linguafood

                                        Sounds sorta like cheddar and ham hot pockets? I sort of like this idea.

                                        1. re: juliejulez

                                          Never having had hot pockets, I can't say. But the deep-fried rice paper filled with salty ham and gooey cheddar was *the* perfect hangover snack :-)

                                        2. re: linguafood

                                          Lowbrow but yummy! I've had cheesesteak ones, too--but they were more of a fat eggroll thing. I think I'm just trying to come up with a way to shove more prosciutto in my face.

                                    2. Cool rice paper summer-spring rolls are my choice. Since we alternate between Georgia and Florida, with farmer's markets near both homes, whether it's spring or summer can be sort of like "what day of the week is it?" anyway.

                                      This'll be my first time participating, and I'm strictly an amateur home cook, very fond of recipes to follow. This time, though, since I enjoy but don't love most traditional fillings, I've been musing over some of my favorite salads and have decided to experiment with one tangy pasta-veggie salad that I could enjoy much more often if it weren't for the pasta. Lemon, lime and raw garlic... :)

                                      1. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/530945

                                        Here's a CH thread on spring rolls from 2008; savory & sweet fillings.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/13...

                                          here's a spring roll that uses filo dough instead.

                                          1. http://www.vietworldkitchen.com/blog/...

                                            I'm going to kick start this weekend with a spiced apple spring roll. Rather than fry as directed I'm going to spray the outer skins of the filled rolls with a bit of grapeseed oil on a lightly oiled pan and bake them. A dust of cinnamon.

                                            13 Replies
                                            1. re: HillJ

                                              I'm thinking I'm gonna have to make these too. As the sole eater of apple based desserts in my home, the spring roll format would prevent me from devouring a whole pie on my own.

                                              1. re: HillJ

                                                I'm attending an Asian Dumpling class of hers this weekend. I wonder if she'd consider these "dumplings."

                                                1. re: HillJ

                                                  Made these spice apple spring rolls with the rest of the apples I had on hand from dinner last night. Truly a apple pastry roll. Something sweet in the roll experience. I go very light on the powered sugar but the spiced apple filling is very good.

                                                  I'm going to bring them to a friends tonight along with a cheese tray and some white wine.

                                                  Anyone else trying a dessert spring roll?

                                                  1. re: HillJ

                                                    Sounds fantastic!
                                                    I'm going to try a fresh fruit roll, but I'm not exactly how I'm going to do it. I might hit the Asian market and grab a selection of whatever looks brightest and prettiest. Maybe chunk it up and soak in a bit of honey and grated ginger. I was already messing around in the kitchen this morning with the dipping sauce and came up with a mint fluffernutter dip.

                                                    1. re: alliegator

                                                      At the Asian market I picked up a dragon fruit and fresh lychee nuts. If I made a fruit spread out of either and used a wrapper as a "crepe roll" either might work as a light snack.

                                                      Mint fluff, huh..I've never had that!

                                                      Nutella & berries or bananas I've had in a spriing roll.

                                                    2. re: HillJ

                                                      I used some over ripe bananas and dark chocolate as filling for spring rolls a couple of years ago. Very simple but delicious.

                                                      1. re: HillJ

                                                        I've got a Filipino style spring roll planned-a banana/brown sugar/cinnamon concoction called turon that I can't wait to try--maybe a bit later in the month, tho, as I'm currently deep-fried-out.

                                                        Those apple ones sound fantastic, however!

                                                        1. re: Allegra_K

                                                          so does yours! almost reminds me of a banana foster type roll.

                                                        2. re: HillJ

                                                          I've done apple pie rolls, using egg roll wrappers, fried.

                                                          1. re: wyogal

                                                            Yummy, dessert rolls sound delish!

                                                            I made a summer roll for the first time ever last night. Very traditional, with shrimp, noodles, cukes, bean sprouts, scallions, orange pepper. I did some with basil, some with mint and some with both. SO and I preferred mint overall. A few dots of siracha inside the rice paper wraps and we were ready to go. I found my rolls were definitely a bit loose and big, but first attempt was pretty successful.

                                                            Now I have left over wrappers so thinking of a fried roll, I also have a heap of leftover rice vermicelli (why on earth did I do the whole pack). This would be my first time with spring rolls and only second time ever deep frying :o

                                                            Unfortunately all the recipes I have looked at have the cellophane noodles, not sure if I can use the rice verm.

                                                            1. re: cleopatra999

                                                              Congratulations! I don't see why you couldn't use vermicelli - it is inside the wrapper and will taste just as yummy as cellophane noodle and maybe even better :)

                                                        3. re: HillJ

                                                          I made these at the weekend. I absolutely loved the filling and am thinking I will make it again with bigger chunks of apple and use it as a pie filling. The star anise offered a nice subtle enhancement to the overall flavour.

                                                          I did make a couple changes to the recipe. My apple chunks took 18 minutes to cook down, so a little longer than the recipe says. I also used phyllo that I cut into squares, I wrapped 2 heaped tablespoons of mixture into 2 sheets on phyllo, brushed with cream and baked at 350F for about 25 to 30 minutes.

                                                          Now, I could have done with a third sheet of phyllo as 4 out of the 6 rolls split. I also used cream to keep the pastry moist rather than to crisp it up. For a crispy exterior I would go for an egg wash.

                                                          I ate 2, then wrapped them in 2's in tin foil then placed them in a freezer bag then froze them. To cook from frozen I placed them straight in the toaster oven at 350F for 20 minutes still wrapped in the foil, they re-heated beautifully.

                                                          Although they kinda looked like a spring roll, I think that is the only solid feature they have in common.

                                                          1. re: Musie

                                                            Wonderful photos and I'm so glad you gave the recipe a try. Thanks for sharing your alterations, more delicious food for thought!

                                                        4. A link to a wonderful documentary about spring rolls (well more than just spring rolls):

                                                          and the recipe from said documentary (paraphrased
                                                          )10 dried shitakes soaked, squeezed dry and chopped
                                                          1 oz cloud ears soaked, squeezed dry and chopped
                                                          2 oz bean thread noodles soaked, squeezed dry and cut into 2" lengths
                                                          1/2 lb ground fatty pork
                                                          1 lb minced raw shrimp
                                                          1 onion finely chopped
                                                          1 small jicama peeled, shredded and squeezed dry
                                                          2 peeled and shredded carrots
                                                          2 Tb fish sauce
                                                          1 Tb minced garlic
                                                          1 tsp ground pepper
                                                          1 tsp sugar
                                                          1/2 tsp salt
                                                          1 beaten egg
                                                          package of 8" round rice papers

                                                          Mix everything together and wrap in moistened rice papers. Deep fry at 365. Be very careful not to let rolls touch each other as they will stick! They freeze well.

                                                          Serve wrapped in lettuce leaves with mint and Thai basil.

                                                          Dip in sauce made from:
                                                          1 C sugar
                                                          1/2 C white vinegar (I sometimes use rice vinegar instead)
                                                          1/2 C water
                                                          5 Tb fish sauce
                                                          2 Tb minced garlic
                                                          1 Tb lime juice
                                                          1 Tb chili-garlic sauce
                                                          2 chopped red chiles
                                                          coarsely chopped roasted unsalted peanuts

                                                          Really good

                                                            1. re: jpr54_1

                                                              Thanks. IMO, learning from personal experience is the absolutely worst.

                                                              1. re: jpr54_1

                                                                I just came back from Whole Foods-
                                                                I bought rice wrappers and shrimp for my summer rolls. I am going to make them this afternoon.

                                                                Do I need to refrigerate/freeze the wrappers?

                                                                1. re: jpr54_1

                                                                  Are they soft or dry wrappers? Did you buy them off the shelf or in the produce/refrigerated area?

                                                                    1. re: jpr54_1

                                                                      oh ok, then there is no need to refrig dry papers...not until you make up your spring rolls with shrimp. Have fun!

                                                              2. I wasn't too sure what type I would want to make, but I came across a street vendors recipe in a magazine that I'm going to try out.

                                                                Chicken Adobo Lumpias from a market vendor in Brooklyn called "Lumpia Shack". Will likely gather the ingredients together this weekend.

                                                                1. Jumping in this month with a cold raw spring roll, in other words, a summer roll, made of leftovers.

                                                                  We had grilled duck breasts over the weekend, so I sliced the leftover breast for the base of the roll. Sauced it with a blend of hoisin and sambal oelek, then piled on carrots, mung sprouts, mango, red bell pepper, scallions, basil, mint, cilantro, cellophane noodles, and ground peanuts. Put a couple of shrimp on the edge (a trick I learned from inaplasticup) so they show through. The wrapper is a tapioca paper.

                                                                  The dipping sauce was made with 2 cloves mashed garlic, a few slices of jalapeno pepper, the juice of a lime, a teaspoon of brown sugar, 2 teaspoons fish sauce, and 1 teaspoon sambal oelek.

                                                                  All the flavors come through, and work so well together. We loved this roll!

                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                  1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                    Looks fantastic--duck and shrimp!! I'll be joining you in cold roll land tonight with lemongrass chicken rolls.

                                                                    1. re: alliegator

                                                                      "cold roll land" I could happily live there!
                                                                      Can't wait to hear about your lemongrass chicken rolls, that sounds lovely.

                                                                      1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                        We could be neighbors! Unfortunately, my rolls are rolling back to Thursday night due to hubby working quite late tonight. But I can sit and drool over yours :)

                                                                  2. Last night's dinner may or may not have comprised entirely of spring rolls...

                                                                    The first batch I made was with odds and ends, a little bit of ground chicken and a handful of minced prawns that I cooked up with a fat bulb of lemongrass and a frozen cube of tamarind liquid, tossing in a bit of palm sugar & garlic. Added some grated carrot, sliced snow peas, red pepper, and then a good amount of bean sprouts and glass noodles to bulk it up. They were quite nice-especially the lemongrass flavour, which I can't get enough of. I think a tamarind/lemongrass dipping sauce would have been swell to serve with. As it was, we went with an amazing sweet chile sauce from David Thompson's Thai Food (by far the best chile sauce I've ever had, with pounded coriander root, garlic, chiles, sugar & vinegar-just wonderful) and had no regrets.

                                                                    The other version was a Cambodian rendition that I got out of The Elephant Walk Cookbook. The wrapping on these ones were with rice paper, though still deep fried. I've never fried rice paper before, and although they took much longer to brown than regular spring roll skins and were quite unattractive, they were great! There was a delicate lacy and crisp exterior but they retained a hearty, almost sweet chew that I just loved. The filling was ground pork, onion, shredded carrot, sugar, and coarsely ground peanuts, which by itself was lovely enough. What took these from good to amazing was the way they were served: with frilly stacks of leaf lettuce, julienned cucumber, mint & basil leaves, and mung bean sprouts. One is to pile the ingredients into the lettuce leaf, topping with the spring roll, and then wrap it together, dipping into a thin sauce. The sauce is akin to a watered down, sweeter version of nuoc cham with minced garlic and it went so perfectly with the setup, pulling it together beautifully. I tried a few 'regular' spring rolls with this leaf preparation, and it didn't go as well, so the texture of the rice paper must play off the other ingredients in a more appealing way; wheat spring rolls are just too crunchy. Either way, we went crazy for this dish and I will definitely be making it again.

                                                                    4 Replies
                                                                    1. re: Allegra_K

                                                                      wow! those both look delicious!

                                                                        1. re: Allegra_K

                                                                          Those rolls don't look unattractive at all, I think that's just what fried rice paper looks like. Two beautiful and inviting plates of rolls!

                                                                          1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                            Thanks, all! Now if I can only figure out a way to eat the leaf-wrapped ones in a graceful manner.....they're pretty drippy!

                                                                            I think next an un-fried roll will be needed to make up for all the deep-fat frying I've been doing.

                                                                        2. I have a question about the wrap. When I fry them, I always used egg roll wrappers, or wonton wrappers. recently, I tried the rice paper. Is the rice paper wraps meant to be just softened, wrap, then serve? I thought I could fry them, and it was not very successful.
                                                                          Do you cook them (the rice paper type wraps) at all? I'd like some tips using them.

                                                                          10 Replies
                                                                          1. re: wyogal

                                                                            wyogal, used out of the pkg I do a quick dip in warm water, roll the filling and store on a damp cloth to prevent the rolls from drying out. The soft method is delicious. Or, I follow the same roll method and then fry or bake them for a crisp exterior. The rice paper can be used either way. I tend to fry/bake if the filling is a cooked one and leave the rice paper soft if the filling is mostly raw or includes steamed shrimp.

                                                                            1. re: HillJ

                                                                              Mine came out weird, kind of gummy, didn't brown at all, really crappy. I used a cooked filling. I still have some wrappers left in the pantry, so maybe I'll try it again. I'll watch this thread for some recipes and more tips. Maybe I'll try a lighter filling and bake them.

                                                                              1. re: wyogal

                                                                                I've had gummy problems too. Either I dipped the dried rice paper too long, I didn't let the roll fully "air dry" before frying or the rice paper was a lousy batch. Over filling makes it a bit tricky to close but not gummy/weird results. Was the frying oil hot enough? These should fry up super quick; especially if the filling is already cooked. Just a few ideas..

                                                                                1. re: HillJ

                                                                                  I think it was a too wet filling that may have done me in.

                                                                                  1. re: wyogal

                                                                                    Could be, makes the wrapper soggy as it sits.
                                                                                    One thing I will concede, if you make them in advance of eating them, fried rolls requires a quick dry hit of oven heat to refresh the crispness while un fried rice paper only requires a damp cloth and refrigeration to keep tasty.

                                                                            2. re: wyogal

                                                                              I've fried rolls with both rice and tapioca papers. They worked OK, but did not brown very nicely. There are several tips about frying rice paper rolls in this old thread:

                                                                              1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                In that link I'm read two recommendations to help achieve a golden color if frying the roll skin; adding beer or sugar to the warm dipping water. Have you tried either method? I haven't.

                                                                                1. re: HillJ

                                                                                  I haven't tried either, but it makes sense that they would aid with the browning. I thought the mention was interesting as the color was the main problem I had when frying with rice paper.

                                                                                  I may not be deep frying any this time around. It's a hassle, and it just doesn't agree with me. I'm going to try baking some tonight. I've baked them before using rice paper, but tonight I'll be using egg roll wrappers. If you try the beer or sugar though, I'd love to hear about it.

                                                                                  1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                    I have a nip in the frig, I think I'll try it with the next batch. I'm curious too.

                                                                                    1. re: HillJ

                                                                                      I'm curious three. I've never fried rice paper. It just always seemed to me that it wouldn't work somehow, even though I've eaten it in restaurants. The beer thing makes sense, I may give it a whirl.

                                                                            3. Last night I made cold lemongrass and ginger chicken wrapper in rice paper. The marinade for the chicken is minced lemongrass, finely chopped ginger, a finely chopped shallot, 1 chopped and seeded bird chili, lime juice, fish sauce and chili oil.
                                                                              In the roll, there is a leaf of lettuce, red bell pepper strips, glass noodles, shredded carrots, Thai basil, mint, cilantro, bean sprouts, the chicken and some mandarin orange segments.
                                                                              Served with cucumber salad, and sweet chili and spicy peanut sauces.
                                                                              Sorry about the first pic, I was standing in my own light. I need a photography class in a serious way, haha!

                                                                              Recipe for the peanut sauce:

                                                                              5 Replies
                                                                              1. re: alliegator

                                                                                how pretty! lovely!
                                                                                I'm dying for a roll now.........

                                                                                1. re: alliegator

                                                                                  Nicely done! Like the idea of two sauces.

                                                                                  You've got me salivating, I think I might have a roll for breakfast...

                                                                                  1. re: alliegator

                                                                                    Nice - I like the 2 sauces idea too.

                                                                                    1. re: alliegator

                                                                                      Thanks, all :) The 2 sauces idea came about because the mr. and I have different dipping preferences, so I just put out both.

                                                                                      1. re: alliegator

                                                                                        gorgeous, allie! and i love the sound of that marinade.

                                                                                      2. My pals came over tonight for dinner and we did a short experiment with the soaking water. One with only plain warm water, one with beer and one with some dissolved raw sugar. We dipped four rice papers in each bowl and filled all of them with a precooked mixture of cabbage, carrots, minced shrimp, scallion and hoisin/soy.

                                                                                        In a pot of hot grapeseed oil we fried in 3 batches; each for 3 mins total for the crispness and color we wanted.

                                                                                        We didn't see any difference in color by using beer or sugar and no noticeable change in the taste either.

                                                                                        1. Last night I made up the spring roll recipe from David Thompson's Thai Street Food. The filling consisted of reconstituted shiitakes, glass noodle bits, minced prawn, bean sprouts, all cooked and seasoned w/soy & fish sauce and white pepper. A big handful each of green onions and cilantro get tossed in off the heat.

                                                                                          I really loved this filling--I was hard pressed to stop eating it as it was cooling on the counter. It was deep and savoury from the mushrooms but retained a light freshness from all the greenery that made it irresistible. I really could just make the filling up as a tasty noodle dish.

                                                                                          The original recipe has a plum sauce concoction for serving but I just used up more sweet chile sauce.


                                                                                          11 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: Allegra_K

                                                                                            another winner! love those photos! do you find any difference in enjoyment whether you mince the fillings finely or leave them chunky? Just a texture ?.

                                                                                            after we experimented with the diff warm water bowls and fried up the results we tried a new product purchased at Costco as the dip. It's called Blaze Glaze. Made from balsamic vinegar into a rich glaze thickness. Delicious snap of vinegar against the fried rolls.

                                                                                            1. re: Allegra_K

                                                                                              Absolutely beautiful! *clap clap*
                                                                                              That's a book I really need to break down and buy. That filling is exactly what was in the spring rolls I used to buy from a beach vendor when we did our time on Phuket.

                                                                                              1. re: alliegator

                                                                                                Thanks! This is a book that I've had on my wishlist for a long time, but it's so darned pricey (at least in Canada) so I keep putting it off.

                                                                                                1. re: Allegra_K

                                                                                                  Pricey in the US too. Used copies seem to be even more expensive than the new!

                                                                                                  1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                    I just ordered it on Amazon for $38. A little steep, but since we just relocated, we're leaking 40 or 50 bucks here or there all over the place. This will go unnoticed ;)
                                                                                                    I'll get $38 worth of happy out of it!

                                                                                              2. re: Allegra_K

                                                                                                Did you make 12 rolls as the recipe directs? It seems to me that 1 teaspoon of filling per roll will be too skimpy or was it just right?

                                                                                                1. re: herby

                                                                                                  Well, I don't have the book, but I think that the 1 t. filling as per the link might be an error. I used about a tablespoon per roll, and got about 15-ish, though I probably did use more bean thread noodles than what was called for. 1 teaspoon seems pretty minuscule.

                                                                                                  @ HillJ- Thank-you! I probably left it at a large 'mince'...I do like the texture more that way when the filling is pre-cooked....though too chunky of a filling makes for difficult rolling!

                                                                                                  1. re: Allegra_K

                                                                                                    Thanks, I'm finding the texture more appealing at a med mince on veg and finer on meat filling and chunky doesn't work for me on rolling or texture. Still working at it...

                                                                                                    1. re: Allegra_K

                                                                                                      I do not have the book either, looked at the link you provided.

                                                                                                      You did an amazing job, Allegra! These rolls look professionally done :)

                                                                                                  2. re: Allegra_K

                                                                                                    Those look wonderful, and perfectly cooked. You must be a dab hand at deep frying! Lovely plating too.

                                                                                                    1. re: Allegra_K

                                                                                                      Those look really yummy. I'm jealous!

                                                                                                    2. Last night I made chicken spring rolls (again with the leftovers), and baked them in the oven. I used egg roll wrappers, which I've never before baked. The filling consisted of chicken, bean thread noodles, shredded cabbage, mung beans, carrots, daikon, fresh shiitakes, rehydrated wood ears, scallions, ginger, and chile peppers. All chopped to a medium sized and sautéed. Once those ingredients were cooked, I seasoned them with a bit of oyster sauce and sambal oelek, then added cilantro, mint, and basil. Rolled them up, painted them with peanut oil, and baked them at 400º.

                                                                                                      The wrappers were a bit toothy, more so than if they had been fried, but it worked quite well. With essentially the same dipping sauce I used for the cold rolls (fish sauce, sambal oelek, lime juice, brown sugar, chopped chiles and shallots), they were a hit at table. Alongside, I served a salad/relish of cucumber and daikon with red peppers, sesame oil, Szechuan pepper, and sesame seeds.

                                                                                                      4 Replies
                                                                                                      1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                        Those sound and look wonderful! I must attempt this baking method you speak of--I fear that I've become *too* comfortable with deep frying! How long did it take for them to brown in the oven?

                                                                                                        1. re: Allegra_K

                                                                                                          Yes, the baking method works well for me. Fried foods don't sit that well. I didn't time them, my fault, just like I don't measure. I watched them until they started looking toasty, then flipped them for the second half. I'd say maybe 15-20 minutes total?

                                                                                                        2. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                          Those do look scrumptious, LN. I love the idea of baking them.

                                                                                                          1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                            Thanks ncw. I find it much easier, and with a quicker clean-up. I've fried rice and tapioca paper rolls before, which work out OK, this it my first try with egg roll wrappers.

                                                                                                        3. OK, so my pictures didn't turn out so great, but the spring rolls were delicious (but then I am not a food stylist or a chef). The vegan spring rolls consisted of red/green/yellow julienned peppers, mung bean sprouts, maifun noodles, green onions, cabbage and julienned water chestnuts. The dipping sauce was soy sauce, a tad of sugar, garlic chili sauce, water, corn starch and rice vinegar. Heated sauce to slightly thicken. Definite hit. Yum.

                                                                                                          5 Replies
                                                                                                          1. re: boyzoma

                                                                                                            Your rolls are so colorful, love that!

                                                                                                            1. re: boyzoma

                                                                                                              I enjoy how versatile these rolls are turning out to be--any ingredient can be wrapped in rice or wheat paper and come out stunningly delicious. Love the sound of your sauce!

                                                                                                                  1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                    Kinda, I guess. LOL. They tasted surprisingly refreshing. I'll be making these a lot more often - especially this summer.

                                                                                                              1. I am thrilled that this is the DOTM because I have thought about making these for ages but was always intimidated. I made a riff on these for lunch today and they were so delicious. http://whiteonricecouple.com/recipes/... Chicken marinated in soy, oil and garlic then grilled joined lettuce, Persian cuke, quick pickled carrot and daikon using CH inaplasticcup's directions*, bean sprouts and fresh mint in my rolls. It did take me two tapioca sheets per roll, as the first one ripped each time (I think I was trying to put too much filling in), and they were not as pretty as the ones pictured above, but they were delicious. Dipping sauce has soy, lime juice, minced garlic, a dab of sesame oil and some sugar which I omitted. I can see these raw spring rolls becoming a summer staple on hot nights, I always have the veggie ingredients (other than the spouts and I think I will start growing my own) on hand, and you could put any kind of protein in there. I keep thinking about grilled swordfish and avocado with the carrot and daikon pickles with that dipping sauce...

                                                                                                                *CH inaplasticcup's quick picked carrots and daikon: mix 2 tablespoons white vinegar, 2 teaspoons sugar, 1/4 teaspoon salt, add matchstick carrots and daikon and let pickle for at least 15 minutes. Keeps (covered) in the fridge for days and days if you don't eat them first. I personally use less sugar and more salt.

                                                                                                                5 Replies
                                                                                                                1. re: GretchenS

                                                                                                                  I personally never use any sugar when quick pickling. Vinegar and salt do the trick just fine.

                                                                                                                  1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                    Normally I wouldn't use sugar for quick pickling either, but the pungency of the daikon needs it otherwise it smells like you're eating a jar of farts.

                                                                                                                      1. re: JungMann

                                                                                                                        Interesting. I've yet to prepare/pickle daikon, but in Germany, when we prepare radish, it is pretty much just salted (not even tossed with vinegar) to draw out some of that pungency and heat.

                                                                                                                        But maybe daikon is a different animal altogether.

                                                                                                                        I generally don't add sugar unless I think a dish really needs it.

                                                                                                                    1. re: GretchenS

                                                                                                                      good job, GS! and i love inaplasticcup's quick pickling method - use it all the time! i may use a little less sugar, but i find the sweetness evokes the pickled veg you find as a lot of vietnamese accompaniments, a favorite of mine, as opposed to just a straight pickling.

                                                                                                                    2. I made 2 summer rolls for dinner-
                                                                                                                      shrimp,spring onion,tomato,cucumber, avocado-
                                                                                                                      and sweet chile sauce for dipping.

                                                                                                                      my first spring roll was not a success-rice wrapper was too wet.
                                                                                                                      the second was good.

                                                                                                                      i will definitely make this again with different fillings.

                                                                                                                      9 Replies
                                                                                                                      1. re: jpr54_1

                                                                                                                        You're already ahead of where I was the first time I made spring rolls. At the time, I recall botching the rice paper completely and turning the filling into a tossed salad!

                                                                                                                        What other fillings are you considering?

                                                                                                                        1. re: HillJ

                                                                                                                          If you'll excuse my uninvited suggestion, I find tapioca paper much more forgiving than rice paper. I started with it, then when I felt comfortable, I moved on to rice paper.

                                                                                                                          1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                                            I don't care for the taste of tapioca. But I've never purchased tapioca rolls. Is there a reason they are easier to work with? My rolling has improved quite a bit since the first time but pls make all the suggestions you want, this is a food project we're all learning!

                                                                                                                            1. re: HillJ

                                                                                                                              I'm not sure why they're easier, it just seems like they're a little stretchier, and less apt to tear. I don't taste any tapioca flavor, but I don't mind tapioca, so I might not notice it if it's there.

                                                                                                                              1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                                                Next time I'm picking up a pkg of dry wrappers I'll look for tapioca. I should try it before deciding.

                                                                                                                                Dipping too much and over stuffing would lead to tearing of the rice papers for me. So I just dip less and fill carefully :) now. I never had the same issue with wonton wrappers....but I really enjoy the texture of rice paper wrappers more. And I love raw food.

                                                                                                                                1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                                                  The ones I use are "Three Ladies Brand" and are made of rice, tapioca, salt and water. I don't taste any tapioca in them, either. But they do give some grief at rolling.

                                                                                                                              2. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                                                Working with the rice paper that I was using yesterday, I had several different brands to use up, and was surprised to find out that they varied greatly in how pliable they were. One brand almost instantly softened upon hitting the water, and it fell apart at the slightest touch, where the other two varieties took much longer to soften yet retained the resistance needed to assemble the rolls.

                                                                                                                              3. re: HillJ


                                                                                                                                asian dipping sauces and pickled vegetables

                                                                                                                              4. re: jpr54_1

                                                                                                                                i also made for lunch on thursday

                                                                                                                                baked salmon
                                                                                                                                mustard sauce
                                                                                                                                meyer lemon juice

                                                                                                                                the summer rolls r addictive and great to use for leftovers

                                                                                                                              5. Summer rolls are a year round staple at our house. We dont follow a recipe, rather throw lots of things in. We nearly always use smoked tofu as a protein. I love adding slices of apple in there for sweet and crunch, jicama is nice, too. We add whatever veg we've got, including raw beet in winter, and a mixture of fresh herbs. If it isnt spur of the moment dinner, I'll pick up shiso at the vietnamese market as that always adds a lovely note to them.

                                                                                                                                I'll whip up a dipping sauce with peanut butter/tamarind/sugar/soy/fish sauce but will also have hoisin on the table, too.

                                                                                                                                1. Would I be remiss if I asked how we're defining spring rolls here? In my first language there is one word for these dishes and they came be raw or cooked, but I want to make sure my experiments are within guidelines. I am willing to blow carbs on rice paper only if it fits the theme. Otherwise we're going with the lumpia / spring roll creeps I just found in my freezer.

                                                                                                                                  I have to say as an Asian-American I love how many variations I'm learning in this thread! Lots of ideas I wouldn't have come up with on my own.

                                                                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                                                                  1. re: JungMann

                                                                                                                                    I asked this same question at the beginning of the thread. The response I received indicated that people expected to see both cooked spring rools, and raw spring rolls (summer rolls). I've gone in both directions so far.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                                                      Guess I was confused between egg rolls, spring rolls and fresh or summer rolls. Since I know lumpia and rice paper wrappers are all good, I think I have some ideas for both fried and fresh. Can't wait to get experimenting!

                                                                                                                                  2. For lunch I made Vietnamese-style summer rolls with hoisin and lime dipping sauce. The filling was a combo of white crab meat, steamed med shrimp split in half, grated carrot, green onion, grated fresh ginger, chopped bok choy and Romaine lettuce, fresh mint and cilantro. Spicy and raw, my favorite combo.

                                                                                                                                    I used dry rice paper wrappers and to soften them this time I added rice vinegar to the warm water. I like how the vinegar cuts through some of the gumminess that occurs when you dip the wrappers.

                                                                                                                                    1. Spring rolls have yet to receive the "ugh, no more!" complaint that often plagues me from the easily-bored Mr, so they appeared on the menu again, though this time in a variety of cooking methods.

                                                                                                                                      The first batch involved a dumpling filling that I use regularly (from a Company's Coming cookbook) when I make dim sum and I thought they would be equally as welcome in spring roll wrappers. The filling consisted of ground chicken, shredded carrot, snap pea slivers, red pepper mince, garlic, plenty of grated ginger, green onions, and for the seasoning, oyster sauce, soy sauce and sesame oil with cornstarch to bind. I filled the wrappers with the raw filing and baked them, brushed with peanut oil (as per LN) until golden and crispy.
                                                                                                                                      I was pleasantly surprised at just how crunchy they got in the oven and wouldn't hesitate to do that again! The only problem was was that the filling burst out of every one of the wrappers-perhaps I am overstuffing-so they didn't look too appealing. But they were mighty delicious, and that is what it's all about.

                                                                                                                                      Batch #2 was from 'Hot Sour Salty Sweet', the 'classic vietnamese spring rolls', involving a filling of ground pork, minced shrimp, grated carrot, jicama, garlic, shallots, onion, and cellophane noodles seasoned w/pepper & fish sauce. These were then wrapped in rice paper and deep fried.
                                                                                                                                      I must have let the rolls dry out quite bit before frying, because these ones were much crispier than the first attempt I made at deep-frying rice paper. I wonder if that's the trick. They were still a rather unappetizing in appearance- a mottled brown/gold/white, but the texture was much less dense and chewy than before. Like the Cambodian version, these were served with lettuce & herbs with a nuoc cham for dipping. Very, very good-I'll definitely repeat this recipe.

                                                                                                                                      And finally, behind door #3 we have a lovey chicken meatball recipe from 'Into the Vietnamese Kitchen'-basically a meat paste of light & dark chicken rolled into balls and baked on skewers, nestled with lettuce, herbs, cuke and daikon/carrot pickle, rolled in rice paper and served with a spicy hoisin-garlic sauce (full review here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/5538... )....a pretty good recipe, though a lot of work and time in the kitchen-not that I minded, of course. Mr Allegro wasn't a fan of these ones, as I had suspected, because he didn't like the texture of the raw rice paper. But his opinion doesn't count, 'cause he doesn't like dumpling wrappers, either. The Offspring enjoyed these immensely, though, and wanted to take them for lunch.

                                                                                                                                      And thus concluded the spring roll extravaganza on this snowy, blustery Sunday in April.

                                                                                                                                      7 Replies
                                                                                                                                      1. re: Allegra_K

                                                                                                                                        Oh, those look so yummy. Good job! Like that you tried 3 different methods, too. Makes me want to eat your pictures.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: Allegra_K

                                                                                                                                          Wow, lovely once again. I'm very intrigued by the chicken meatball filling. I might have to try that one.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: Allegra_K

                                                                                                                                            Quite an extravaganza indeed! Beautiful work.
                                                                                                                                            When you eat the Vietnamese rolls, do you cut them up and wrap them in lettuce and herbs? I love the way that tastes, and like that it's the traditional way to do it, but it always seems odd that after all that rolling and cooking, you just cut and wrap.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                                                              Oops, was I supposed to cut them? I just put the whole thing on a leaf--being of the clumsier variety, it was probably a good decision. My pieces would have rolled right on to the floor otherwise!

                                                                                                                                              1. re: Allegra_K

                                                                                                                                                I'm sorry, but your rolls do not look like the work of anyone who is remotely clumsy :)

                                                                                                                                                1. re: alliegator

                                                                                                                                                  Haha, well thanks for the kind words, but my anal perfectionism only exists within the confines of the kitchen, and I regret to say does not extend to the dining aspect of my food obsession (much the the chagrin of my dinner companions and any onlookers!)

                                                                                                                                            2. re: Allegra_K

                                                                                                                                              Wow - nice work Allegra! Inspiring.

                                                                                                                                              i may take a pork/shrimp meatball recipe I really liked from our DOTM meatball month and make spring rolls with that, inspired by your door #3.

                                                                                                                                              Excellent looking!

                                                                                                                                            3. I made summer rolls last night to go with a chicken noodle soup.

                                                                                                                                              No photos because after making the stock, slicing all the veggies and making a peanut dipping sauce I ran out of steam so I just did a huge dish with rice noodles, sliced mango, leftover shredded chicken, sliced spring onions, lebanese cucumber, sugar snap peas, basil, mint, coriander and let everyone roll their own.

                                                                                                                                              My 3 year old loved them and it's definitely summer roll weather here in DC (26C today!) so there'll definitely be a re-run with photos. A chilli sauce next time too.

                                                                                                                                              1. http://justonecookbook.com/blog/recip...

                                                                                                                                                My husband just sent this recipe to me (hint, hint J-he writes).
                                                                                                                                                Such an nice crunchy raw combo (love the inclusion of hard boiled egg). So, that will be the next roll!

                                                                                                                                                7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                  1. re: GretchenS

                                                                                                                                                    Yeah, the photo pulled me in immediately!

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: GretchenS

                                                                                                                                                      Okay these rolls are def. on my repeat for company list. Super refreshing and the hard boiled egg really adds something. The Ponzu sauce provides a lovely citrus kick and the pork belly/daikon combo was excellent. My brother made up the pork belly and sent over a nice plate to use for these rolls. Took a bit of skill to fill these properly but I loved em....and more importantly the man with the plan gave it a big thumbs up.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: HillJ

                                                                                                                                                        Good to hear! They look wonderful. I agree about the citrus kick of ponzu. I've mainly used it with sashimi, but I love this idea. Lucky you to have a pork belly supplier brother!

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                                                                          I should explain, bro works down the block from a wonderful Asian fusion joint we both enjoy. Chef Tim actually prepared the pork belly, my bro might have joined in and helped but he's great about bringing a nice plateful over. I sent the plate back w/ a few rolls for Tim. It's all good! This weekend, I'll probably use the leftover Ponzu with the Ahi tuna I have in the frig.

                                                                                                                                                    2. re: HillJ

                                                                                                                                                      And I was at an Asian store today in search of seaweed for a salad, saw Ponzu, even picked a bottle up but didn't have a clue what to do with it and left it behind.... Wish I knew about this recipe in the morning! Picked up bean sprouts for a spring roll and two types of seaweed for a salad, successful trip overall.

                                                                                                                                                      Thanks for posting the link, HillJ! Both, the recipe and the blog, look fantastic.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: herby

                                                                                                                                                        We have to thank my man Hill for this one! he's been following along for days.

                                                                                                                                                    3. Maybe I missed this below since I am reading in bed, but instead of dipping the dry pack rice paper wrappers, I just rinse them under water (cool/warm/whatever the faucet is already set on) just enough to get them wet. By the time I place it on the cutting board and fill them up, they are perfectly soft to roll. Just a tip for those like me and hate cleaning one extra dish.

                                                                                                                                                      4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                      1. re: LP808

                                                                                                                                                        I dislike running the tap unaware how much water I'm wasting and unless I was making one roll which I can't say I've ever done, a shallow bowl of warm water works efficiently for a batch of rolls. Once cold, I use the leftover water to water the house plants.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: HillJ

                                                                                                                                                          I do conserve water, too. I just didn't bring that up since this was all about the rolls. I don't do big batches (3 or 4, only one who eats them)so for people doing 100, agreed, it would be easier to quick dip (don't need to wait 20-30 seconds like package directions say.) You can even use cold water to not even turn on your water heater/micro/stove/whatever. But I put in my sink stopper and drip the water on them. When I am finished, put in some Dawn and put more water in to hand wash the knives and whatever else I don't put in the dishwasher.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: LP808

                                                                                                                                                            Oh gosh, I didn't mean for you to get into the whole washing thing. I was just thinking out loud about the water. I've never made even 50 rolls at a time. Maybe 2 dozen and you're right the quick dip in water never exceeds a few seconds or the wrappers fall apart. I use a shallow dish a bit larger around than the rolls. I think what we're all learning about roll making is that the prep is key. If you have all your ingredients prepared the wrapper dip assembly goes very fast. I rarely know if I'll have enough of each ingredient to prepare each roll identical but they all wind up tasty!

                                                                                                                                                        2. re: LP808

                                                                                                                                                          I just put a small amount of water in a layer cake pan. Works fantastic for me. That way I don't waste a lot of water. (oh, by the way - I have a black thumb, so I would probably kill plants if I watered them)

                                                                                                                                                        3. Last night was a my first foray into fresh spring rolls in a very long time!

                                                                                                                                                          I made shrimp and pork lemongrass skewers, that after broiling, were slipped off the lemongrass and into rice paper (dampened, then put between layers of damp cotton towel) rolls with cut cuke, red pepper, green papaya shreds, and carrot sliver.

                                                                                                                                                          That all wrapped in lettuce leaves and served with a hoisin/lime dipping sauce.

                                                                                                                                                          I didn't have too much trouble with the wrappers, considering it has been a long time since I rolled one. Lost a couple to the trash....

                                                                                                                                                          Really good, and refreshingly light dinner.

                                                                                                                                                          This was a re-purposing of a meatball recipe I came across last fall during meatball month, when I made this same mixture but served it in a gingered tomato sauce over either rice or noodles.

                                                                                                                                                          This is the recipe I used: http://countryroadsmagazine.com/Test-...

                                                                                                                                                          It worked great as a different kind of spring roll:). I will make it again!

                                                                                                                                                          5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                          1. re: gingershelley

                                                                                                                                                            Wonderful, nice use of lemongrass as skewers!

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: HillJ

                                                                                                                                                              Hill J - I can't take credit; the original recipe showed it that way.

                                                                                                                                                              I can't remember if someone else had found this recipe (I believe so), which is why I made it as meatballs - sans lemon grass skewers - back last fall, and liked it so much, it was an easy leap to go back to it and turn it into spring rolls.

                                                                                                                                                              Nice change from my usual boring mostly veg with a couple of poached shrimp approach.

                                                                                                                                                              You all are inspiring!

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: gingershelley

                                                                                                                                                                This month has been a blast! I've been scribbling notes the whole time.

                                                                                                                                                            2. re: gingershelley

                                                                                                                                                              Brava, gingershelley! I love lemongrass as skewers. And the green papaya shreds are a very nice touch. Great re-entry into the spring roll world.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: alliegator

                                                                                                                                                                The green papaya shreds are an easy add for me; my usual Asian store I shop at sells them in bulk in the produce section. I like the added crunch, and had already decided on no noodles in this version, but like the long shred:)

                                                                                                                                                            3. Last night for my second spring roll attempt I used some grilled swordfish but unfortunately the avocado I had visualized going with it was nowhere near ripe. So the swordfish was accompanied by lettuce, mint leaves, and quick pickled carrots, daikon and cukes. I preferred the quick pickled cukes to the plain ones I used earlier. Rolling went much better this time, much less waste due to rippage. Same soy-lime-garlic-sesame oil dipping sauce. While the swordfish was delicious there was not the same degree of texture contrast as there was with the grilled chicken (just to verify I pulled out a bit of leftover chicken and rolled one of those, purely in the name of science you understand). So my concluson is that when using fish, something slightly chewy needs to go in as well, so there is that dimension as well as soft/crunchy, salty/sour/sweet. For those of you who can eat it, shrimp is the obvious answer.

                                                                                                                                                              1. Really don't care for fried spring rolls .. Now when it comes to fresh spring rolls - look out. Shrimp - cucumber - green onion - carrots - mint - lettuce - ginger - and Thai chiles. Wrap in rice paper (softened) Serve with a simple hot-sour-salty-sweet Thai dipping sauce.

                                                                                                                                                                1. Tonight I'm going to do an experimental roll. Linguafood mentioned a ham and cheese roll she had, so I'm go to try a fried fontina, prosciutto and basil roll with tomato dipping sauce.
                                                                                                                                                                  This thing could be a complete disaster, and it may be tasty. Blow by blow and pics to come later or tomorrow morning.

                                                                                                                                                                  8 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: alliegator

                                                                                                                                                                    Tonight's roll was rich but very, very tasty. It would be much better as an appetizer than a main dish.
                                                                                                                                                                    I grated the fontina and fried the thicker skinned roll in canola oil. Green salad on the side.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: alliegator

                                                                                                                                                                      Oh, yum, those look fabulous! I bet my Mr. would go crazy for that, and may have to try it...

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: alliegator

                                                                                                                                                                        Gorgeous, beautiful wrapping and fry job!!

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: alliegator

                                                                                                                                                                            Thanks, all!
                                                                                                                                                                            And lingua, they were easy! So easy, you could make them with a hangover...

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: alliegator

                                                                                                                                                                              I don't cook hungover. That's what my man's for.

                                                                                                                                                                              But I *really* hafta make some shpring rolls soon! Thankfully, April's got a few more weeks in it :-)

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                Well, you are quite lucky. After an evening of fine beverages, I could drag my man out to the interstate median and leave him--he still wouldn't wake up.
                                                                                                                                                                                And there is a lot of April left. That's when most of my rolls will come since I'll have the Thai visitors to help. Or just do it while I sit back.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: alliegator

                                                                                                                                                                                  Aw, man -- Thai visitors? Dang. Some of the best spring rolls I've ever had were prepared by my ex's aunts for our housewarming party. The two ladies were cookin' and rollin' all morning, and their spring rolls were some of the first things to go.

                                                                                                                                                                                  I'd sit back and watch. And eat. Lucky, lucky 'gator!

                                                                                                                                                                        1. I have a bunch of crawfish in my freezer. I might use some to do a spring roll. It could be tasty. I recently found some rectangular rice wrappers and would like to see how they work out instead of round or wedge shaped wrappers. Maybe I'll make crawfish Lumpia.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. For lunch, I took a leftover chunk of sirloin and turned into cheesesteak rolls. Meh. Just lacked something. Cheese was provolone.
                                                                                                                                                                            Just thought I'd report a "fail" as a what not to do example.
                                                                                                                                                                            I think I'll be taking my rolls back to Asia.

                                                                                                                                                                            3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: alliegator

                                                                                                                                                                              I think these savory ones lend themselves more to puff pastry, a la hot pockets... that way you get the flavor from the pastry in on the action too.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: alliegator

                                                                                                                                                                                Perhaps it just needed a little something else. I actually like the idea of using steak, maybe with shaved asparagus and Parmesan rather than the provolone.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: alliegator

                                                                                                                                                                                  I intended to put some chopped red onion in, but forgot that I'd used what I had before. The parm sounds like a good idea, but I think I just leave the steak alone for this. My prosciutto ones turned out so decent that I'd rather just leave well enough alone with my cheesey rolls :)

                                                                                                                                                                                2. Well, I'm so frustrated I could spit nails and kick a cat! (not really)

                                                                                                                                                                                  I have made 3 attempts to do a rice roll and fry it. I was dearly hoping for something resembling an egg roll with no wheat. I really wish I had video of these pathetic exercises in futility. I'd probably laugh out loud. Either the rice paper tears or it crumbles on the way to or in the pan. I'm using the round dry package from my supermarket.

                                                                                                                                                                                  I'm enjoying everyone's posts though and tasting vicariously.

                                                                                                                                                                                  Hoping for tacos next month!

                                                                                                                                                                                  10 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: ItalianNana

                                                                                                                                                                                    Oh gosh, I feel for you! Can you just transfer them quickly to a pan and bake them brushed with a little oil? Or have you given up completely? If so, maybe you can just cut them up and eat them in a bowl. The flavor would still be there!

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: L.Nightshade


                                                                                                                                                                                      Ahh thanks for commiserating. The 3 attempts were 3 separate days!!! The most recent was last night and yes the ingredients were eventually consumed. ;-) I may try once more with baking in mind.

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: ItalianNana

                                                                                                                                                                                        Oh, I'm really sorry. I thought you just tried to make three rolls! I admire your perseverance.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                                                                                                          Heh! I like that...I always assumed it was sheer stubbornness. Thanks.

                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: ItalianNana

                                                                                                                                                                                      ItalianNana, I never fried a roll and don't even roll them very well but your perseverance inspired me to give a fried rice paper roll a try :) I have rice paper in the pantry, cukes, carrots and bean sprouts in the fridge, and shrimp and chicken thighs in the freezer - these should make a nice roll. Would be nice to fry in peanut oil but there isn't any; grapeseed oil should do fine. On the second thought there might be garlic-chilli peanut oil still left - yummO!

                                                                                                                                                                                      Will do my best to find some time next week to get to it, though it is a busy one with lots of social committments, but bean sprouts won't last very long...

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: herby

                                                                                                                                                                                        Good for you herby!

                                                                                                                                                                                        I'm rooting for ya :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: herby

                                                                                                                                                                                          garlic chili peanut oil? where d'ya get that?

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                                                            I made it - heat up the oil and pour into a bottle with smashed 2-3 cloves of garlic and a few dried chilies. Cork the bottle and seal with melted wax - keeps fresh for a long time. I usually make a bunch and give as gifts.

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: herby

                                                                                                                                                                                              That sounds like such a lovely gift. Great idea.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                                                                                                                Thank you, LN, very kind of you to say so.

                                                                                                                                                                                      2. I have heard of tapioca flour skins, but never seen them in the store. Anyone try those? I also am wondering if fresh skins might submit their will to these old hands more easily.

                                                                                                                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: ItalianNana

                                                                                                                                                                                          I always use tapioca paper for raw rolls now. I think it's a little bit more forgiving than rice paper, a little easier to work with. I see them in most grocery stores (and believe me, our stores are not very sophisticated), so keep looking and you'll probably see it. I've fried and baked it also, but I like it best for raw, cold rolls.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: L.Nightshade


                                                                                                                                                                                            Thank you. I will look harder.

                                                                                                                                                                                        2. I have Pleasures of the Vietnamese Table by Mai Pham

                                                                                                                                                                                          rice paper wrapped salad rolls called goi cuon
                                                                                                                                                                                          and a short story on banh trang ( rice paper )

                                                                                                                                                                                          there are also instructions on how to roll them

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. I came across this article by Andrea Nguyen today on using chopsticks when rolling rice paper to ensure an evenly wrapped finished product:


                                                                                                                                                                                            I'm going to give it a whirl this evening to see if it aides in the process. Hoping it works, since tonight will be a roll-your-own affair and The Offspring (and The Spouse!) could certainly use some help.

                                                                                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Allegra_K

                                                                                                                                                                                              the video didn't work for me but I found this step by step in the commentary: http://www.vietworldkitchen.com/blog/...

                                                                                                                                                                                              have fun!

                                                                                                                                                                                            2. I'm really having fun with this! Tonight's version was soy-garlic marinated grilled pork, pickled radish, avocado and shredded toasted nori wrapped in tapioca paper, with a soy-lime-garlic dipping sauce. Really yummy. Getting better at rolling but still not photo-worthy. I prefer open-ended rolls because I've decided I don't like the gumminess of the folded-over part of the closed-end rolls.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. Keep going with those spring rolls, but also consider next month's dish. The nomination thread is up here:

                                                                                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                                                                                                                  And the voting thread for May is now up here:

                                                                                                                                                                                                  (I've got some spring rolls to work on before we move on. See you later!)

                                                                                                                                                                                                2. One last recipe share before I head over to the May project! I ran out of the wrappers before I ran out of the filling and found this inspiration: a summer roll salad. That's what's for dinner tonight!

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Thanks to all you shared some really wonderful inspiration in April. I took a ton of notes!

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. My final April spring roll entry, is not a spring roll. It is more of a cautionary tale.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    I found a package of rounds embedded with black sesame seeds. The package stated spring rolls, or at least that is what the English on the package stated.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    They would not roll at all. And after long soaking they became rather gelatinous, but still did not roll. So I read the package directions, which said to place one in the microwave for two minutes. And so I did.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    What emerges from the microwave looks more like a beach hat than a spring roll wrapper. It is a big, concave cracker, spongy yet crisp. A bit like styrofoam.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Not one to be wasteful, I took the ingredients planned for the roll, and filled up the "hat." Piled with chopped chicken, bean thread noodles, tofu, mango, peanuts, fermented black beans, cabbage, pickled vegetables, scallions, and hot sauce, it wasn't half bad. In fact it looked a bit like a Dale Chihuly glass sculpture.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    But it was not a spring roll.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Wow. How strange. All the stuff inside looks good. I've never seen sesame seed wraps, though. Kinda more like eating a "spring" tostada.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. I finally got around to making lumpia after refreshing my stock of spring roll wrappers with aspirations of creativity. However it had been a while since I'd made these traditional vegetable spring rolls and they came together so easily. Firstly a rainbow's worth of vegetables are sauteed with onions and garlic. I used shredded red and napa cabbage, julienned carrots, frenched green beans and whole bean sprouts to add even more textural contrast. This being Filipino cuisine, my cooking medium was lard with a bit more ground pork added in for flavor as well as a healthy dose of black pepper and soy sauce for seasoning . I drained the cooked vegetables to rid them of any excess moisture that might dampen the wrappers and then proceeded to assemble the spring rolls which I pan fried and served with a dipping sauce of vinegar with garlic and Thai chilies.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      I had wanted to take a picture of the final product, but they were scarfed down so quickly I only just managed a picture of the colorful bounty that comprised the filling.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: JungMann

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Your filling ingredients look wonderful and colorful. I'm sure they were delicious.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: JungMann

                                                                                                                                                                                                          The final product being scarfed down too quickly for a photo? What better review could there be? It sounds absolutely delicious!