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Vietnamese Summer Rolls/Spring Rolls

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I'm not sure if this is the appropriate thread for this topic, but I want to discuss cha gio, fried spring rolls.  My concern is the wrappers. 

I have been using rice paper wrappers, which all the recipes I have consulted have recommended.  The recipes say that you can use other wrappers, but rice paper is the most light and delicate.  This may be true, but I've found that the wrappers don't brown well.  They stay white for a long time and then start to turn translucent in spots and burn.  Some of them develop air pockets, which puff up and burst leaving holes.  They taste okay, but obviously they're not what I'm hoping to achieve.  Also, they're incredibly ugly -- pale, white things with dark brown, almost burnt splotches all over.  Does anybody know how to fix this?  I bought something called "spring roll pastry," which appear to be made in Singapore, from a Korean market.  These are made of wheat flour.  I expect I'll have more luck with these, but I'm still wondering if I can improve my rice paper rolls.

I just checked a couple of my books. One prefers pan frying rather than deep frying. The other adds 1 tablespoon sugar to 5 cups water for the dipping medium.

I think the sugar in the water might take care of the browning problem.

Good luck!

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  • 2 months later...
Seeing those made me want to make them again.  I go through periods where I make them often and then for what ever reason don't make them for a while.  What is the best most effective, easy method for preping the rice papers so you can roll them quickly.  I have heard to wet them and then place them in a towel.  I hate having to dip each one and assemble.  The water cools off and needs to be reheated.  Tips?

While this question was asked awhile ago, hopefully someone can find this advice of some help. What I do is fill a pie plate or large bowl with warm water and set that at the table. Then I place all the ingredients around the table. Start off with dipping two rice papers and placing each one on a separate plate (or use one plate and drape the other one on top of your lettuce). Start assembling the first one and roll it once the paper is soft enough. Then dip one more rice paper and set that one aside. Then roll the second paper which should be soft by now. Dip another and then roll that third paper, and so on. If you roll pretty quickly, then roll two at a time and have two papers on standby at a time (to not have four plates take up your table, in this case it might be best to drape the papers over your lettuce). It's okay for the water to cool down gradually as you go along, warmer water just sets the rice paper more quickly. Cool water works just as well, it just may take a little longer and if your timing is right then it doesn't matter too much.

Jason yum! I think I will make rice paper rolls tomorrow.

Edit: What do you have as filling? Looks like shrimp but with a bit of color, did you grill them rather than boil/steam?

Edited by fodgycakes (log)

Michelle Pham

I like pie.

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What do you have as filling? Looks like shrimp but with a bit of color, did you grill them rather than boil/steam?

Yes, these are leftover grilled shrimp from this meal:

Cinco De Mayo Isn't Just About the Coronas

Edited by Jason Perlow (log)

Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

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