In a recent lab in my Culinary Arts I class, we learned how to prepare these fresh veggie spring rolls and a dipping sauce. Each team chose one of three sauces; my team chose the ginger-lime dipping sauce (not pictured). I have never used rice paper wraps, so it was fun to learn something new. The rolling technique was familiar to me, from my experience using phyllo dough as a wrapper. (See recipe for Phyllo-wrapped Asparagus Spears).
Not long after we completed this lab, I purchased some spring rolls at the local grocery store, and deconstructed them. They didn’t have nearly as much filling as ours did, and they were ridiculously expensive. Now, I can make my own – they will be better and less expensive!
3 oz. thin rice vermicelli
3 oz. carrots, finely shredded
1/4 tsp. salt
2 oz. iceberg lettuce, chiffonade*
1/4 oz. fresh cilantro leaves
1 oz. sugar
8 fluid oz. water, warm
6 each rice paper wrappers
- Soak vermicelli in hot water until soft; drain very well and coarsely chop.
- Combine sugar and warm water in a shallow bowl large enough to fit the rice papers wrappers.
- Dip rice paper wrappers into the warm water and allow them to soften slightly, then place them on a clean cutting board covered with a clean, damp towel.
- Place carrots, noodles, lettuce and a few cilantro leaves on the bottom third of the rice paper wrapper, for the filling.
- Fold in the ends of the rice paper wrapper over the filling and roll it tightly to seal. (Rolling tightly is the key here.)
- Serve cold, with dipping sauce. (not pictured)
Food Mingle Blog Alternatives and Substitutions:
- *Chiffonade: a chopping technique in which herbs or leafy green vegetables are cut into long, thin strips. You can do this by rolling up the item and thinly sliced it. My professor showed me how to do this – try it, you can do it!
- My team did not use all the salt. I didn’t miss it in the final product.
- My team soaked two rice paper wrappers at a time, causing them to stick together as they softened. I recommend soaking one at a time; it may take longer, but you will save time by not having to delicately separate them when wet. Also, don’t soak them too long or else they may tear (I know this from experience!).
- The professor soaked enough vermicelli for the entire class. However, my team forgot to coarsely chop ours. So, when I cut my spring roll in two, the vermicelli poked out like rogue fringe – see photo above. Oops!
- A great addition to this spring roll would be shredded chicken or sliced shrimp.
- If you plan on frying them (we didn’t), then use two wrappers per roll. This will help hold the ingredients from falling out, should one wrapper break during frying.
- The professor advised that these do not hold well overnight in the refrigerator. If you must make them the day before, be sure to cover then with a damp, clean towel. Still, it’s best to make them the day of your event.
Yield: 6 spring rolls
Source:”Culinary Arts 1: Fundamentals of Food Preparation – Lab Manual,” Monroe Community College, Department of Hospitality Management, Chef Gerald Brinkman, M.S.Ed., Assistan Professor and Michelle M. Bartell, M.A., R.D., CDN, Professor