My mom's in town for a week, so I had a helper for my first attempt at making spring rolls. We are having warm sunny weather during the days, so cool salad-type lunches are in order.
You can buy spring roll wrappers in the Asian foods aisle of most major grocery stores. I also bought stick noodles for the filling and Thai Kitchen peanut satay sauce for dipping. (Thai Kitchen labels their gluten-free products clearly.)
First we prepared all the fillings. We cooked the noodles so they'd have a few minutes to cool and get sticky while we got the other fillings ready. We had lettuce, sunflower sprouts, carrots (purchased pre-sliced for ease), mango, yellow pepper, and some tiny shrimp for my mom. You can pretty much take any fruits or veggies out of the crisper drawer and slice them up. It's a good way to clean out small amounts of something before it goes bad. (I was hoping to add some mint and cilantro, but they expired. It's the risk you take when dealing with fresh food sometimes.)
We decided to make one spring roll at a time, because it takes up a lot of counterspace, more than I really have in my kitchen. I filled a square glass baking dish with warm water and submerged my spring roll wrapper for about 20 seconds. Then I placed it on a clean, damp tea towel (which I had previously placed over the cutting board I was using as the wrapping work station). I pulled up the edges of the towel and blotted the wrapper until it was slightly sticky. Then I put my fillings in.
It's best to keep the fillings as log-shaped as possible, and don't let them get too close to the edges.
Once the fillings are in place, bring up the bottom of the wrapper, trying to keep the fillings as tight as possible before letting the wrapper seal with the top part. Fold in the left and right edges, then roll up tight. You'll find the wrappers can take quite a bit of rolling abuse, as long as you don't try to unseal and unroll them.
Our first ones were sort of loose and fillings spilled out on the plates when we sliced them in two. Our second ones were much tighter. You really can pack a lot in them.
These can also be deep-fried. I haven't tried that yet, but looking forward to giving it a whirl!
It's fun to make these, and I bet it's a good project for kids, but it's a lot of work for basically a salad. I'm sure I'll get faster the more I make them.
This is my entry for Weekend Herb Blogging. This is a weekly event that collects recipes for herbs and vegetables, sponsored by Kalyn's Kitchen. This week it's being hosted by The Well-Seasoned Cook, so head over there on Monday to check out the weekly recap of recipes.