Bursting with fresh vegetables and meats, fresh spring rolls are most recognizable by their soft and translucent rice paper skins. Although there are various types of spring rolls, the Vietnamese spring rolls, also referred to as summer rolls, are more widely known in the U.S. They're typically stuffed with shrimp, pork and a variety of vegetables that are easily visible through the rice paper skins. These skins -- or wrappers -- start off stiff and opaque, but only need a few seconds in warm water to become pliable enough to roll.
Things You'll Need
- Shallow bowl
- Rice paper wrappers
Fill a wide, shallow bowl with warm water. The bowl should be large enough to easily dip the rice paper with both hands.
Dip one spring roll skin at a time into the warm water for about 10 seconds to soften it and make it pliable.
Lay the softened spring roll skin on a clean work surface and let it sit for a minute or so. The skin will continue to soften to where you can easily roll it over your chosen fillings.
Tips & Warnings
- Rice paper skins can end up sticking badly to porous wooden work surfaces. Use a large plastic cutting board, a baking sheet or a ceramic plate as your work surface instead.
- You can't make rice paper wrappers at home, according to Viet World Kitchen. They are an artisanal product made by seasoned professionals or by machine in factories. You should be able to find rice paper wrappers at most Asian grocery stores.
- Don't wet all the rice paper skins you are going to use at once to avoid them getting too soft and sticky as they wait to be used as a wrapper. Unless you can roll quickly or you have help, dip and fill one or two at a time until you get the hang of it.
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