Homemade Spring Rolls Recipe & What Are Spring Rolls - The Nibble Webzine Of Food Adventures Homemade Spring Rolls Recipe & What Are Spring Rolls
 
 
 
 
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Homemade Spring Rolls Recipe & What Are Spring Rolls

Spring Rolls
[1] Vegetarian spring rolls with shredded daikon, carrots, cucumber trips and peanuts (photo © iStock Photo).

Vietnamese Summer Rolls
[2] Vietnamese summer rolls, with the beauty of colored vegetables showing through the translucent rice paper wrapper (photo © Elegant Affairs Caterers).

Shrimp Summer Rolls
[3] Shrimp spring rolls. Vietnamese and Thai spring rolls are pretty much identical. The rice paper is used uncooked (photo © Three Ladies Rice Paper).

Fried Spring Rolls
[4] Chinese-style fried spring rolls (photo © Davio’s | Boston).

Egg Rolls
[5] Egg rolls are fried, but wider (photo © National Pork Board).

  Spring rolls are one of our favorite appetizers at Chinese, Thai and Vietnamese restaurants. Even if we buy them at the take-out sushi counter at Whole Foods, they’re still $6 for two vegetarian rolls.

So why don’t we make them at home?

Yesterday, a lazy Sunday, we held a Spring Roll Brunch in our home, along with wine pairings.

You can create a do-it-yourself spring roll buffet, but given the crowd, we enlisted one dexterous friend to help us with the wrap-and-roll.

That said, they are easy to make and have a very high prep time-to-delicious factor ratio.

The recipe for chicken and avocado spring rolls is below.

But first: What’s a spring roll?
 
 
THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN EGG ROLLS, SPRING ROLLS & SUMMER ROLLS?

Identifying spring rolls can be confusing, and here’s why:

While some countries, including China, make fried spring rolls, Thailand and Vietnam use uncooked wrappers.

The term “spring roll” is not synonymous with “egg roll,” which is always fried. An egg roll has a heavier pastry wrapper that can be sliced into sections; a fried spring roll is very fragile and can shatter like phyllo.

  • Egg rolls are deep-fried; the wrappers are thicker, making egg rolls more of a filled pastry (photo #5). Egg roll skins are made from wheat flour and egg. Most egg rolls have vegetable, egg and/or meat or seafood filling. Spring roll wrappers are thinner, the shape is narrower, and when fried the rolls are more finger-like. If you want to make egg rolls, here’s how.
  • Spring rolls are an Asian appetizer, eaten either Vietnamese-style, in an uncooked* rice noodle wrapper (photo #1) or fried Chinese-style (photo #4). They are traditionally eaten during the Spring Festival in China, hence the name; but also are popular in Cambodia and Indonesia.
  • Vietnamese and Thai spring rolls use rice paper wrappers, which can be found in Asian markets. They are made from tapioca starch, rice flour, salt, and water. They are gluten-free and vegan.
  • The dry hard wrappers are moistened into pliancy and translucency with water, and are then easy to roll. They are filled with seafood; red lettuce or Boston lettuce leaves; fresh mint, basil, cilantro leaves, and shredded carrot. They are served with a chili dipping sauce.
  • Summer rolls are made in the style of spring rolls, but with more seasonal ingredients. Like spring rolls (photo #1 and #3), they are not fried.
     
    Vietnamese spring and summer rolls are like eating a fresh salad roll, more complex in flavor (thanks to the fresh herbs) than fried Chinese spring rolls. They are served with a spicy dipping sauce known as nuoc cham, of which there are many variations.
     
    The ingredients show through the translucent wrapper and create lovely eye appeal (photos #2 and #3).
     
    Customize Your Spring & Summer Rolls

    Vietnamese spring rolls generally contain seafood such as cooked shrimp, accompanied by any combination of rice sticks, carrot, cucumber, daikon, shiitake mushrooms, and fresh, leafy herbs: basil, cilantro, and mint. Iceberg lettuce or green cabbage can be added for crunch.

    We also like adding toasted chopped peanuts (salty or honey-roasted) to half the batch, to our rolls.
     
     
    How did spring rolls get their name?

    Originally, they were special snacks served to visitors with tea at the Chinese New Year, which is the beginning of lunar spring.

    Both spring rolls and egg rolls date back to ancient China, and both are traditionally served with hot Chinese mustard or a dipping sauce.
     
    _______________________

    *Vietnamese spring rolls, or cha gio, are not fried—although some Vietnamese and Thai restaurants in the U.S. have taken to serving Chinese-style spring rolls as well, catering to the American taste for fried food.
     

  •  

    RECIPE: CHICKEN & AVOCADO SPRING ROLLS

    Ingredients For 4 Rolls

  • 4 spring roll skins
  • 1 ripe Hass avocado†, sliced lengthwise
  • 1 chicken breast (4 ounces), pre-grilled or baked and sliced thin
  • 1 cup romaine lettuce, shredded
  • 1/2 cup shredded carrots
  • 1/2 cup soy ginger sauce, peanut sauce or other dipping sauce (recipe below)
  •  
    Preparation

    1. SEED, peel and slice the avocado.

    2. SOFTEN the spring roll skin in cold water for 5 seconds then place flat on cutting board. Place the sliced avocado and chicken breast, romaine, and shredded carrots in the center of the spring roll skin. Gently fold over one side of the spring roll skin, fold in the edges and gently roll to the other end of the spring roll skin as though you are wrapping a burrito.

    3. SERVE on a platter with dipping sauce.

     
    RECIPE: DIPPING SAUCE

    Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup rice vinegar‡
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup fish sauce, nam pla (you can substitute soy sauce**)
  • 1 garlic clove minced)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon dried crushed chilies (you can use red pepper flakes)
  •   avocado-spring-rolls-hassavo-230
    [5] Avocado spring rolls (photo © Chiquita Brands).

    Rice Spring Roll Wrappers
    [6] Spring roll wrappers, made from tapioca and rice flour (photo © Rose Brand Rice Paper).

     
    Preparation

    1. HEAT the vinegar, water, and sugar until the sugar dissolves. Add the fish sauce, garlic, lime juice and chilies.

    2. COOL and serve, or else refrigerate.
     
    _____________________

    †Large avocados are recommended for this recipe. A large avocado averages about 8 ounces. If using smaller or larger size avocados adjust the quantity accordingly.

    ‡Depending on your personal palate, you can reverse the quantities of rice vinegar and lime juice. One good-size lime will yield 1/2 cup of juice.

    **Soy sauce will obviously taste different from fish sauce, but it still works as an Asian dipping sauce.

      

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