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How To Make Spring Rolls

Updated on June 13, 2008
© Tokiko Jinta
© Tokiko Jinta

Vietnamese Cookbooks

I don't normally write articles on cooking. That's probably because, being single, I rarely cook. I do tend to throw a little sum-sum together to stave off starving, and this is one of the EASIEST, tastiest things a person can make.

You'll notice there is no frying involved. That's because I'm not big on fried spring rolls. That's not to say I hate fried Asian food; I happen to love fried eggrolls. But my preference is for Vietnamese spring rolls, served cool to the touch and delightfully tasty. They're also pretty healthy, come to think of it.

The ingredients are totally up to you, but what you see listed here is something I developed a taste for at my favorite Vietnamese restaurant back home. I am HUGE fan of Vietnamese food, and I could easily eat it every day. Which is why I was so thrilled to learn how to make these -- cos now I do eat it nearly every day.

So let's start with what you need. I've listed the items and also shown pics to some of them, cos Americans sometimes have difficulty locating these things in the regular grocery store. If you have an Asian specialty store, try them first. If you don't, you may want to shop online.

What You'll Need:

Rice Paper

There aren't many Asian specialty shops where I live, so I have to get my rice paper from the local Tesco. Grocery shops may have it in the foreign foods section, which is where I get mine, or they may have it elsewhere. I am including a photo of what it looks like, cos it was a real PITA the first time I went looking for mine. They blended right in with the tortillas (so bizarre to see that in a foreign foods section!) so hopefully this will help newbies track them down.

Check the package to make sure the paper isn't broken. It's not really paper-thin, it's kind of waferish in texture. And broken rice paper is pretty useless. Chipped is ok... but try to find a pack that isn't.

Bun Rice Noodles

In my opinion, this is the most important ingredient. There are loads of rice noddles out there, and some of them really suck. Especially those wide-ish flat noodles. Err, no offense to whoever made them. Obviously, some people love them, or they wouldn't be so proliferate. But I feel like I'm eating giant worms when I use them, so I go for the thin vermicelli you see in this photo.

There are others which come out really chewy when cooked. Like gummi-worms. It's not as much fun as it sounds. Not when you spend 30 minutes just trying to chew one mouthful. Of course, you can use any type you want. My advice would be to remember the brand so you don't have to play noodle roulette each time you go shopping.

A Wide Bowl

You'll need a wide bowl to soak the rice paper in. It needs to be as wide as the paper itself, or you risk breaking the paper and having to start all over again. It doesn't need to be anything special, just a regular bowl. If you have the patience, you can also use a regular bowl, dipping a section at a time -- but this can be tricky, cos the paper will start sticking to itself as it folds over and it can break.

Tofu

You don't *need* tofu, but it's something I always use. I have included the photo for people who don't know how it's packaged in the grocery shop. You'll want to get firm tofu, not silken -- that stuff falls apart too quickly to really get much use out of it. Tofu is cheap and you can buy it all over the place. Or, if you're really clever (and really bored) you can make your own.

Other Ingredients

You can put anything you want in your spring rolls. I like to use avodcado, peanuts, tofu, and lettuce. You can also use shrimp, peppers, mushrooms, carrots, and whatever else you can think of.

Hoisin Sauce

This is, without a doubt, the best condiment on earth. I can eat this stuff straight out of the bottle. Ohmigod, I'm getting excited just reading this. And hungry. You can find the au naturel kind at places like Amazon, or you can get the regular stuff at the local shop. It's all of it good stuff. If you live in Europe you may not find it in jars -- the kind I get is sold in a re-seal-able plastic bag type thing.

Putting It All Together (Approx. 20 Minutes)

  • Step 1: Fill the kettle up and put the water on.

  • Step 2. Put your vermicelli in a bowl. When the water's ready, you're going to soak the noodles. It should take less than 5 minutes for the noodles to become soft and noodle-like. When that happens, drain the water and let the noodles sit for a bit.

  • Step 3. Fill your wide bowl with hot water. I use hot tap water -- it doesn't need to have been boiled. Float a piece of rice paper on top of the water and hold it there until it starts to get soft. Once it's as limp as a washrag (only takes a few minutes), lay it down on a flat surface. The counter will do, if need be.

  • Step 4. With your rice paper spread out in a big circle, place your ingredients 1/2 way between the center and the edge. (This makes it easier to roll up later.) Place a handful of noodles first and then top it with your lettuce, tofu, avocado and peanuts. Don't make it too bulky or it will be difficult to wrap.

  • Step 5. Rolling it up: If you've ever worked in a deli, you'll be wrapping this the same as you'd wrap a hero or hoagie. Take the edge closest to the ingredients and cover them with the paper. Roll it once more and then fold the left and right side inward, making an envelope of sorts. Then continue wrapping until finished. Set the spring roll down and let it dry a bit.

  • Step 6. Eat! Dip your spring rolls in your hoisin sauce and enjoy!

Comments

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    • misshill profile image

      misshill 

      6 years ago from United States

      I never thought about making a spring roll myself, thanks for this guide i will try it sometimes.

    • Fluffy77 profile image

      Fluffy77 

      7 years ago from Enterprise, OR

      Yes, this is awesome and useful voted up. I would love to make these sometime, thanks. Bookmarked this one!

    • Anamika S profile image

      Anamika S Jain 

      8 years ago from Mumbai - Maharashtra, India

      I love spring rolls! You make it sound so easy. I need to try this at home.

    • stuart747 profile image

      stuart747 

      8 years ago from Colchester, Essex, UK

      Thank you for sharing, They sound very tasty,

    • CennyWenny profile image

      CennyWenny 

      10 years ago from Washington

      Thanks for this Hub! I eat these as a meal when I go out to Thai food alone (which can be nice because it means no "what's this"? from my husband). I hope I can find these ingredients in my very non-Asian community:(

    • Stacie Naczelnik profile image

      Stacie Naczelnik 

      10 years ago from Seattle

      I love spring rolls! I've made them before, but not with the noodles. I will have to try those next time.

    • stephhicks68 profile image

      Stephanie Hicks 

      10 years ago from Bend, Oregon

      I am inspired for dinner tonight! Thank you for a delicious looking, easy recipe.

    • RyanRE profile image

      RyanRE 

      10 years ago from Bellingham, WA

      Mmm... I love spring rolls, but deep fryed egg rolls are my favorite. You Hub makes me want to order take out right now :D

    • fishskinfreak2008 profile image

      fishskinfreak2008 

      10 years ago from Fremont CA

      Sounds good (yum), but tell me something. You've written all these hubs about sex & kissing tips and what not. ARE YOU SERIOUSLY SINGLE & LIVING ALONE?????

    • Isabella Snow profile imageAUTHOR

      Isabella Snow 

      10 years ago

      I hope you like them, Woody! :)

    • Woody Marx profile image

      Woody Marx 

      10 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      I have a Vietnamese grocery near my flat so it will be easy to get these ingredients and try it out! Yum looks good. thanks! :)

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