Before I went to culinary school, I worked at a recreational cooking school and event center. The center hosted singles parties complete with a make-your-own-appetizer station. At one of these events, we decided to make spring rolls. It’s a popular Thai restaurant appetizer, but we knew many people had no idea how to make them. What better way to get people talking to one another, we thought.
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We were right, it definitely got people interacting. Those who had made spring rolls before swooped in to save the poor souls who ended up staring perplexedly at a pile of ingredients sitting on top of a dry rice-paper wrapper, wondering what the heck they were supposed to do next. I’d venture to guess more than one phone number was exchanged at the spring-roll station.
And I hope more than one person came to the same realization I did when I made them at home for the first time—they are so easy to make. And you can put anything your heart desires into them.
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Are you ready to try your hand at making spring rolls? Here’s what to do:
- First get your ingredients together. You’ll need spring-roll wrappers plus whatever ingredients you want to fill your spring rolls. Shrimp, cellophane noodles and fresh herbs are traditional, but experiment with your favorite shredded vegetables, lean meats, tofu—whatever sounds good to you. (Get a recipe for Smoked Salmon & Asparagus Spring Rolls, plus see step-by-step photos of these steps here.)
- Soak one spring-roll wrapper at a time in a shallow dish of very hot water until softened, about 30 seconds. Lift out, let excess water drip off and lay on a clean, dry cutting board.
- Center ingredients in the bottom third of the wrapper, leaving a 1-inch border on either end.
- Fold the wrapper over the filling.
- Start rolling into a tight cylinder.
- Stop rolling about halfway to fold in both sides.
- Continue rolling until the spring roll is a tight cylinder.
- Assemble the remaining spring rolls the same way. Keep the finished rolls covered with a damp cloth to prevent them from drying out. Cut each finished roll in half just before serving, if desired, and enjoy!
What cooking technique would you like to see step-by-step photos of?
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