Working with rice paper wrappers...

chancesmomApril 9, 2010

I have never tried this before and want to make spring rolls this weekend. I saw a recipe on Ellen of all places and thought it looked tasty and healthy. The rice paper is just soaked in warm water and wrapped around the filling, but not fried or cooked further. This weekend is Chances birthday (9 yrs old already -how the heck did that happen!!) and I am going to be quite busy both Saturday and Sunday.

My question is - can I make the springrolls a few hours in advance and still have them tasty and the right texture. I am worried the rice paper will get hard or crumbly?

Any one have any thoughts?

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When I make my fried spring rolls I don't soak the wrappers. Instead, I place a few on a clean linen towel and spray them with water from a spray bottle, let the sit a minute or two, then fill them. I've not made the rolls that were not cooked, but I know the rice wrappers to be very delicate and easy to tear. Also, maybe they would stick together if made too far ahead? I would not cut them into serving portions until ready to serve.

Here is a comment from one web site:

Spring rolls can be made a day ahead. Cover them with a damp paper towel, then wrap well in plastic wrap, and refrigerate. Refrigerating firms and toughens the wrappers and noodles slightly (if they are a little dry, wipe them gently with a damp cloth).

    Bookmark   April 9, 2010 at 7:02AM
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I organized a banquet once where the client wanted these. We made them in the morning, and didn't cut them until half an hour before serving and they did quite well. After making them, we stored them in the walk in fridge on large baking trays with a layer of plastic wrap on the tray and one lightly laid over them.

One suggestion....make sure that you have enough of the wrappers to waste a few practicing, whether you use a spray bottle like Teresa or dip them briefly in water the way we did. "Soaking" them is not the term I would use. They go from soft enough for rolling to a sticky, congealed mess in an incredibly short time. It isn't difficult to do, but it can take a few before you get the hang of handling them.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2010 at 7:15AM
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When I make non-fried rice paper wraps, I always make a few extra so I can have some for lunch the next day.

I dip the wrappers in a bowl of cold water for a few seconds before I begin to work with them. Preparing them on a clean tea towel helps to keep them from sticking to your work surface.

I store mine in a plastic container, lining the bottom with some clean lettuce, and placing a little lettuce on top of them before sealing the lid. The lettuce seems to add just enough moisture to keep the wraps from drying out, without making them soggy.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2010 at 9:36AM
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I agree, dip them, don't soak them or you'll have a mess. I've never tried to keep them, we've always eaten them immediately.

Happy birthday, Chance!


    Bookmark   April 9, 2010 at 9:50AM
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I am new to rice paper wrappers so I have very little experience using them. I have never deep fried any rice paper rolls because rice can absorb a large amount of oil.

When preparing, I pretty much "run" the dried rice paper through water in a shallow dish quickly. Place it on a large serving plate then wrap away. The paper may seem a bit dry at time but as I wrap, the paper continues to absorb the water from the surface, it's just about right by the time I finish wrapping.

I don't have any experience saving them for later though. I always use them immediately because I find them best tasting that way. Having said that, I don't make completely "raw" rice paper rolls. My husband and little man won't eat it unless there's some juicy meat inside. I use very little oil in a frying pan to crisp up the outside. The fat from the meat will crisp and "seal" the wrapper so the fillings won't fall out when eating.


    Bookmark   April 9, 2010 at 10:06AM
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Just wanted to add that I find it easiest to work on a silpat sheet when rolling them - no sticking!

    Bookmark   April 9, 2010 at 10:31AM
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I've made them and wrapped them in plastic for later in the day or the next day. I think I once had some to the second day and all you have to do is dampen the surface again if they start to seem a little dry. I like the lettuce leaf idea,

I generally find that I have to leave them in for a few seconds -- kind of a slow dip rather than a quick dip. Not a soak either. I usually use a pie plate or deep sided plate and then use a towel to blot off extra water and roll them on.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2010 at 5:42PM
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Wow, lots of experts with such good advice! Thank you for your help, going to tackle these around lunch time to serve around 4 or so.


    Bookmark   April 11, 2010 at 8:39AM
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I've only made spring rolls once, but I made them in advacne and kept them in the fridge with a dampened paper towel over them and then covered with plastic wrap. Worked like a charm.


    Bookmark   April 11, 2010 at 11:10AM
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