How to Make Spring Rolls at Home
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Learn how to make spring rolls that are fresh, crunchy and delicious. It's easier than you think!
Spring rolls—also sometimes called summer rolls—are a healthy dish that you can make any time of year. You may have seen these fresh rice paper-wrapped rolls at restaurants, or picked up some premade ones at the grocery store, but it’s easy to make your own. Here’s how to make fresh spring rolls at home.
What Are Spring Rolls?
Originating in Southeast Asia, this variety of spring roll is a popular dish made with fresh vegetables wrapped in rice paper. Not to be confused with crispy, deep-fried egg rolls, these uncooked spring rolls have translucent wrappers, so you can take a peek at the colorful flavors inside.
Spring rolls often contain fresh vegetables and thin rice noodles, and sometimes a protein. Typically served cold alongside a dipping sauce, they’re a crunchy appetizer or a light main dish.
How to Make Spring Rolls
- 2 cups thinly sliced romaine
- 1-1/2 cups cubed cooked pork
- 1 cup thinly sliced fresh spinach
- 3/4 cup julienned carrot
- 1/3 cup thinly sliced celery
- 1/3 cup dried cherries, coarsely chopped
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 12 round 8-inch rice paper wrappers
- 1/4 cup sliced almonds
- 1/4 cup wasabi-coated green peas
- Sesame ginger salad dressing
Test Kitchen tip: Look for spring roll wrappers in the Asian section of your grocery store. They come in flat packages similar to tortillas. You can also buy rice paper wrappers on Amazon.
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Step 1: Prepare the filling
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Chop the romaine, spinach, carrot and celery. Use a chef’s knife or mandoline slicer to julienne the vegetables. “Julienne” is the French term for cutting something into very thin slices about the size of matchsticks. This technique makes the pieces small enough to fit in your roll and ensures that you get a bit of everything in each bite. Roughly chop the cherries and dice the pork into tiny cubes.
Place the ingredients in a large bowl and drizzle with sesame oil. Give it a toss to coat.
Test Kitchen tip: With any spring roll recipe, it’s important to prepare your filling first. Once wet, the wrapper will harden quickly and become more difficult to roll, so you need to get that filling ready to move!
Step 2: Hydrate the rice paper
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Start by filling a large, shallow dish partway with water (a pie plate works perfectly for this). Take a single sheet of rice paper and dip it into the water until it just starts to soften. This should take 15 to 20 seconds.
Test Kitchen tip: Avoid over-soaking the rice paper. If you submerge it for too long, it will become too limp and sticky to use, and the wrapper will collapse on itself.
Step 3: Fill the spring rolls
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Remove the rice wrapper from the water and place it on a flat surface such as a plate or cutting board. Wait a minute or two to give the rice paper time to fully soften.
When the rice paper has softened, layer a quarter cup of the filling, along with the almonds and peas, in a strip across the bottom third of the wrapper. Leave some room at the edges.
Step 4: Wrap the spring rolls
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Fold both ends of the wrapper inward, then fold the bottom edge over the filling. Roll it up tightly and place it on your serving plate with the seam side down. Repeat, starting with step 2, until you’ve used up all of the filling.
Test Kitchen tip: If your spring roll feels sticky, don’t stress! Spring rolls are meant to have a soft and slightly sticky texture.
Step 5: Enjoy
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That’s a wrap! Pour the dressing into a ramekin and serve. This recipe calls for sesame ginger salad dressing, but you could also serve it with a homemade peanut sauce or this Sweet-Hot Asian Dipping Sauce.
Test Kitchen tip: It’s best to eat spring rolls right after you make them. If you’re planning on serving spring rolls at a party, prep the filling the night before. Then wrap the rolls right before the event.
Spring Roll Filling Ideas
Now that you know the basics of how to make a classic spring roll, it’s time to tweak the recipe to your liking. Got a bumper crop of cilantro? Toss it into the mix. Prefer a different protein like shrimp, chicken or tofu? Swap it in for the pork. The key is to fill each rice-wrapped roll with about 1/3 cup of filling.
For more inspiration, try these ideas:
- Mango Avocado Spring Rolls: Tropical fruit and fresh lime juice add a zesty twist to this vegetarian spring roll recipe.
- Crispy Sriracha Spring Rolls: Filled with chicken, cream cheese and chili sauce, these fried spring rolls are the perfect party appetizer.
- Caribbean Shrimp Spring Rolls: Bursting with juicy mandarins and island spice, this recipe will make you feel like you’re on a Caribbean vacation.
Want to keep rolling? Learn how to make California sushi rolls next.
Tips for Making Spring Rolls
What can I use instead of spring roll wrappers?
Spring roll wrappers are typically readily available at many grocery stores—they’re often in the international aisle and come dried in a package.
If you don’t have rice paper wrappers, you could use lettuce, the type of spring roll wrappers made of flour, or thicker egg roll wrappers. However, egg roll wrappers need to be cooked, so plan on steaming or frying your spring rolls if you go that route.
What should I serve with spring rolls?
Spring rolls make the perfect cold appetizer for a gathering or a fresh side dish to any of these Thai recipes. You can also make spring rolls a meal by pairing them with one of these Asian-inspired soups or healthy salads.
How should I store spring rolls?
Store your spring rolls in an airtight container in the refrigerator. They tend to stick together, so space them out in the container. Spring rolls are best when they’re fresh, but they should last for 3 or 4 days.