Spring has much meaning to many cultures, and most revolve around new beginnings. Spring Rolls are just one way in which both Chinese and Vietnamese cultures celebrate the new season, but what many don't know is that the roll has origins in China, but the completely raw version is solely Vietnamese tradition. The tradition of the Spring Roll is much the same in both cultures, in that, most of what determines the success of a roll starts in the preparation. So, before you spring into action, we have a few tips on how to make things roll more smoothly!
Collect and prepare all aspects of your roll before the filling and rolling process. Once you begin the process, the rice paper is both fragile and extremely sticky so you will have no time to prep or chop additional fillings.
Create an assembly line -- starting with the rice paper, lettuce, other sliced vegetable toppings, and leave the protein-filled items for last. This is vital for creating a well-assembled roll, since the order in which the ingredients are placed will ensure that the contents don’t spill out by puncturing the thin and translucent rice paper, which only continues to soften as it sits.
When dealing with rice paper, it is important to soak each individual wrap in warm water until it is slightly malleable before placing it on a cutting board for assembly. And, if the rice paper dries out a little while compiling your roll, fear not, moist hands will give the rice paper some extra stick.
When making rolls in assembly-line fashion, it is vital to work on a damp cutting board during assembly. This makes sure that once you begin tucking the rice paper around the filling, it doesn't stick to the wood and rip.
Keep ‘em separated! The final tip we have is to make sure each roll is made individually. Once placed on its final plate, it must keep from touching other rolls, because they will stick to one another and will be more susceptible to tearing.
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