Vietnamese summer rolls (sometimes known as spring rolls) are a delicious, fun way to add some fresh veggies to your plate. The rice paper-wrapped bundles can be a little tricky to wrap if they get too damp, but we have a tip that will keep you rolling with less frustration. Many recipes include directions to dip the sheets of rice paper in warm or even hot water to help them rehydrate. The paper can actually soften too quickly with warm water, leaving you with a sticky mess. We suggest you use cool water for dipping instead for a better result.
Rice paper wrappers are made of finely ground white rice mixed with enough water to make a paste, spread out thinly, steamed, and then dried. It makes sense that soaking it in warm water will actually dissolve the rice starch if you are not very quick. To give yourself enough time to arrange your filling ingredients and fold the wrapper in a nice snug roll, use a cool water rehydrating dip. The wrapper will soak up the water more slowly and you'll have just the right texture to work with.
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Wrapping Up A Perfect Roll
Using hot water is, however, a great idea for cooking rice vermicelli noodles that are a common ingredient in summer rolls, because you want those noodles fully cooked. We suggest you always follow the package directions, and take a little bite of the noodles before you use them. The other cooked ingredients will be your protein choice — perhaps poached shrimp, grilled pork, or tofu. Other traditional fillings include leafy lettuce, herbs, shredded carrots, and cucumbers, but you can also use slices of mango or peaches to add more color and flavor. Let your taste buds be your guide.
To wrap up your summer roll, give a piece of rice paper a quick dip in a bowl of cool water and lay it flat on your clean work surface. We like to start with a layer of lettuce from edge to edge on the bottom third of the circle to help hold the insides together. Add the cooked rice noodles, veggies, and herbs on top, and then put the protein or colorful fruit on the rice paper directly just above the lettuce. As you arrange the ingredients, the damp rice paper will continue to soften and should be just pliable to roll up when you are done. Starting from the side near you, fold the edge of rice paper over the lettuce and roll it forward into a tight cylinder. Dip into your favorite dipping sauce and crunch away on your frustration-free summer roll!
Read the original article on Tasting Table.