Success! This is amazing these things came out. The spring rolls really were from the back of the pantry, back when I lived with a bunch of raggedy cats. I wasn’t sure 2 seconds was enough dipping time. See how mine are wrinkly? The reason is 2 seconds extra dipping time. Dipping just a tad too long doesn’t affect how it holds together, it just makes more difficult to lay flat on the plate, stickier when rolling, and wrinkled. Stick to that 2 second dip time, it should still be stiff and sound like paper when you remove it and let the excess water drip off.
I don’t think it’s even necessary to have bath water temperatures, unless we’re talking newborn baby bath water. I poured about an inch of water in my Dutch oven. It cooled a few minutes before I started making the spring rolls, and then cooled even more until I was using tepid water. I stuck to the 2 second dipping time, and it worked well.
I julienned the cucumbers, and they poked through the wrapper on the end. I started arranging them to align with where I folded the sides of the spring roll.
This was me using the few veggies and groceries that I already had in the house, and it was terrific: leftover steak from the grill (smoky flavor), julienned cucumbers, lettuce leaf bed, shredded spinach, thinly sliced shitake, and a dipping sauce from pear marmelade, soy sauce, and toasted sesame seeds. The flavors blended well. We ended up with a pleasant surprise vs. total disaster as I made all 6 wraps identical!
The first three are below. Misshapen, wrinkly, and very tasty! I have a huge pack of spring rolls left. I can’t wait to try it with herbs, proper sauce, and noodles.
I’m still so behind on blog posts. Beautiful photos of Valeria del Mar (from a trip in June!) interrupted for me-me-mee-me-me-meep-breaking booger news and now…spring rolls! I just hope I can catch up with this blog, soon. It’s supposed to be winter but it’s tank top and mini weather. I don’t know when this warm wind is going to move on, so the time for some cool food among all the yummy root vegetables, bitter greens, and brussel sprouts is tonight.
This site has gorgeous photos, and I love me a little white on rice. It also has just what I need: How to make spring rolls! The first time I made spring rolls was with Garrett, ages ago, for Amelia’s birthday. They were delicious, but I was just rolling them. I have lots of experience with rolling wontons (thanks, Mom) and burritos/wraps (thanks, Anna). The second time I tried to make spring rolls, it was a disaster. Anna and I laid everything out and stuck the wrappers in boiling water. We waited for them to soften and then had no way of getting them out. Every part of that was a bad idea. Shame and self doubt! The internet existed; there is a better way, assuming one looks. It was likely this know-it-all Asian’s fault as rice needs cooking, right? The wrappers disintegrated. I think we made about 6 good rolls out of the package. There wasn’t a next time. I’ve had this packet of wrappers in the pantry forever, and I meant to use them, but I’m afraid, Dave. Now, with the help of a photo tutorial that makes it look so easy (dammit, years of stuffing my face with spring rolls lost to the ages), I’m going to try again. If I had wine handy, I’d toast myself to not f-ing it up.
On the bus headed home from a three hour all-you-can-eat asado dinner, I had two men sitting in front of me, one with a thick wavy mullet, one with long dark hair tied back at the top. Another fairly innocuous man took the inside seat next to me. After a few minutes he proceeded to pick his nose, as discreetly as nose-picking on the bus can be. A ninja nose-picker, this one. I only pieced together what he’d been up to when I caught the flick of his fingers and saw the giant khaki booger land in the dark glossy hair of the man seated in front of us.
I’ve told people when their zippers were down, underwear or butt cracks were exposed, undone buttons left boobs popping out, when a bra with cups too small caused boobs to bulge over the top. I’ve let people know about large wads of ear wax, or that they might want to blow their nose or check their teeth. I’ve picked hairs, stickers, lint, trailing toilet paper, and leaves off of strangers. I’ve zipped strangers’ backpacks, tucked in their shirt tags, and told people about misaligned buttons, inside-out shirts, and smeared lipstick, mascara, or eyeliner. The momentary awkwardness was balanced out by the value of social grooming.
When the embarrassment comes with exposure of third-party shenanigans, the situation can escalate from awkward to pissy. It’s no longer a value-add situation. So that’s my queue to keep mum. I’m sorry glossy-haired man, you’re going out with boogers in your hair.