Spring roll wrappers are not widely available outside Chinese markets. The egg roll wrappers available in supermarkets can be used instead, as can the basic egg wrapper, but they make a thicker skin. Handmade Filipino lumpia skins found in Asian communities are the closest substitute. Spring roll wrappers are so thin (like a crepe) that when they are deep-fried they become crisp, brittle, and translucent, like a piece of fine parchment paper.
The flour-and-water batter is painted onto a crepe pan to get the thinnest possible wrapper. It is then cooked over low heat until it turns translucent, then slowly peeled from the pan. Make sure the pan is cool before making the next wrapper so that it doesn’t brown and start to cook unevenly.
The following quantities make about ten to twelve wrappers. They may be prepared in advance and frozen; reheat by steaming.
© 1981 Ken Hom. All rights reserved.