Spring rolls are not simply refined egg rolls. Egg rolls are made from an egg-based pasta and are rolled out; spring rolls are made with water and are prepared in a pan. A good filling for spring rolls (as well as egg rolls) should provide a balance of textures, with dense meats offset by light, crisp vegetables such as bean sprouts, water chestnuts, bamboo shoots, or zucchini. Here we use ham, snow peas, chicken, and bean sprouts. Do not overload the wrapper. It’s better to have too little filling than too much, or it will burst open when fried.
The filling can be made up to a day in advance, but the spring rolls shouldn’t be filled until the last moment for best results. The skins tend to get soggy if they sit around filled and won’t crisp properly when fried.
You can make egg roll skins using the basic pasta recipe, or you can purchase them. The techniques for rolling and sealing are the same as for spring rolls.
© 1981 Ken Hom. All rights reserved.