Have fun playing with your food. This is a very social meal and healthy as well. Each person eats about 3-5 rolls per sitting. Fillings can be made with meat or vegetarian style. I'll leave that up to you.
Step 1: Introduction to Yum
Lots of people are getting into healthy living and eating. Here is an easy step by step instructable on how to make your own handmade spring rolls. Firstly you will need to gather all the fresh ingredients that you want to use. Some of the things people like are flat chives, mints, green or red leaf lettuce, bean sprouts, peanuts, vermicelli rice noodles, rice paper, fish sauce or peanut sauce depending on your taste and other creative tasty greens. The main idea is to stay healthy and make this a lifestyle and not just a one time meal.
Step 2: Working the Magic
Lots of people that go out to eat will notice that most restaurants use boiled pork meat and shrimp as the main ingredient. Here in my family, we use this also but occasionally, we will also used stripped bass, which marinated and stuff with herbs like lemon grass, onions, garlic, and salt and pepper, or baked salmon works just as well. Both fish are tasty and flaky making them both suitable for a healthy substitute if you have a non meat diet. The stripped bass has more bones, which should be removed prior to rolling but to me offers a better taste than salmon. Many have asked which type of rice paper brand to use, I've used this brand for years and I love the flavor and it holds well after you soak it.
Step 3: The Low Down
Lots of Asian households will buy these plates that have holes in them. This allows air to flow thru the wet rice paper so that it doesn't stick to a regular plate. This makes a world of difference for those that can't seem to just get that roll right. I got these at a local thrift store called EcoThrift for $2 for all 6. You can also find these at your local Asian supermarket. The secret in making a great spring roll is not to overdo stuffing them. It's a spring roll, not a burrito.
Step 4: Having Fun
Make sure to wet your rice paper by using a large bowl of water to get it wet evenly. Just getting it wet by rolling or spinning it quickly will do. If you wet it liberally or too much, the rice paper will be too soggy to work with. Just be patient and understand that the water will make the hard rice paper soft in a few seconds. This is where many fail the first round. The water doesn't need to be hot or even like warm, as long as its not ice cold, it will still soften your rice paper. Once you have done this, you can place the rice paper, with the edge closest to you, on the plate with the lip overhanging to make it easier to grab and start rolling.
Step 5: The Fillings
I like to start placing my ingredients about 1/4 ways at the ends toward me, leaving some room to grab at the end to start the roll. Since this is for home consumption, I don't really focus on folding in the ends to make it look like an egg roll style. The rice paper will hold everything in just fine. First, I lay down all the heavy stuff. Flat chives, mints, other greens, then I put on top of it a small leaf of lettuce where the meat will go. The lettuce will help hold the meat together and not get the paper anymore soggy. Top this off with your vermicelli noodles. Take all the ingredients and pull it towards you and start the roll. Pull the tension to get it nice and tight. Continue until your at the end. You can pinch the ends now to help everything stay in place.
Step 6: Wallah! Bon AppetitÃ©
This is the final result. Dipping sauces are up to you. There are several varieties that you can make. There's the traditional fish sauce, peanut sauce, or stinky pineapple sauce. All are yummy and you should try them all with different ingredients to see which ones you like with different fillings.
The secret to a good fish sauce dip is using fish sauce, garlic chili sauce, fresh lemon or lime juice, sugar and 7UP. The spicy level is up to you by using sirracha or Serrano or Thai chilis.