Asian Recipes/ Lunch/ Recipes/ Side Dish/ Snack

Crispy Thai Spring Rolls

25/09/2020 (Last Updated: 28/09/2020)

Thai Spring Rolls are crispy, crunchy crowd pleasers! Make them as a mouthwatering starter or a satisfying snack. Includes step-by-step process shots and easy variation ideas so you can make them your way and cook them like a pro!

Thai spring rolls sliced in half with lime and sweet chilli sauce.

Why We Love This

Thai spring rolls are surprisingly much easier to make than you might think! They also taste so much better than store-bought. The homemade filling has a delicious texture, rather than being a blended mass of unidentifiable ingredients. You can even tweak the recipe to use up any leftovers out of the fridge.

It’s much cheaper to make your own than it is to buy them as take out (or takeaway as we call it in Australia). You can even make a big batch in advance, freeze them, then deep fry (or even air fry) them directly from the freezer.

Whether you make them to perfection or end up with a few lumps and bumps – no matter! They still taste delicious and you can be 100% proud that you made them yourself.

Freshly fried Thai spring rolls.
Important tip: Spring roll wrappers have a smooth side and a rough side. For the best looking rolls, place the wrapper smooth side down before assembling. Left spring roll shows the rough side out (incorrect) while the right spring roll is nice and smooth.

What are Thai Spring Rolls? 

Pronounced Paw Phia Tawd or Por Pia Tod in Thai, they’re very similar to Chinese or Vietnamese spring rolls. The main differences are in the filling ingredients, wrapper choice and dipping sauces they’re served with.

They are an amazing starter or side dish if you’re planning to cook up an Asian-inspired feast, but go just as well as a tasty lunch or snack! In particular, we love cooking them alongside our Choo Chee Chicken Curry!

Where We Learned This Recipe

A big and heartfelt shout out to Apple at Basil Cookery School in Chiang Mai for teaching us this recipe (along with this amazing Mango Coconut Sticky Rice dessert). She’s been making them at the cooking school and at home for as long as she can remember – even beyond the 15+ years she’s been teaching Thai cooking!

Apple shared the tips and tricks she’s learned over the years, which we’ve popped down below so you can cook them just as perfectly at home.

What You’ll Need

Here are the main ingredients you’ll need for your crispy Thai spring rolls! Remember, there are no hard and fast rules for the fillings, so feel free to mix and match according to your own personal taste, or to use up ingredients you already have on hand.

  • Wrappers – We use Little Chef frozen spring roll pastry aka spring roll wrappers. You can usually find this style of wrapper in the fridge or freezer at Asian groceries or some supermarkets. They are thinner than egg roll or wonton wrappers, giving you a smoother appearance and better crunch once cooked. You can substitute with egg roll wrappers, wonton wrappers or even rice paper wrappers if you can’t find spring roll wrappers. (Note: Rice paper wrappers would need to be dampened with a little warm water so that they become flexible enough to fold – for more info check out our Vietnamese Spring Rolls). The texture will be slightly different if you use a different style of wrapper, but they will still be thoroughly delicious!
  • FillingsGlass noodles (also known as mung bean vermicelli or cellophane noodles) are thin round noodles made from mung bean flour that become transparent when cooked. You can can find them online, at Asian groceries or even well-stocked supermarkets. We also use chicken mince, shredded carrot, baby corn, and bean sprouts.
  • Oil – We recommend canola oil for frying which is cheap and has a neutral flavour, so it won’t detract from the delicious flavour of your wrapper and fillings. It also has a high smoke point, making it perfect for frying spring rolls nice and hot without smoking out the kitchen.

How to Fold Spring Rolls:

  1. Lay out one spring roll pastry or wrapper on a clean surface (smooth side down). If using a square wrapper, have one of the corners facing towards you.
  2. Place around 2 tbsp of the filling in one corner of the wrapper.
  3. Fold the bottom corner of the wrapper up and over the filling, pressing in firmly to remove any air pockets. Keep rolling up to the centre of the wrapper.
  1. Rub water over the top edges of the wrapper, then fold in the left and right sides and keep rolling up tightly.
  1. Heat the canola oil in the wok over a medium heat, ready to deep fry. Slide each spring roll into the wok slowly to avoid splashing.
  2. Deep fry until golden brown.
  3. Transfer to a strainer or place on kitchen paper towel to drain the oil.

Wandercook’s Tips

  • Chop the carrots by hand, julienne-style, or use a mandolin or handheld vegetable slicer with a julienne tip. It’s best to avoid grating the vegetables as this will release too much moisture. Dry filling makes for better looking, crispier spring rolls.
  • You can use kitchen scissors to cut the glass noodles into more manageable lengths so your filling mixture is easier to work with.
  • Make sure the filling has cooled down before wrapping. If it’s still too warm, the steam will make the wrappers softer and harder to wrap neatly.
  • Open the wrapper packaging only once you’re ready to start assembling. This will keep them fresher and more pliable, and stop them from drying out. You can cover the remaining wrappers with a kitchen towel (moist – not wet) in between wrapping each spring roll.
  • Avoid over-stuffing your rolls as they could break apart while deep frying.
  • Wrap each spring roll tightly so there’s no air pockets or empty space, otherwise they can soak up too much oil when cooking and spoil the taste. Seal them with plenty of water, and they’ll hold their shape perfectly!
  • Slide each roll gently and slowly into the hot oil so there’s no splashing. If you’re using a wok, you can place the roll perpendicular to the edge of the wok and allow it to slide in with gravity.
  • To slice your spring rolls in half without the shells cracking everywhere, make a small slice in the centre of the roll using the tip of your knife, then press down gently with the blade until you slice all the way through.
Thai chef cutting spring rolls.

FAQs

Can I freeze spring rolls?

Yes, just place uncooked spring rolls in a single layer on a tray with plenty of space around each so they don’t stick together. Pop them in the freezer for half an hour or so until they’re just starting to harden, then transfer into a bag or container. Make sure to use them up within 1-2 months for the freshest flavour.

What’s the difference between spring rolls and egg rolls?

The main difference is in the wrapper. Spring roll wrappers are thin and crispy, while egg roll wrappers (made with egg) are chewier and tend to be greasier once cooked. Egg roll wrappers also tend to bubble up when cooked in hot oil, rather than being smooth. We don’t have egg rolls in Australia, but wonder if they are similar (perhaps in essence, if not in execution!) to a fast-food item we can buy here called Chiko Rolls.

What’s the difference between spring roll pastry and spring roll rice paper?

Spring roll pastry (used in this recipe) is a wheat based product while rice paper is (you guessed it) made from rice. The texture is very different – as is the cooking method. If you’re using the rice paper version, it would be better to use the method outlined in our Vietnamese Rice Paper Rolls recipe.

Variations & Substitutes

  • Fish Sauce – Swap for soy sauce or add a pinch of salt to your filling mixture.
  • Protein – Swap for shrimp, pork, or even a mix of chicken and shrimp.
  • Mix Up the Flavour – Add aromatic herbs like coriander, or mushrooms (regular, or for even better texture, finely sliced wood ear mushrooms if you can source them!)
  • Use an Air Fryer Instead of Deep Frying – Cook for 5 mins per side at 200˚C / 390˚F.

Dipping Sauce Ideas

These spring rolls are so tasty on their own that you don’t necessarily need a dipping sauce – but if you just love dipping, here are a few ideas!

Fried spring rolls on a white plate with crushed peanuts.

Looking for more deliciously EASY Asian starters? Try these:

★ Did you make this recipe? Please leave a star rating below!

Close up of fried spring rolls on a plate with sweet chilli dipping sauce.

Crispy Thai Spring Rolls

Thai Spring Rolls are crispy, crunchy crowd pleasers! Make them as a mouthwatering starter or a satisfying snack. Includes step-by-step process shots and easy variation ideas so you can make them your way and cook them like a pro!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Course: Snack
Cuisine: Thai
Servings: 6
Calories: 9289kcal
Author: Wandercooks
Cost: $5-$10

Equipment

Ingredients

Instructions

For The Filling

  • Heat the oil in a large wok over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant.
  • Add the minced chicken and stir fry until cooked.
  • Add the bean sprouts, carrot, baby corn and spring onion and mix thoroughly.
  • Add the sauces and sugar and stir.
  • Finally add the glass noodles and stir until well combined. Remove from the heat and set aside.

To Assemble

  • Lay out one spring roll pastry or wrapper on a clean surface (smooth side down). If using a square wrapper, have one of the corners facing towards you.
  • Place around 2 tbsp of the filling in one corner of the wrapper. Fold the bottom corner of the wrapper up and over the filling, pressing in firmly to remove any air pockets. Keep rolling up to the centre of the wrapper.
  • Rub water over the top edges of the wrapper, then fold in the left and right sides and keep rolling up tightly.
  • Heat the canola oil in the wok over a medium heat, ready to deep fry. Slide each spring roll into the wok slowly to avoid splashing. Deep fry until golden brown.
  • Transfer to a strainer or place on kitchen paper towel to drain the oil.
  • Serve with your chosen dipping sauce.

Recipe Notes

Tips to get this recipe just right:
  • Wrappers – We use Little Chef frozen spring roll pastry aka spring roll wrappers. You can usually find this style of wrapper in the fridge or freezer at Asian groceries or some supermarkets. They are thinner than egg roll or wonton wrappers, giving you a smoother appearance and better crunch once cooked. You can substitute with egg roll wrappers, wonton wrappers or even rice paper wrappers if you can’t find spring roll wrappers. (Note: Rice paper wrappers would need to be dampened with a little warm water so that they become flexible enough to fold – for more info check out our Vietnamese Spring Rolls). The texture will be slightly different if you use a different style of wrapper, but they will still be thoroughly delicious!
  • FillingsGlass noodles (also known as mung bean vermicelli or cellophane noodles) are thin round noodles made from mung bean flour that become transparent when cooked. You can can find them online, at Asian groceries or even well-stocked supermarkets. We also use chicken mince, shredded carrot, baby corn, and bean sprouts.
  • Oil – We recommend canola oil for frying which is cheap and has a neutral flavour, so it won’t detract from the delicious flavour of your wrapper and fillings. It also has a high smoke point, making it perfect for frying spring rolls nice and hot without smoking out the kitchen.
  • Fish Sauce – Swap for soy sauce or add a pinch of salt to your filling mixture.
  • Protein – Swap for shrimp, pork, or even a mix of chicken and shrimp.
  • Mix Up the Flavour – Add aromatic herbs like coriander, or mushrooms (regular, or for even better texture, finely sliced wood ear mushrooms if you can source them!)
  • Use an Air Fryer Instead of Deep Frying – Cook for 5 mins per side at 200˚C / 390˚F.
  • Chop the carrots by hand, julienne-style, or use a mandolin or handheld vegetable slicer with a julienne tip. It’s best to avoid grating the vegetables as this will release too much moisture. Dry filling makes for better looking, crispier spring rolls.
  • You can use kitchen scissors to cut the glass noodles into more manageable lengths so your filling mixture is easier to work with.
  • Make sure the filling has cooled down before wrapping. If it’s still too warm, the steam will make the wrappers softer and harder to wrap neatly.
  • Open the wrapper packaging only once you’re ready to start assembling. This will keep them fresher and more pliable, and stop them from drying out. You can cover the remaining wrappers with a kitchen towel (moist – not wet) in between wrapping each spring roll.
  • Avoid over-stuffing your rolls as they could break apart while deep frying.
  • Wrap each spring roll tightly so there’s no air pockets or empty space, otherwise they can soak up too much oil when cooking and spoil the taste. Seal them with plenty of water, and they’ll hold their shape perfectly!
  • Slide each roll gently and slowly into the hot oil so there’s no splashing. If you’re using a wok, you can place the roll perpendicular to the edge of the wok and allow it to slide in with gravity.
  • To slice your spring rolls in half without the shells cracking everywhere, make a small slice in the centre of the roll using the tip of your knife, then press down gently with the blade until you slice all the way through.

Nutrition

Calories: 9289kcal | Carbohydrates: 175g | Protein: 63g | Fat: 943g | Saturated Fat: 65g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 835g | Trans Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 89mg | Sodium: 5184mg | Fiber: 13g | Sugar: 18g
Hey hey – Did you make this recipe?We’d love it if you could give a star rating below ★★★★★ and show us your creations on Instagram! Snap a pic and tag @wandercooks / #Wandercooks
Crispy Thai Spring Rolls

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