Back at home, Alex and I go out for Thai food pretty regularly. We don’t order spring rolls as often, but when we do, they’ve always come in a thin, transparent rice wrapper. Yesterday I learned that the rice wrapper is a Vietnamese-style spring roll and Thais traditionally use a wheat-based wrapper. Who knew?
Our first order of business in cooking school was to stop by the local store that makes spring roll wrappers for all the neighboring restaurants. Actually, “store” is a bit of an overstatement. It’s a one-woman show that includes a big vat of a flour-water-salt dough mixture and a heavy cast-iron griddle over propane. She steadily cranks out spring roll wrappers from sun up until sun down to meet the local demand. I really like this short video Alex took of the action (I couldn’t sit in that position all day…and I would definitely burn myself!):
Our incredible instructor, May, wrapped spun sugar in the still-warm , crepe-like wrappers and passed them around for us to munch on.
Alex and I debated whether or not the wheat ones are better than the rice wrappers. He prefers them. I like them better for sweet dishes (like, with bananas), but I think I prefer the rice wrappers for spring rolls. One thing that’s nice about the wheat wrappers, though, is that when they’re fresh they’re very easy to work with.
Regardless, it was fun to learn about a new type of spring roll and see them being made! The outside of the shop is so understated that I would have never wandered in on my own. It was fantastic that May brought us by. Loved cooking school so much — more tomorrow!