Store-bought dough products have proven more and more useful over the past few years. Whipping up a fancy looking appetizer or an elaborate dessert can be as simple as wrapping a few ingredients together. However, choosing the right wrapper can be tricky. Let me walk you through the differences between spring roll, egg roll, and wonton wrappers and illustrate the best ways to use each one. It's a lot of information to wrap your head around, so let's get started!
Spring Roll Wrappers
Spring roll wrappers are paper-thin sheets of dough, made with just flour, water, and salt. That's it! Since they're so thin, they need to be handled very delicately so as not to tear when rolling. For best results, place the filling ingredients in the center. First, fold over one side to cover the filling. Then, fold over the adjacent sides so the filling does not leak out. Finish by tightly rolling up and pressing gently to ensure it remains closed. Use your favorite fillings and lightly fry for a wonderfully crisp spring roll. Although spring rolls are typically filled with fresh vegetables, feel free to experiment with fresh sliced fruit and berries. Or get even more outside the box with recipes like these Cheesy Spring Rolls with Marinara Sauce.
Spring roll wrappers crisp up beautifully when baked as well. Season as you wish or sprinkle with sugar before baking for just a few minutes at 350° Fahrenheit. Serve over a salad or alongside dessert for a beautiful, crispy, and tasty addition.
Spring rolls and summer rolls are often confused for one another. Summer rolls are the more see-through wraps many people imagine when they picture spring rolls, but those are actually made from rice paper wrappers and are served fresh, usually with a dipping sauce.
Egg Roll Wrappers
Egg roll wrappers are also very thin, but not nearly as delicate as spring roll wrappers. As the name suggests, they're made with eggs in addition to the flour, water, and salt. This gives the dough more substance and allows for a thick, crunchy shell when deep fried. They're quite large to accommodate a generous heap of filling and are rolled in the same fashion as described above. They are easiest to fill and roll when placed before you as a diamond, not a square. Because this dough does not get submerged in water, you may want to brush the edges with a bit of water to ensure they're properly sealed and none of the filling escapes when frying.
Classic egg rolls are filled with a variety of fillings from sautéed cabbage and veggies to shredded BBQ brisket. These Loaded Mashed Potato Eggrolls are a great way to use eggroll wrappers to enhance your meal. You can even experiment with the shape of your finished product like in the case of these Spicy Avocado Eggrolls, which just needed to be folded in half over the filling to get their fun, triangular shape.
Since these wrappers are flavorless on their own, they work wonderfully when filled with sweet fillings like gooey brownies or apples tossed in cinnamon and sugar. Just don't forget the ice cream! For extra crispiness, coat lightly in cornstarch before frying and make sure your oil is preheated to 350° Fahrenheit. Prepare a rack on which to place the fried egg rolls in order to maintain the crispy deliciousness all around. For the calorie conscious cook, bake instead of fry. Brush or spray the prepared egg rolls with oil and bake on 375° Fahrenheit until golden brown and crisp.
Wonton wrappers are made from the same dough as egg roll wrappers, but they're smaller in size and therefore used differently. They're most commonly used to make dumplings or wontons but can certainly be used for dessert as well. Since they're so small, rolling in the same fashion as egg roll wrappers can be difficult and untidy. This is why they're usually simply folded over into a triangle or gathered in the shape of a beggar's purse. After filling and sealing, they can be boiled in broth, steamed, and seared or deep fried. They're little bites of heaven no matter how you choose to prepare them. This Chicken Pot Sticker recipe actually only requires the wrappers to be lightly browned in a skillet while others like these Kani Wontons are better deep fried.
But did you know you can make appetizer “cups” from them too? Simply spray a muffin tin with cooking spray and press a wonton wrapper gently into the cavity of the cups. Fill with whatever toppings you desire and bake for adorable, bite-sized appetizers. Or bake them empty and fill with egg salad or guacamole just before serving. No muffin tin? Just bake or fry them as they are to make crunchy chips to go with your dips! For dessert, place a square of good quality chocolate in the center and fold over each of the corners like an envelope. Seal very well and deep fry. Dust with confectioner's sugar and enjoy immediately. Be careful, as the filling is hot, but hurry. These seem to disappear more quickly than I can ever make them.
All three types of wrappers make crispy, delicious food that is both easy and impressive. Play around with your favorite recipes that call for wrappers and see which works the best for you. Some recipes work great with more than one type of wrapper. Match the right texture and size to your own individual needs, and let us know how it turns out! That's a wrap!