Shrimp rolls are a food that is generally eaten with the hands. They are often served as appetizers or finger foods at social events. A shrimp roll can be filled with shrimp and sauteed vegetables and then deep fried, or it can be filled with raw vegetables and then served cold. In either case, it is common to serve the rolls with dipping sauce.
The manner in which shrimp rolls are prepared can vary. This is a food that people tend to prepare according to their preferences. A shrimp roll will almost always include cabbage and carrots. Other items that may or may not be included are bean sprouts, mushrooms, and noodles. The spices that are used for the filling can also widely vary and may include salt, red pepper flakes, and ground ginger.
Many recipes for spring rolls call for the use of some type of herbs. Some people place raw herbs such as basil, cilantro, or mint inside of each shrimp roll. The choices that a person makes in this regard can alter the flavor, but also tend to add freshness. Other recipes call for the use of herbs such as bay leaves or garlic to be used when preparing the shrimp to provide them with additional flavor.
Preparation of shrimp rolls should begin with the filling. Many recipes call for the vegetables that will be included to be sauteed. Later, the noodles may be added to the pan, if desired. The shrimp may be also be sauteed or may be cooked separately and added to the egg roll wrappers after the other ingredients. Once all of the ingredients are inside, the wrappers are rolled around the filling and deep fried.
More health-conscious individuals may decide to prepare shrimp rolls without deep frying them. To do this, rice paper wrappers are commonly used because they do not need to be cooked. They are merely submerged in water for about one minute, and once they are pliable, they can be filled, rolled, and served. It is also likely that these individuals will not saute the ingredients in the filling, such as the carrots and cabbage, but will eat them raw instead.
Shrimp rolls are generally served with a dipping sauce. When purchased from Chinese restaurants, duck sauce or sweet and sour sauce is often provided. When prepared at home, it is common for individuals to make a soy- or hoisin-based dipping sauce, which will likely include lime juice, fish sauce, and sugar.