These Thai Spring Rolls are just like the delicious crispy appetizer you order at your favorite Thai restaurant. A crispy spring roll wrapper encases a filling of minced chicken, rice noodles, carrot, and green onion that’s seasoned with oyster sauce and fish sauce.
I learned how to make these Thai Spring Rolls (Po Pia Tod) at a cooking class in Chiang Mai at the Galangal Cooking Studio. We had the chance to shop for the ingredients at a local market before the instruction began. Then we learned how to make spring rolls, pad thai, and coconut curry. It was one of the best days, and I’ve made these spring rolls dozens of times since then.
Spring rolls are a very popular street food in Thailand. They are deep fried in a wok right there in front of you and served piping hot with sweet chili sauce. The crackle of the wrapper as you crunch into it and the first taste of savory filling is etched in my memory forever.
I was a little hesitant to make them at home myself, because it sounded like a lot of work. But once I learned to make them in Chiang Mai, I was pleasantly surprised by how easy they are to make.
How to Make Thai Spring Rolls
Add a teaspoon of cooking oil to a frying pan over medium heat. Add the minced chicken and cook until nearly done, about 5 minutes. Add the minced garlic to the pan just so it gives some flavor and fragrance, no longer than about 30 seconds. You don’t want it to burn!
Add the green onions, carrot, sugar, fish sauce, and oyster sauce to the pan. Stir and cook for one minute.
Add the rice noodles and cook for another 2 minutes, stirring it all together. Remove the pan from the heat.
Now comes the fun part – rolling the spring rolls!
Arrange a wrapper with one point facing you. Spoon about 2 tablespoons of the filling onto the center of the wrapper. Fold the left corner over the filling. Fold the right corner over that. Fold the corner facing you over the top of the filling. Brush some water onto the remaining edges. Finish rolling tightly.
Add the remaining cooking oil – up to 2 cups, depending on how large the pan is – to a heavy-bottomed pan and heat the oil to 375 degrees. Deep fry the spring rolls until golden brown. You can also use a deep fryer, if you have one. Or if you want to avoid the oil, you can brush them with oil and air fry them instead.
After cooking the rolls, set them out in the open air without covering them up, and they’ll stay crispy.
Serve them with a sweet red chili sauce, like this one.
The Difference Between Thai Fried Spring Rolls & Fresh Spring Rolls
There is a big difference between these Thai Fried Spring Rolls and fresh spring rolls. While both originated in Vietnam and became popular in Thai cuisine, they are quite different.
Both use different wrappers and have different fillings. The version we’re cooking today is stuffed with cooked filling and deep fried, while fresh spring rolls are not cooked at all (unless there’s shrimp inside, which is pre-cooked).
What Wrappers to Use
The type of wrapper used is very important for a genuine Thai experience, however it won’t ruin anything if you can’t find proper thai spring rolls wrappers.
These are the wrappers I use. They are square shaped and not opague. When fried, they have a smooth surface. They are not the same as rice paper wrappers, which are used for fresh spring rolls. These are often round and a bit glassy looking.
These wrappers are also different from a Chinese wonton wrapper or egg roll wrapper. An egg roll wrapper bubbles up a bit when it’s fried and it’s much thicker.
That being said, if you can’t find the right kind of wrapper, it’s fine to use a wonton wrapper or egg roll wrapper. I don’t suggest using a Vietnamese rice paper, however.
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Thai Spring Rolls
- 1-2 cups cooking oil
- 1 oz rice vermicelli noodles cooked according to the package
- 3 oz ground chicken
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 2 green onions finely chopped
- 1 carrot finely chopped
- 1 1/2 tsp sugar
- 1 tbsp fish sauce
- 1 tbsp oyster sauce
- 1 tbsp water
- 8 spring roll wrappers
- Add a teaspoon of cooking oil to a frying pan over medium heat. Add the chicken and cook until nearly done, about 5 minutes. Add the minced garlic to the pan.
- Add the green onions, carrot, sugar, fish sauce, and oyster sauce to the pan. Stir and cook for one minute.
- Add the rice noodles and cook for another 2 minutes. Remove from heat.
- Arrange a wrapper with one point facing you. Spoon about 2 tablespoons of the filling onto the center of the wrapper. Fold the left corner over the filling. Fold the right corner over that. Fold the corner facing you over the top of the filling. Brush some water onto the remaining edges. Finish rolling tightly.
- Add the remaining cooking oil to a heavy-bottomed pan and heat the oil to 375 degrees. Deep fry the spring rolls until golden brown.
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Laura is a home cook who loves making new recipes and finding new favorite things to eat, whether at home or abroad. She also runs a popular travel blog and spends a lot of her time traveling for food.