One of my favorite things to order from a Vietnamese takeout is rice paper spring rolls. When done well, they have a fresh taste that makes them much lighter than spring rolls made using filo pastry. Plus, when paired with soy sauce, the soft coating is great for soaking up all the salty goodness.
However, despite my best efforts I've not managed to achieve such results at home. Until now. While carrying out tests of the best air fryers, I found this air fryer spring rolls recipe. It's quick and easy to make, while also being versatile and it's a great air fryer side dish, or you can serve them as a starter, or even at parties.
Below I show you how to create rice paper air fryer spring rolls to rival your takeout.
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Air fryer spring rolls recipe
The air fryer spring rolls recipe I have followed is from Wayne Chang via his @munchin_mash TikTok channel. It's already been watched 1.1 million times and counting.
Air fryer spring rolls ingredients
The ingredients listed below are a guide. You can add whatever vegetables, meat (or meat alternative), and sauce you like.
- 2 chicken breasts (makes ~6 spring rolls)
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- 1 yellow pepper
- 1 carrot
- 2 scallions
- Fish sauce – oyster sauce, or soy sauce also work
- Pinch of black pepper
Air fryer spring rolls method
To make air fryer spring rolls you will need the following:
- Air fryer – I used the Tower Vortx 9 Litre Duo Capacity Basket Air Fryer with Smart Finish 5.2L and 3.3L
- Frying pan
- Chopping board
- Bowl of water
In Wayne's original video, he fries the chicken and the vegetables first before adding them to the rice paper. You can also cook them in the air fryer though, especially if you want to minimize how much washing up you need to do.
Step 1: Remove the visible fat from the chicken breasts and slice them into thin strips.
Step 2: Sprinkle the baking powder over the raw chicken and combine, making sure each slice is as evenly coated as possible. The baking powder acts as a tenderizer for the chicken but you can skip this step if you don't have baking powder.
Step 3: Thinly slice the pepper, and scallions, and grate the carrot.
Step 4: Heat a tablespoon of oil in a frying pan on medium-high heat.
Step 5: Add the chicken and fry for 2 minutes before adding the sliced pepper, and grated carrot.
Step 6: Cook for another 2-3 minutes before adding the scallions, oyster sauce, and black pepper. The sauce will add salt to the spring rolls so you don't need to add more unless you want to.
Step 7: Cook the chicken, sauce, and veg mix for another 5 minutes or until the chicken starts to brown and the pepper starts to soften.
Step 8: Fill a shallow bowl with water and soak a sheet of rice paper for 30 seconds.
Step 9: Lay the rice paper on a clean chopping board or countertop and add a spoonful of the chicken and veg mixture in the center.
Step 10: Create the spring rolls by bringing in both sides to cover the chicken before folding the top and bottom into the center to create a small parcel.
Step 11: Spray the bottom of your air fryer basket with cooking spray or oil and add the spring rolls.
Step 12: Cook the spring rolls in the air fryer at 400°F/200°C for 12 minutes.
Step 13: After 5-6 minutes, turn the spring rolls.
Step 14: Once cooked, remove the spring rolls from the air fryer and serve.
Step 15: As an optional step, you can create a dipping sauce by adding crushed garlic and grated ginger to soy sauce.
Air fryer spring rolls verdict
Making these air fryer spring rolls involves more steps than many air fryer side recipes I've tried but it's worth the extra effort.
I get the best results by frying the chicken in a pan first, but I've also made them by putting all the chicken and veg in the air fryer for 5-10 minutes before adding them to the rice paper.
This doesn't give the chicken the same golden color as you get from the frying pan, but it does leave the chicken soft and succulent.
The first time I made these spring rolls, I didn't turn them halfway through. This meant one side was crispy while the other was soft. These spring rolls taste best when they're completely soft so I recommend not skipping this step.
If you're still sitting on the fence and wondering whether to buy an air fryer, you may want to read our article to decide whether air fryers are worth it?
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Victoria Woollaston is a freelance science and technology journalist with more than a decade’s experience writing for Wired UK, Alphr, Expert Reviews, TechRadar, Shortlist and the Sunday Times. She has a keen interest in next-generation technology and its potential to revolutionise how we live and work.