Since You Asked: Wrap your tidy package of Thai rolls

I love cold salad rolls served at Thai restaurants. They seem fairly straightforward, but where would I purchase the wrappers? Can you advise me on rolling and sealing them.

— Vickie K., Ashland

Also seen in Vietnamese cuisine, this dish can go by the name "spring" or "summer" roll. The rice-flour wrappers to make them are available at Asian markets and local grocery stores, which stock them on their ethnic aisles. Brittle and opaque, they keep at room temperature, meaning cooks can make rolls anytime with whatever they have on hand.

Start by cooking or otherwise prepping all the filling ingredients. Common fillings are strips of grilled meat or tofu, poached shrimp, cold cooked rice noodles and sprigs of fresh herbs. Vegetables can be anything from lettuce, carrots, cucumbers, green onions and bell peppers to bean sprouts, jicama, avocados and spicier chilies. Julienning your vegetables in thin matchstick-shaped slices makes the rolls easier to assemble and lends a nicer texture.

Dip each dry wrapper in hot water until just softened. It will take only a few seconds for the wrapper to turn translucent and a bit slippery. Dip them one at a time as you plan to fill them; softening the wrappers all at once makes a damp, gooey mess.

Lay the softened wrapper on a plate and arrange fillings on top in one direction in a line about 2 inches wide. Fold in the wrapper's sides perpendicular to the toppings, then start rolling up the bottom, parallel edge to enclose the sides and fillings. The softened wrapper becomes sticky as it dries, essentially sealing itself.

While the rolls can be prepared a couple hours in advance, they're best eaten immediately.

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