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I tried making spring rolls last night and for whatever reason they turned out soggy and I was generally disappointed.

I cooked them in about 5cm vegetable oil in a wok that was on a pretty high heat using generic spring roll "paper", but they just didn't crisp up.

I have a feeling that maybe it was because my fillings were a little wet side (but not too much) but I'm a little stumped as to what has caused them to be soggy.

Any tips on how I can get them to crisp up next time would be greatly appreciated

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As Brendon mentioned, the oil needs to be very hot. Just test this by dropping a cube of bread into the oil. If it 'sizzles' and starts to colour, the oil is hot enough. Also, cook the spring rolls in small batches, say 2 or 3 at a time. Overloading the pan or wok won't help.

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2  
maybe adding 6 at once was my problem :) I'm guessing it cooled the oil and caused the dramas – lomaxx Jul 16 '10 at 6:18

If you don't have a fry thermometer -- the important part of frying is the bubbles coming off the food in the oil. If you don't have bubbles, the oil's too cold. The trick I use for measuring the temperature (as I don't have a fry thermometer) is to dip the end of a wooden spoon into the oil -- the wood holds enough moisture that if the oil's hot enough, it should bubble.

As you're adding food, if the bubbles lessen, you're cooling the oil off too much, and need to adjust the heat to compensate.

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Was the oil hot when you added them? To get something crispy and not soggy, the oil needs to start out hot.

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And stay hot, which can be a problem if you add too much food at once. – JasonTrue Jan 25 '13 at 0:43
  1. The Filling

Consideration has to be taken into account on moisture content, size/thickness of the pieces and whether they need prior cooking and/or draining. All the ingredients should cook at the same time, or not require cooking.

  1. The Wrapper (and wrapping)

Presuming the wrapper is the defrosted conventional Chinese wrapper (flour, water, oil) specifically made for Spring Rolls. Make sure you roll it tight and firm (a loose roll will allow oil to flood in, and seal the final end with ideally a flour paste, but egg wash would work.

  1. Batter (or no batter)?

Depending on your desired look of your Spring Roll, and when you will serve them (ie immediately after frying, or later as in party or reheat before serving) will help you decide about Batter. Non battered spring rolls don't reheat well, especially in the fryer.

  1. Frying

The type of oil, quantity and the temperature of the oil is important. You need a high smoking/burning point and enough volume of oil to keep the temperature from dropping as you add your spring roll/s. The temperature will depend on the size (length and thickness) and whether the filling needs to be cooked. Your spring roll/s should sizzle as they enter the oil and bubble away. Don't overload your fryer, your spring rolls will start soaking up the oil and possibly start to unravel. You might also want to check your fryer, a deeper pan would be better then a shallow pan - spring rolls are usually heavy at the start and sink down. When they float or when they stop bubbling much is a sign they are done.

  1. Draining

Depending if you had wet ingredients you might need to make a small prick in two ends and stack them on their ends to drain any excess oil or liquid. Also your spring rolls should be spaced out from each other as they drain, this reduces them absorbing moisture from each other.

Hopefully yours turns out better!

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