summer rolls--How do you efficiently put together a large quanity?

Yesterday i made summer rolls for my book club (and Boulangre's idea for caprese bites) and I forgot how they can be a little time intensive with soaking the rice paper wrappers. I guess i've never made more than 4 at a time....we use wonton wrappers all of the time and they're easy to set up an assembly line. How do you keep the water warm enough? every couple of wrappers i had to start with fresh warm water. Any ideas for making this a little easier because these are a summer favorite and I'm going to make them in 2 weeks for another large group.

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8 Comments

Burnt O. May 12, 2011
I completely second Summer of Eggplant's suggestion. I set up an assembly line of all my mies en place for the fillings and use a large plate of water for the wrappers. I just pass them through the water and they're fine. Takes up my entire kitchen island to produce them, but I've made dozens at a time without a problem.
 
lorigoldsby May 12, 2011
Not trying to keep the FINISHED rolls warm....you are correct we always serve them chilled ;). But my pkg directions have always called for warm water to soften, and I've never made more than 4 at a time....so yesterday was a new experience for me. Like HLA's idea to use a heating pad but think chafing would be too hot. Will definitely try cold water next time.
 
Sam1148 May 12, 2011
I'm still not getting why warm, or hot water is needed or keeping them warm is an issue?

I've always softened the warp with cool water. Heck, sometimes I use a spray bottle with a bit of vinegar in the water. (doubles as a cleaning spray (g)) to make just one or two.
 
Summer O. May 12, 2011
I usually replace the water while rolling them as you mentioned but I wrap the completed rolls in wet paper towels and store in the fridge. They keep quite well that way for several hours.
 
Sam1148 May 12, 2011
I always use cold water too. Christening one sheet in a plate of water while I assemble the previous roll. The Finished rolls should store just fine with a wet dish towel over them on a chilled chafing dish..filled with ice water in the lower section.
Serve some lime sections with those too!

I've honestly never used warm water or stored 'summer rolls' heated. I think they should be chilled so the veggies and herbs are crispy and not wilted.
 

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boulangere May 12, 2011
I use cold water to soak them for about 15 seconds. They deteriorate much less rapidly.
 
hardlikearmour May 12, 2011
How about putting the dish of water on a heating pad.
 
sdebrango May 12, 2011
Would a chafing dish be too hot? They only have that little sterno type flame maybe that would keep the water warm. Thats a tough one.
 
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