How long do spring rolls last?

Spring rolls are a multi-billion dollar industry, and who doesn’t love a spring roll as an appetizer or as part of the main dish? If you buy spring rolls from the takeaway or the grocery store or even make them yourself, there is always one burning question: How long will these tasty wraps last before they expire?

Did you know that spring rolls can be transparent with raw vegetables or they can be deep fried with vegetables and shrimp? Spring rolls are eaten after the Chinese new year representing a change in the seasons.

In this article, we will unveil the truth about the longevity of spring rolls, and you can make your last as long as the professionals. We answer many frequently asked questions to give you the low down on the spring roll.

Let’s get into it.

Do spring rolls expire?

Before getting into the expiry of spring rolls, it will be worth defining what a spring roll actually is. There seems to be some confusion.

An authentic spring roll will be a thin rice paper wrap filled with spring vegetables like bean sprouts, carrots, cabbage, mushrooms, and even fresh ginger sticks.

However, if you live in a city with a Chinese community with lots of Chinese restaurants and even a Chinatown, if you order spring rolls you are likely to be served with crispy cooked spring rolls that may include protein like shrimp.

Depending on where you were born, the spring roll can also be called Lumpia.

It’s important not to get hung up on what is considered authentic because they are all authentic, and if you read otherwise, you are misinformed.

Spring rolls do expire. When you make spring rolls, they are always made with fresh ingredients regardless of the wrapper style. You can put different proteins in a spring roll if you make them yourself. If you are making your spring rolls, it is worth cooking the protein before placing it in the spring roll. This will extend the life of the spring roll.

THe rice wrapper spring roll is more delicate and will spoil sooner than a fried spring roll. The wrapper will dry out and even become moldy. It is best to consume this type of spring roll immediately. The shelf life is only hours.

Of course, it makes sense that fried spring rolls will last much longer, and if stored in an airtight container at the back of the fridge, they will last for approximately 5 days and can be flashed fried to reheat the spring roll.

Do spring rolls need to be refrigerated?

Spring rolls with rice paper wrappers should be eaten when made, and they don’t store well. Namely, the wrapper dries, and the filling can become dry. Also, don’t forget you can see straight through this type of spring roll; any discoloration will be evident, making the spring roll less than appetizing.

Fried spring rolls or lumpia are easier to store in the fridge, but placing them in a container is essential to the shelf life of the spring rolls. The filling is cooked, so you can expect these types of spring rolls to last 5 days in an airtight container, but it does depend on the filling.

If the protein in the spring roll is shrimp, then the shelf life will be shorter, at around 3 days.

Do spring rolls have to be covered?

Moisture is the problem with cooked spring rolls. As soon as the fried wrapper becomes moist, it will lose its crunch and become limp. The filling is OK to eat, but the wrapping will not be very appetizing, to say the least.

You coils say covering your cooked spring rolls in the fridge is critical to the shelf life. Anything that has drips of condensation and has collected a lot of moisture in the fridge will become suspect as to the quality of the spring roll.

If you don’t have an airtight container like a Ziploc bag, then cover the spring rolls with something like Glad wrap.

Can you put warm spring rolls in the fridge?

Placing warm food in the fridge can cause bigger problems than you may have expected. Even if the warm spring rolls are in airtight containers, the problems can become enormous.

The interior of your fridge should be 38 to 40℉. If the temperature rises above 40℉, the bacteria on the food will multiply rapidly. The bacteria growth accelerates to such an extent the food in the fridge (the contents of the fridge) after two hours that the food is rendered inedible and is to be considered garbage.

Placing warm food in the fridge will elevate the fridge’s temperature and place the fridge’s contents in the food danger zone. 

According to the USDA, perishable food in the danger zone should be tossed in the garbage after two hours. 

Your fridge may not be as efficient as you think. Let the spring rolls cool slowly, then place them in the fridge.

How long can spring rolls sit out?

Two hours. At room temperature, your spring rolls are sitting in the danger zone, and if they are covered with cling wrap, it will make no difference.

The USDA scientists recommend that food be thrown away after two hours of sitting out. If you think that fash frying will kill the bacteria, you will be correct, but flash frying or placing it in an oven to crisp up won’t kill the toxins the bacteria left behind.

How long do spring rolls last in the fridge?

It depends on the type of spring roll, the rice paper type of spring roll with veggie filling has a short shelf life, and they become dry and unappealing. They should be ok for a few hours, but anything past that is clutching at straws.

It would be easier to chop the veggies and make them fresh when needed, they are simple to roll, and the wet rice player seal easily gives a nice-looking veggie spring roll.

On the other hand, cooked spring rolls do and can last longer stored in the fridge correctly, but again this largely depends on the filling ingredients and how long they will last.

If the spring rolls are freshly made to be fried later, they will last a day or two if the meat or protein is cooked before the spring roll is constructed.

Cooked spring rolls can last up to 5 days in the fridge, depending on the filling and if they are stored in an airtight container.

Do frozen spring rolls go bad?

If you have leftover rice paper veggie spring rolls, it would be futile to try and freeze them, and they would last for a couple of hours and be destroyed at freezing temperatures.

It’s much easier and faster to make them fresh.

Spring rolls waiting to be fried can be frozen, and they will retain their freshness and appearance for up to six months in the freezer. However, they need to be stored correctly.

Place your spring rolls in a Ziploc bag, don’t pile the spring rolls so they will freeze in one solid lump of food. Lay them flat in the Ziploc bag. Use portion control if you have lots. This will make your life so much easier when it comes to cooking spring rolls.

Once the spring rolls are bagged and sealed, place them in an airtight container, something like Tupperware would work. The freeze.

Should you defrost spring rolls before cooking?

There is no need to thaw the spring rolls before cooking. In fact, you will get a better result if you go straight from the freezer to the fryer.

If any frost is built up on the spring rolls or some has fallen from the freezer compartment, ensure you pat the moisture to avoid the hot oil spitting.

Keep in mind you will need to fry the spring rolls for longer to cook through, and don’t load the fryer. The oil temperature will drop significantly, making your spring rolls oil and not so nice to eat.

How do you know if a spring roll is bad?

Before cooking, the outer wrapper may have mold before cooking or be slimy to the touch, so throw the spring rolls away. They are contaminated with bacteria.

For uncooked and cooked spring rolls, if they are bad, they will give off an unpleasant odor. If your spring rolls have any other odor other than that of a spring roll, don’t eat them and discard them immediately.

Final thoughts

Spring rolls are versatile and yummy. They come in many guises, so don’t get hung up on the experts who think there is only one type of authentic spring roll. They are all authentic depending on what region you originated from.

Rice paper spring rolls have a shelf life of hours, so make them fresh or pre-chop the veggies and wrap them when serving.

Fried spring rolls or lumpia can last up to 5 days in the fridge, depending on the filling. Cook the filling prior to storing. It will give a longer shelf life and will not detract from the final cooked spring roll’s flavor profile.

Spring rolls freeze well. You can expect them reasonably to last up to six months if you have taken the precautions to prevent freezer burn.

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