Jet Tila's Secrets to the Best-Ever Spring Rolls — Alton's After-Show
Cutthroat After-Show: Rolls 04:44
While Cutthroat Kitchen chefs indeed struggle as they attempt to execute their dishes, the plates that host Alton Brown asks them to make aren't inherently tricky; it's the sabotages, of course, that that cause the chefs the most trouble. Most weeks the competitors are tasked with making everyday items like granola, blondies or spring rolls, which was the Round 1 dish in tonight's all-new episode. Preparing such a dish within the allotted 30 minutes should be doable — after all, all they need to do is cook up a protein, chop a few ingredients for the filling and roll everything in a wrapper. Easy, right? The judge of the day, Jet Tila, made the process look downright simple as he showed off his foolproof technique for rolling competitor-worthy spring rolls during tonight's After-Show. Read on below to learn his top tips, then click the play button on the video above to watch him and Alton in action.
1. Use restraint when wetting the wonton wrappers. "The secret is very simple," Jet says. "Don't oversoak these."
2. Look out for texture. The wontons are ready to go when they feel "sticky and tacky," Jet explains.
3. Placement matters. When you start filling your wrappers, place the ingredients strategically, Jet notes. "It's the middle down," he says of placement.
4. Remember the tuck and cover. "If you roll this, you have to actually compact the material," explains Jet of the importance of tightly rolling the ingredients to avoid floppy spring rolls. "You don't want it too lean or you get that flat-tire situation."
5. Beware of the edges. Resist the urge to spread your ingredients throughout the wrapper. "You want to make sure you have a little bit of room" at the very edge, Jet notes.
6. Consider the look. Jet calls his technique for showing off the shrimp "the sexy way," and indeed the shrimp turn out looking like beauties. He starts by halving the shrimp along the equator, then after doing a few tight rolls with the other fillings in his wonton, he stresses, "Don't finish the roll." Now you can place the shrimp "presentation-side out," he explains, then tuck in the edges and complete the roll.
7. Give the knife a bath. Before slicing the spring roll in half, it's best to dunk the knife in water "so it doesn't stick," Alton notes, and Jet agrees.