I've heard a couple of suggestions for cooling the rice prior to making rolls and both seem to contradict each other. What works for you guys (and gals)?
What I do is just remove the liner from the steamer, add rice vinegar solution and fold the rice while fanning it for a few minutes, then just leave it alone for 30 minutes with a towel over the container to prevent drying. Seems to work for me, but I don't like waiting that long to start making the rolls.
If you're impatient, you can plop it in front of a fan ad continue folding until it is cool enough to handle. It shouldn't take more than 5-10 minutes, depending on the size of your batch.
Make sure to lift the rice when folding to expose plenty of the rice to the moving air.
It looks like your process is the accepted one around the web.
If you put a cool, damp (not wet), clean kitchen towel on your counter and fold the rice on top of it in front of a fan may help to cool it more quickly. Otherwise, cooling it to room temperature just seems to take a bit of time.
The instructions I use are out of my Sushi book...
The big difference from the other answers and what I do seems to be the container used.
I like to use a large non-metallic board (preferably unfinished wood), I spread the rice across the board so the rice is less than 2cm high.
I then add my seasoned vinegar and fold the rice over until it is well mixed.
I make sure the spread it out again and will then either let it cool alone or fan it, depending what I'm using it for.
I've been making spring rolls (the deep-fried variety) for some time now, and they are really good, but I've noticed some Asian restaurants use something else for wrapping them than the generic, translucent 'rice paper' I get at the store. Theirs are often smoother, yellowish and opaque, like in this photo from Wikipedia. A new book on Thai cuisine I got just recently also has them looking like...? EDIT: Also, does the preparation of the rolls differ any when using an alternative wrapper, or can I just deep-fry them just the same?
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