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Spring rolls are a delicious snack that makes for a great appetizer at almost any gathering. They can be filled with veggies or meat, and are wrapped in a fried, flaky shell. If you’re wondering how many of these to provide at your event, you’ve come to the right place!
You should plan to provide 3 spring rolls per person for your event. Women typically eat 2-3 rolls while men typically eat 3-5. The serving size is usually 2 rolls per person, but people will often eat more than that, and restaurants normally provide at least 4 rolls when ordered as an appetizer.
There are a couple of things to consider when deciding how many spring rolls to provide at your event, including the size of the rolls, the gender of the guests in attendance, and other food options being provided during the meal. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
The serving size for spring rolls is typically two rolls, although most restaurants will serve you double that number when you order a plate of spring rolls as an appetizer. So, despite what the suggested serving size may be for spring rolls, it would be safest to plan on providing at least 2 rolls per guest, and closer to 3 or 4 per person, depending on their age and gender.
What Caterers and Restaurants Say
When surveying local restaurants, I learned that most will provide a plate of 4-5 spring rolls as the staple amount of rolls given when you order them as an appetizer. These rolls can be shared with others at the table and split between a group, but it is not uncommon for one person to eat all, or the majority of, the spring rolls alone. When I called the restaurant Thai Evergreen, they suggested placing 6-7 orders of spring rolls for a group of 10. One “order” is 5 spring rolls, so 6-7 orders of 5 would come to about 30-35 rolls for a group of 10 people or about 3-3.5 rolls per person.
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How many Spring Rolls Per Person?
Adults will typically eat 2-5 spring rolls, and children will typically eat 1-2 rolls. Below is a table that will help you decide how many spring rolls to provide at your event, with an average of 2 per child and 4 per adult.
|Number of People||Number of Spring Rolls Needed (for children)||Number of Spring Rolls Needed (for adults)|
This next table focuses on how many spring rolls to provide for adults based on gender, with an average of 3 for women and 4 for men.
|Number of People||Number of Spring Rolls Needed (for women)||Number of Spring Rolls Needed (for men)|
Remember, these numbers are based on averages and do not take into account side dishes. If you plan to provide lots of other food options at your event, the average number of spring rolls per person can be adjusted. Here is a table you can use if you plan to serve other side dishes or food options at your event, with an average of 2 rolls per woman and 3 rolls per man:
|Number of People||Number of Spring Rolls Needed (for women, with other sides provided)||Number of Spring Rolls Needed (for men, with other sides provided)|
It is also important to take into account the size of the spring rolls. These numbers from these tables are based on spring rolls that are about 4-5 inches in length. But some restaurants do make spring rolls that are a few inches bigger, so the amount needed could potentially be cut in half where this is the case. Just be sure that you communicate with the caterer about these types of things before calculating the number of rolls for the number of people and deciding how many rolls to order.
How to Limit the Amount of Spring Rolls Needed
It is always good to plan to have extra food as opposed to hoping people eat the least amount possible and order too little. With this approach, you risk running out of food for your guests. So it is best to always order a little extra or plan for more by slightly overestimating how many rolls each person will eat.
But taking numbers into account and planning enough food for your guests doesn’t mean you have to break the bank and risk being stuck with a crazy amount of spring rolls after your event. If you want to order the least number of rolls possible, here are a few strategies you can use to limit the number of spring rolls that each guest takes at your event. Below are a few ideas to make a smaller number of spring rolls go a long way at your dinner:
Use Smaller Plates
This is a simple way to limit the number of rolls that each guest takes at your event. Providing your guests with smaller plates will encourage them to take fewer spring rolls, especially in cases where other food options are being served. Guests will want to take fewer spring rolls so that there is room for other food on their plates. Of course, they can always come back for seconds, but this will help control portion size and limit the number of rolls that go to waste, as each guest will only take 1-2 rolls initially and only go back for more if they’re still hungry afterward. This is a great alternative to providing your guests with medium-sized or large plates, in which case they might be tempted to fill their plate with a pile of spring rolls that they likely would not even end up finishing.
Serve the Spring Rolls Yourself
This will require more hands-on effort, but is another option that could help you limit the amount of food per guest. Serving the spring rolls to guests yourself will allow you as the host to monitor how many spring rolls each guest receives. Another way of achieving this goal would be to pre-serve the spring rolls by placing a certain amount on each plate for guests before the dinner or event starts. This way, each guest will start off with the same set amount of spring rolls. Those who are still hungry after eating their initial amount of rolls can always go get more, but this method would hopefully help to greatly reduce the possibility of any spring rolls going to waste.
Provide Other Sides
Providing your guests with other sides and food options will also help to limit the number of spring rolls each guest eats, as they will be getting filled up by a combination of other foods and not just a huge amount of spring rolls alone. Here are a few suggested sides that pair well to serve next to your spring rolls:
Rice: Rice is a great side to serve next to spring rolls because it’s filling, relatively cheap, easy to make, and you can serve it in bulk amounts. If you plan to have a buffet-style setting, consider having rice as one of the first food options at the start of the table so that guests can fill their plate with a heaping portion of rice.
Edamame: Edamame is a simple and savory snack made of soybeans in pods. They are normally salted and served as an appetizer. This is another great option to serve alongside your spring rolls that will take up room on your guest’s plates.
Salad: Salad is another food that you can make and serve in bulk amounts, so consider providing your guests with 1-2 salad options at your event. There are many tangy and delicious Asian salad recipes to choose from that would pair nicely alongside a serving of spring rolls, and many Thai or Vietnamese caterers will have salad options for you to choose from.
Fresh Spring Rolls: You will already be providing delicious fried spring rolls at your event, but you might consider providing your guests with the option of fresh spring rolls as well. These rolls are stuffed with fresh vegetables and wrapped up in sticky rice paper. This type of spring roll is usually a bit bigger than the fried type, so you could easily get away with providing 1-2 fresh spring rolls per guest. This could also be an alternative to the fried spring rolls for any vegetarian guests in the case that the fried spring rolls don’t have a meatless option, as you could opt to order fresh vegetarian spring rolls.
Potstickers: Potstickers are usually about the same size as fried spring rolls, and different enough to tempt your guests into leaving room on their plate to grab a few of these. Potstickers are dumplings that can be filled with cabbage and meat, or cabbage and vegetables. Again, this could also serve as an alternative to any vegetarian guests if you don’t plan to provide any vegetarian spring rolls.
Cream Cheese Wontons: This addictive appetizer would surely be a hit if served as a side at your event. These wontons are usually filled with a cream cheese, sugar, and onion powder mixture. They are fried in oil and served with a sweet and sour sauce, and would be a great additional food option to provide for your guests.
Any of these side dish options or a combination of a few of them would help elevate your event and take some stress off of your shoulders so that you don’t have to plan on satisfying all of your guests’ appetites with just spring rolls alone.
Sauces and Dips
There are a few different options for types of sauces to serve with your spring rolls, but two of the most common options would be a sweet & sour sauce, or a sweet chili sauce. You could even make the sauces yourself at home, with a handful of ingredients and just a few simple steps. To make your own sweet & sour sauce, all you need is pineapple juice, brown sugar, rice vinegar, ketchup, soy sauce, corn starch, and red food coloring (optional), and a stove and saucepan to boil all of the ingredients together.
To make your own sweet chili sauce (this is my personal favorite to eat with spring rolls!) all you need is rice vinegar, water, cane sugar, rice wine, sambal oelek (this is a ground fresh chili paste that you can buy at the Asian market or on Amazon), dried red chili flakes, minced garlic, minced ginger, soy sauce, corn starch, and optional red food coloring. All you need to do is boil all of the ingredients in a saucepan, and you have a delicious sauce to pair with your spring rolls!
Beverages To Serve with Spring Rolls
Having good food to serve at your event is of the utmost importance, but don’t forget to provide some yummy drink options for your guests as well! Beverages should always complement the food served, both cleansing the palate and providing contrasting flavors to the main dish.
If you want to stick with a Thai theme at your event, you might choose to serve some type of tea or coffee at your event. You might choose to serve Thai iced milk tea or Thai iced coffee with the option to include boba in either beverage to make it extra fun and delicious. You could also serve hot green, jasmine, or ginger tea. Another option is to serve coconut water or another type of fruit juice. Many Thai and Vietnamese restaurants offer their own special lemonade fruit juice recipes, which you could have cater for your event.
Thank you to Thai Evergreen for answering questions about catering.