That ubiquitous Asian appetizer, the egg roll, has many interpretations. Some are tiny and crisp, perfect for a little dip in wonton broth. Others are so plump with veggies that they could almost count as one of your daily fives. We sampled them all, from Sawasdee to Siam Square. Here, a pupu platter of our favorites.
Sawasdee (1222 W. 86th St., 317-844-9451)
Glass noodles and green beans give these rolls a nice texture, but the crunchy outer layer dominates the flavor. The sweet and sour sauce isn’t memorable, but we like the presentation on a bed of fresh cabbage and sliced carrots. $6.95 for five rolls.
Tiger Lily (1146 W. 86th St., 317-848-9077)
Cabbage, carrots, and mild seasoning combine for an almost creamy texture. The sweet and sour sauce has a nice kick, but we think the hot mustard pairs best with the crispy, fried wrapping. $3 for four rolls.
Sizzling Wok Hai (4351 Lafayette Rd., 317-297-3441)
Shrimp and generous strips of pork are covered in bean sprouts and noodles, but the real standouts are the dipping sauces. A thick plum sauce with peanuts has a barbecue consistency, and a light spicy sauce with shredded carrots is the perfect match for the fried variety. $2.55 for two rolls.
Thai Taste (5353 E. 82nd St., 317-578-9722)
The home of our favorite spicy-sweet peanut sauce, these fried rolls are jolted with flavor from chicken seasoned in coarse black pepper. Mushrooms, rice noodles and carrots fill the thin wrapping, which has the least grease of the fried selection. $5.95 for four rolls.
Thai Orchid (8145 Bash St., 317-578-8155)
Sparse carrots give the filling a bland look, but the seasoned onion and cabbage compensate for taste in the perfectly fried rice paper. Served with a mild spicy-sweet sauce, we recommend asking for the optional chicken. $6.59 for six rolls.
Siam Square (936 Virginia Ave., 317-636-8424)
Some of the greasier rolls we like, a thick layer of flakiness covers carrots, mushrooms and crunchy cabbage. Sweet chili sauce with cilantro makes our noses run, but it’s a tasty companion for these meatless appetizers. $5.95 for four rolls.