Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Crispy Vegetable Spring Rolls

I have been wanting to make my own spring rolls for a while now and I finally tackled this project over the long weekend. When I was looking for recipes I ran into the issue of egg rolls versus spring rolls. Are they the same thing?

From what I've read, the difference basically comes down to the wrappers. Egg rolls use a slightly thicker wrapper made with egg versus the paper-thin rice paper wrappers of spring rolls. They are also more substantial, often containing meat (ground pork) whereas spring rolls traditionally are packed solely with vegetables. The last twist is that spring rolls and egg rolls are fried but their cousin, the summer roll, is not. I felt adventurous so I also made some Summer Rolls for a nice, light lunch. Check out this post coming soon.

I adapted this recipe from Rasa Malaysia and Recipezaar. I was happy with the results but the key recommendation I would make is to TASTE IT as you go so the filling is perfectly seasoned the way you like it before you roll and fry.

Crispy Vegetable Spring Rolls
Makes 24 - 5" rolls

4 cups (approx 1/3) green cabbage, chopped into thin pieces
2 cups mung bean sprouts
1 cup (approx 4) fresh shiitake mushrooms, julienned (or rehydrated dried shiitakes)
1 cup (approx 4) button mushrooms, julienned or 1 cup extra firm tofu cubed
1 cup (approx 5) green onions, chopped
1 cup (approx 1) carrot, grated

2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp chinese rice wine
1 tbsp sesame oil
2 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tsp white pepper
2 tsp cornstarch

spring roll wrappers
oil for deep frying

1. Combine all the vegetables in a large mixing bowl. Combine all sauce ingredients in a small bowl.

2. Heat some vegetable oil, about 2 tbsp, in a skillet over medium-high heat. Sauté your vegetables in the hot oil until quite soft. Push the veggies to the side of the pan and add your sauce. Toss to coat and continue cooking until veggies are fully cooked and sauce is well distributed throughout. Taste and adjust seasoning as you like.

3. Lay the spring roll wrapper with one of the corners facing you and spoon in 1/4 cup filling. Lightly moisten all 4 corners of the wrapper with a dab of water. Fold the bottom point over the filling, fold in the two sides and roll up (like a burrito). Set aside until all of them are rolled and you're ready to fry. (I lay them on a silicone mat covered loosely with a towel so they don't dry out).

4. In a deep fryer or in a heavy pot, heat 2" of canola oil to 375 degrees F. Deep fry spring rolls in small batches for 3-4 minutes. You don't need very long because all you are doing is crisping the wrappers since the filling is fully cooked. Drain on paper towels or paper bags. Serve with plum sauce or soy sauce.

**These refrigerate/freeze well. Just zap for a few seconds in the microwave to heat then re-crisp in the oven.


Joanne said...

I don't eat much deep fried food. But just remembering the crunchy crust of these is making me crave them. They look amazing!

Jencrafted said...

Hmm...delightful, crunchy goodness! Love it! I also love the spring-roll version but this is my fav! Send some over to me, will ya?!

Holly said...

These look delish!!

tinyskillet said...

Mmmm...these looks so good. I love a good summer roll too, but you can't beat the crunch!

Autumn @Good Eats Girl said...

Oh my goodness! These look delicious! And the fact that they freeze well make them a winner in my book! Definitely going to have to try these!

Sade said...

OH MY GOSH, i ithink it was around the peanut butter cookie page where i realised that i should stop and get back to reading about Greek and Roman sexuality :s

But seriously might I add that you have a gift for both cooking and photography (your photos?), at least when you become an accountant you can run your own bistro or somethin so you can sell those deliciously beastly morsels....

OK I have to finish this dissertation!

Much love from a wet mouthed (and chinned) Eng lit. student from london.

Gros, gros, gros bisous SadeXx

Justin said...

this is another one of those things i've never thought about making at home. maybe i'm a little shy about frying.

Tia said...

@ Justin - don't be shy about frying!!! I used to be but after the first try, i was hooked. It's so easy and not even that messy. I just line the floor with newspapers and open the windows and turn the hood ventilating fan on. I strongly reccommend trying deep frying at least once :)