My younger sister and two of my nieces love spring rolls. I have never really liked the taste of ready made vegetarian spring rolls, always preferring the home made ones. I tend to make them in a large batch and freeze them so as they are ready to have when ever I want to make a complete Chinese meal. There are many different versions I have made. Out of them it is the Thai and Chinese versions that I truly enjoy.
Some of the dishes we learnt at a very early age, used to be at the ladies club. We used to meet up on a regular basis and food, flower arranging, house hold tips etc. used to be demonstrated. This is where we learnt how to assemble spring rolls, I remember when my mother and sisters used to do it all together, like a production line. Now when I make them on my own I have fond memories of how we used to listen to music and were gently coaxed into making sure we have enough paste and roll it tightly. After a few broken ones, we got there in the end 🙂 Of course it is much easier now that we buy the ready made frozen pastries, as opposed to rolling them out ourselves, which is where we started – Oh the joys and convenience of ready made items to make cooking life easy 😉
Chinese spring rolls
The good thing about this method of assembling the spring rolls is that there is a lot of pastry covering the filling, thus making them crispy and ensuring they are not torn, unless of course you leave the filling too wet.
Preparation time: 2 1/2 hrs plus defrosting time Cooking time: 30 mins Makes: 25 to 30
12 to 15 sheets of frozen pastry for spring rolls
1 cup each shredded cabbage & carrot
1 cup bean sprouts
1/2 cup each of frozen peas and sweetcorn
1/2 cup mixed sliced capsicums and spring onions
1/2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp chilli powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp sesame oil
oil for deep frying
* Make a smooth paste of 4 tbsp of plain flour and 1 or 2 tbsp of water to seal the spring rolls *
1) Defrost the square sheets of pastry and cut in half to make rectangles, place in a damp cloth to stop them from drying out.
2) Chop, and grate the vegetables, heat the wok on high heat for a few minutes. Add the sesame oil and the vegetables and cook while constantly stirring. Once the vegetables become a little tender add the soy sauce, chilli powder and salt. Once you are happy with the texture and all of the water has evaporated, cool the mixture completely before making the spring rolls.
3) On a flat surface (I use a chopping board) cut the pastry into half so you have 2 rectangular pieces. Place one of the pastry sheets and spread the paste on the two longest edges. On one of the short edges leaving about an inch gap, place a spoonful of mixture on the pastry.
4) Close both the long sides into the filling, apply some more paste at the bottom of the pastry and slowly but firmly start to roll the pastry over the mixture and roll to near the end. At a gap of an inch apply some more paste and roll completely. Place on a tray and cover with a damp cloth until ready to fry, continue with the remaining until all the mixture has been used up.
5) If you get any bits of torn pastry then simply patch up with the paste and let it dry up before frying them. Fry the spring rolls in hot oil for 5 mins or until golden brown, remove and place on kitchen paper to remove the excess oil.
Serve hot with sweet chilli or chilli and garlic sauce, enjoy 🙂