The following Vegetable Spring Roll recipe outlines all of the required ingredients and the method to make them. So let’s start with the ingredients…
VEGETABLE SPRING ROLL
- 1 tbsp. of each sesame seed oil and vegetable oil (you can use groundnut if no veg oil available)
- Vegetable oil for deep-frying
- 120g Bamboo shoots (use tinned ones / normally all ready julienned)
- 120g Chinese mushrooms such as shitake or enoki (if dry / rehydrate overnight in cold water and use quarter of the fresh quantity) / chiffonade
- 150g cabbage (i.e. spring green, savoy, sweetheart or pack choi) / chiffonade
- 2 tbsp. light soy sauce
- 1 tsp five-spice powder
- 2 tsp grated fresh root ginger and garlic (use microplane grater for the best results)
- 200g beansprouts
- 70g spring onions finely sliced lengthways
- 2 banana shallots /cored and sliced lengthways
- 300g carrot, julienned or grated (julienne will give you better texture but you will need to use a mandolin slicer for this)
- 2 tbsp. oyster sauce
- Pinch of ground white pepper (1g maximum)
- 1-2 tbsp. of chopped fresh coriander leaf
- 2 tbsp. Rice wine vinegar (use dry sherry if not available)
- Pinch of chilli powder (0.5g maximum)
- 2 tbsp. of Orange juice or lime for the acidity
- Egg white – to use as a glue for the spring roll wrappers / you can make it just with plain flour and cold water mixed together until you’ve obtained a thick mixture (similar to tomato ketchup viscosity)
- 28 ready-made large spring roll wrappers, thawed if frozen (available from Asian supermarkets)
NOTES: Prepare everything in advance.
Make sure your vegetables are separated so you can cook them at different times. The time depends on the density of the vegetable, i.e. carrots will take significantly longer to cook than beansprouts. Combine dry ingredient and wet ingredients in separate bowls.
The above recipe will yield about 14 – 16 spring rolls which is a lot. You can half the recipe accordingly and also modify the vegetables to your liking. Make sure you always use both dense, tough vegetables and soft vegetables in your recipes for texture and added natural colour.
1. Heat a wok or wide frying pan until smoking and add the vegetable oil and sesame oil. Start adding shallots and carrots and cook for a few minutes until lightly caramelised (not burnt or boiled – that’s the crucial moment when you develop sweet notes and flavours of savoury vegetables). Next, add the ginger and garlic paste and dried spices with mushrooms. Toss everything for a further minute until raw flavours of dried spices are cooked off.
2. Next add your wet ingredients. Still have your wok hot. Start by drizzling the liquids from the side of the wok or pan so by the time the liquids reach the centre of pan / wok it will reduce rapidly without overcooking the vegetables. Depending on the thickness of ingredients, the whole procedure should take you 5 minutes maximum. Take off the heat and cool down completely (use flat plate or tray to speed up the process).
3. Layer two spring roll wrappers on top of the other. Double layering of spring roll wrappers will help to retain the moisture and make the spring rolls saucy. Place the double wrapper so that the corners are pointing upwards, downwards and to the sides (diamond shape).
4. Spoon two tablespoons of the cold filling into the centre of the wrapper. Brush each corner of the wrapper with the egg white or flour paste, then bring the two opposite corners on the sides together and, keeping your finger on those edges, bring the bottom corner towards the middle and then roll the pastry up tightly towards the top corner. Seal it with a little of the glue or egg white. Repeat with the remaining spring roll wrappers and filling.
5. Heat the wok or large sauce pan (preferably heavy bottom – it will retain heat more consistently during the frying process) on a high heat and fill the wok to a quarter of its depth with vegetable oil. Heat until a cube of bread dropped in sizzles and turns golden-brown in 15 seconds. Carefully lower the spring rolls in small batches into the oil and deep-fry for 2-3 minutes, or until golden-brown. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper.
Serving suggestions: soy dipping sauce, sweet chilli sauce or dry salt and pepper seasoning with ground sesame seeds.