I’d never made spring rolls before, which is crazy because my family loves eating them. I guess I found them a bit intimidating, but with the encouragement of some friends who are Masters of the Spring Roll, I decided to give it a go, and the results where rustic, but delicious!
- I packet of spring roll wrappers, from the chilled or freezer section of the supermarket.
- 1 small packet of vermicelli noodles, cooked.
- About 2 cups of shredded Chinese cabbage
- 1 carrot, julienned as finely as you can.
- Pork mince (or chicken mince, or chopped prawns, or whatever you like. I used some leftover pot sticker filling from this recipe.) Cook this separately, with some green onion, minced ginger and garlic, and a splash of soy.
- Olive Oil, to cook. You could use peanut oil to be more authentic, but I only had Olive Oil.
- In a large bowl, mix the cooked mince, cooked vermicelli, cabbage and carrot. Chill it in the fridge for a little while until at least lukewarm – too hot and the wrappers will fall apart.
- Defrost your wrappers. Wrappers are fragile, don’t attempt to separate them while they are still frozen!
- Carefully peel off the first wrapper – it’s a bit like very thin Styrofoam and has some elasticity, but don’t go too quickly or it will tear. Plonk a big handful of filling (eww, use tongs!) on your wrapper, on the diagonal.
- Using a pastry brush or your fingers, wet around the perimeter of the wrapper, then start folding. Fold the bottom triangle over and up, then fold the sides in, then re-moisten the last triangle with water before you roll it up completely. Roll it firmly but not too tightly, or the wrapper will burst. There is a handy diagram on the back of the wrapper packet to guide you. You will get the hang of it in no time.
- Keep rolling. Sing ‘They see me rolling’. Daydream about working in a spring roll factory. I placed them on a tea towel until I was ready to cook them, and I think the opportunity to dry out a little really helped them stay together.
- Heat a smallish amount of oil in a shallow fry pan. My friends who are Masters of the Spring Roll use a lot more oil and deep fry in a wok, but to be honest I am scared of heating that much oil in my tiny flammable kitchen, and also I don’t want to deal with that much leftover dirty oil. So shallow fry it is!
- Cook in batches, a few at a time, turning them with tongs to ensure they are browning on all sides. They will start to brown in no time, and you will need to keep adding oil until you are finished. Watch the temperature, once the oil heats up they will burn very quickly so after the first batch maybe turn the heat down to medium. Rest on paper towels afterwards.
Ta da! Ready to eat. Served with some home made chili sauce, or sweet chili sauce, if you have it. Yum!