To some, what I call a rice paper roll is a spring roll and what I call a spring roll is an egg roll. What about a rice paper roll that’s been fried?
I mean really, can’t we all just get along? Friends?
Anyway The Doctor loves a good vegetarian spring roll. Kid and I are making two varieties, firstly to suck up to her, and secondly so we can have spring rolls for dinner.
Did someone say ‘delicious little noodle salad to go with?’
‘And what about those ones with the lettuce and the mint and the wrapping and such?’
Viet style Spring rolls w/ cos lettuce, Viet mint and Nuoc cham.Filling Ingredients – makes about 20 small rolls
1 small packet vermicelli.
1 red capsicum, 1 red onion, 1 medium carrot, 3 spring onions – all sliced fine or grated.
5 garlic cloves – crushed
1 cup bean sprouts
6 dried shiitake mushrooms – soaked, drained and sliced. Or use fresh if you like.
2 tablespoons light soy.How – Soak the noodles in hot water until just soft. Drain well. Chop them roughly with scissors or a knife. Stir fry the vegetables in a hot pan until soft and fragrant, leaving the bean sprouts until last. Add sprouts, soy and noodles. Mix and chill.Vegetarian Nuoc Cham – Nuoc cham is the name for a sweet, sour and salty dipping sauce native to Sth East Asia. It normally contains fish sauce as the salty element. This one doesn’t. It does, however, benefit from being made the day before.
100ml fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon raw sugar
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon ea finely chopped carrot and red onion
2 long red chillies, de-seeded and diced.
Combine well and let rest in the fridge.
We served ours’ like this. Wrapping some crisp lettuce and mint around your rolls and dunking in the nuoc cham lifts the whole experience. It’s like salad and tones down that spring roll guilt factor.
Spring rolls Japanese Style w/ soba and zucchini noodles, pickled ginger, snow pea tendrils, soy-vinegar-sesame dip.
1 large eggplant – diced
1 packet fried tofu (200g) – diced
1/2 bunch coriander
1 tablespoon white miso paste
1 tablespoon dark soy.How – Saute the eggplant in a liberal amount of canola or light olive oil until it begins to colour. Add the tofu and continue to cook until the eggplant is soft. Add the other ingredients and combine well. Give the mix a smoosh with a fork . Chill.Salad Ingredients
100g dried Soba noodles – Soba is Japanese for buckwheat. These are gluten-free.
1 medium zucchini – sliced into long thin strips
1 tablespoon chopped pickled ginger
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
3 spring onions – washed and sliced thin.
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
How – cook the noodles in rapidly boiling water, drain and plunge into really cold water. This is to stop them cooking straight away. Drain well. Combine with the sesame oil. Add your other ingredients and mix gently, careful not to break up the zucchini too much. Arrange in serving bowls.Soy-sesame dip
4 tablespoons light soy
2 tablespoons of vinegar. We used apple vinegar.
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds.
Combine and chill.
Chop your cooked spring rolls into pieces, arrange over the noodles and dress liberally with the soy dip.
What Kid Did
Kid made spring rolls. You’ll need spring roll pastry and a small amount of cornflour and water mixed together to make a very runny glue.
Place one sheet of pastry on a clean bench or board, positioned like a diamond. Imagine two intersecting lines running north-south and east-west. Place 1 heaped tablespoon of filling just below the centre. Take the south corner and fold toward the centre, over the mixture.Fold the pastry over and roll firmly, keeping the pastry taught as you go. When you are 3/4’s of the way along, fold the east and west edges into the middle. paint the top triangle of pastry with your glue and continue rolling till you get to north. Repeat.
Structural integrity is key. Make sure east and west are tucked in firmly. You will get some unusual shapes and sizes as you and kids practise together, but that’s half the fun.
Store the spring rolls on a plate or tray with the seam facing down whilst you roll the others. There are videos on You Tube explaining this process. We may make our own over the holidays..We cooked ours in about half a centimetre of canola oil in a big electric bench top fry pan. I think this is safer than a fry pan on the stove (assuming we don’t all own deep fryers) as it’s far less likely to be spilt.
If the oil is too hot, the pastry will burn, too cold it will soak up a lot of oil. Turn continuously until dark, golden brown all over. Drain on absorbent paper and sprinkle with a little salt whilst still hot.Please ALWAYS take care when using hot oil. Make sure everybody knows what is happening.
Kid loves this sort of endeavour (for the record, Kid and The Doctor preferred the Viet style and the Japanese were my fave). Fillings to make, pastry to play with, things to make and then eat.
And as ever, the best spring rolls are the ones you make yourselves………with our recipe 😉
Roll on summer good friends!