Use up those Veggies!
Chinese food was always a go to when we had takeaways in my household. On the odd occasion it was a Saturday night treat. Mum would take us down to New Saigon, the local Chinese smorgasbord restaurant and we would pile our containers high until you couldn't close the lid. The options were endless.. Sweet and Sour pork, Combination Fried rice, Egg Foo Young and one of my favourites.. Spring rolls!
When I think of fried spring rolls I think deliciously sautéed vegetables encased in a crispy, flaky pastry. Probably packed with MSG which makes you want more and lets face it... 3 spring rolls.. good!.. 10 spring rolls.............. BAD!. which is why I have re created the traditional vegetable spring roll using standard veg that is usually found in our fridges with no added MSG.
In this recipe i have used the large pastry sheets but you can get small ones and make cocktail springs rolls which would be perfect for parties and gatherings, they can be fiddlier but it's so worth crunching on a home made spring roll apposed to bought ones. If i know i am hosting an event or party in the future i make a big bulk batch and free flow freeze the spring rolls ready to be pulled out to fry.
This is a time to get creative and use up that cabbage that is starting to go limp and the last handful of spinach. These spring rolls are made from inexpensive vegetables that are always accessible which is superb! In season you can pick up 1 cabbage for $3.00 or a half for $1.50. Carrots are always cheap! $2.50 for a bag - even if they are not the prettiest carrots your grating them so who cares! Spring rolls all year round !!!!
Insignificant side story: For my 21st birthday party i decided that it would be a great idea to cater for my own party... save on costs and all... Was it a great idea? probably not, Did we eat yummy food? Yes. Were spring rolls on the menu? ABSOLUTELY! I had rolled and made 150 mini cocktail spring rolls and froze them prior to the party to save time. Of course me thinking strategically I thought I had it in the bag.. what I didn't realise is that I also had made 150 fish goujons (bites) to fry also. At this point I realised 1 pot of oil to 300 pieces of food was not realistic. I then made the executive decision to cook the rest of the spring rolls in the oven on 180C with a little oil making sure they crisped up, which they did nicely, served with sweet chilli sauce my guests were raving. In the end thanks to the trusty oven my friends and family were happy with full tummy's and i came to the conclusion that I will never cater for my own birthday party again!
$ Cost Wise: Affordable. - The veg used are cheap as chips and the spring roll pastry only costs around $4.99 - $5.99. You can also pick up 2ltr vegetable oil for $5.00.
Vegetable Spring rolls
This recipe is solely vegetables but you can bump it up with adding vermicelli noodles for a different texture, this will also make your filling go further if your cooking on a larger scale. Cabbage, carrot and onion are the traditional veg used in spring rolls, Ive added Portobello Mushrooms because I LOVE them and they beef the mixture up but you could add any extra veg you like such as spring onion, spinach or even corn.
Also, If you wish to not deep fry the oven works just as good. Switch it to 180C fan bake, a drizzle of oil and bake for 15-20 min or until golden and crispy.
- 1 large carrot shredded
- 1/2 cabbage shredded
- 5-6 portobello mushrooms sliced
- 1 brown onion sliced
- 2 cloves of garlic crushed
- 3 tbs soy sauce
- 1tsp sesame oil
- 1 pkt 20 spring roll pastry - I like the brand Little Chef
- 1 egg
- vegetable oil for deep frying
- sweet chilli to serve
Prepare your vegetables
In a pan with a little oil fry off onion and garlic, followed by the rest of the vegetables.
Once vegetables are slightly softened add soy sauce and sesame oil.
Cook a little further until liquid is absorbed, leaving you with a relatively dry mixture.
Leave mixture to cool completely.
Whisk the egg to make an egg wash.
Peel a sheet of Spring roll pastry and place on the bench. The spring roll pastry comes in a block and the sheets are stuck together.
With the square sheet turn it around so its a diamond.
Place your cooled mixture just above the bottom corner on your sheet of pastry.
Egg wash the edges.
Fold both side corners into the middle and roll tightly from bottom to top creating a spring roll. Keep rolling until you have used up all the mixture.
In a large pot bring 1.5 ltr of vegetable oil to heat. you will know the oil is ready for frying if you drop a piece of bread in and it starts to bubble and colour.
Deep fry the spring rolls and serve hot with sweet chilli sauce.
Tweeks: Are you a meat lover? Add beef, pork or chicken mince to the mix.
Tips about deep frying:
Vegetable or Canola oil are the typical oils you would use for deep frying. You can pick up a 3 ltr bottle for around $5.00 which is pretty inexpensive.
Re use your oil. Once i have finished frying i will let the oil sit in the pot, covered overnight. This allows the oil to completely cool and also all the impurities sink to the bottom leaving you with clear oil to bottle up and use next time. - you could also use a sieve if preferred.