Monday, 21 March 2016

Baked Spring Rolls (or, as it turns out, Egg Rolls)

You know me - I don't fry things, if I can help it. It's been quite a while since I made these, and the last time I did I was living in a larger community and I was able to find spring roll wrappers. I was only able to get egg roll wrappers  here, so egg rolls it had to be. They turned out - well, you can see how they turned out. They were okay, but I really recommend the spring roll wrappers if you can find them. They crisp up much better under this treatment.

Do not be tempted to skimp with the oil. Otherwise, they will hard and crunchy and not in a good way. The oil is what makes them crispy; a small but significant difference.

You can use prepared plum sauce with these, or whip up your own sweet-sour-spicy dipping sauce. I used apple butter mixed with hot Cayenne jelly. It would have been better with a spoonful of vinegar in it to tone down the sweetness, I suspect; but I noticed it all got used nevertheless. 

18 spring rolls
1 hour - 30 minutes prep time


3 cups finely shredded Savoy cabbage
1 medium carrot
2 cups bean sprouts
1 tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger
2 tablepoons mild vegetable oil

3 tablespoons soy sauce
350 grams (12 ounces) ground chicken, turkey OR very lean pork
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
454 grams (1 pound) spring roll wrapper OR egg roll wrappers
1/4 to 1/3 cup mild vegetable oil

Peel and shred the cabbage. Peel and grate the carrot. Rinse the bean sprouts and drain them well. Peel and finely grate the ginger.

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat and add the cabbage and carrots, along with the soy sauce and  tablespoon or two of water. Cook until the vegetables just begin to wilt, then add the meat. Cook, stirring and breaking up the meat, until almost all signs of pink are gone from it. Add the bean sprouts and the sesame oil and continue cooking and stirring for just a minute or two more, until the bean sprouts are slightly wilted. Remove from the heat at once.

Preheat the oven to 350°F.  Line a large cookie tray with parchment paper. Lay out 4 spring (or egg) roll wrappers, brush them lightly but thoroughly with oil, using a pastry brush, and flip them over. Place 2 heaped tablespoons (or a quite scant 1/4 cup) of filling slightly lower then the middle of a wrapper, and spread it out a little from side to side. Fold the edges in, just up over the filling, then roll it up into a neat, sealed, cylinder. Place it to one corner of the baking sheet and repeat with the remaining wraps.

Once they are all made, bake them at 350°F for 30 minutes, until browned and a just a tad crunchy. Serve them, if you are so inclined, with plum sauce. I didn't have plum sauce; I mixed about half apple butter with half cayenne pepper jelly, and we used that. It was good, but a bit sweet. Of course, so is plum sauce.

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