This week’s food related post is more about giving you an idea to add to your meal repertoire, rather than giving you a specific recipe. Nick makes these Spring Roll that I absolutely love. I try to be careful when tossing out words like ‘favourite’ and ‘the best’, but honestly when I am eating these, those words are what come to mind.
As opposed to the usual way of making spring rolls, his are baked in the oven, making them less fatty than deep-fried ones.
He makes them with rice paper wrappings. These come dry in a flat round package, and you soak them in water for a few minutes to make them pliable enough to fold/wrap/roll around your filling. You can put whatever you want in there, including small pieces of cooked meat, seafood, egg, tofu, vegetables or noodles. (To make them a main course, as we have them, be sure to include some form of protein to fill you up.)
In the ones he made this time, Nick cooked up some egg in his wok. Then, in peanut oil, stir-fried some garlic, chopped ginger, spicy peppers, onions, carrots, and shitake mushrooms (which come dried and have to be soaked in water before using. We buy them by the bag in Chinatown and they last forever in the cupboard, so are easy to have on hand.)
He also cooked some thin rice noodles, and then tossed everything together. Then he moistened this mixture with a splash of soya sauce (we used ‘brewed’ soya sauce, which I believe is the Japanese style), a dribble of sesame seed oil, and some of the soaking liquid from the mushrooms. He also included some chopped fresh coriander leaves.
To roll them, you lay a piece of rice paper on a cutting board. Put a spoonful of filling at one end. Fold the sides in and then roll. Since they are baked and not deep-fried, they don’t have to be perfectly sealed. Note that the rice paper is very fragile and might tear, but that’s ok.
Lay the prepared rolls on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Either brush with peanut oil or spray with oil. We have a Misto oil spraying gadget that does the job nicely.
Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for about 30 minutes, turning once during cooking, until golden and crispy. They should be stiff enough to eat with your hands, with a fork and knife or chopsticks nearby for any blowouts.
Serve with some dipping sauces, such as plum sauce (we buy the bottled version), hot sauce, and one quickly made by mixing equal parts of white vinegar and fish sauce (or of soya sauce), some sugar and lime or lemon juice, some chopped garlic and hot pepper flakes.
[Edit : I’ve since posted a delicious sauce that goes well with these spring rolls here.]
I hope this inspires you to try baking some spring rolls at home.
Thank you for dropping over. Hope you’re having a good Friday. (See what I did there, it being Good Friday today? Hardee har har)