Who doesn’t love Spring Rolls?! They’re little bundles of delicious filling wrapped by a delicate crispy layer of YUM! Although they’re a little time consuming to make, this recipe is super easy and makes enough to freeze so they’ll be right at your fingertips the next time you’re craving something crispy (just add 1-2 minutes to the cooking time).
The Left Side is Wrapped with the Wei-Chan Wrappers. The Right Side is Wrapped with a Grocery Store Variety:
When you’re shopping for spring roll/egg roll wrappers, you may want to hit-up your local specialty or Asian grocery store. Personally, I like the Wei-Chan brand but you’re probably safe with any Asian brand. Sometimes they’ll even say, ‘super thin’ on the package – which is exactly what you want! What you don’t want, are the wrappers generally found in American grocery stores. These are thick pasta-like sheets and will yield a bubbled outer layer that resembles something like a spring roll with leprocy – not what I would call appetizing. Aside from being unappealing on the exterior, the interior layers never really cook through so they stay raw and chewy – these do not make for good spring rolls.
Don’t get me wrong. There is a place for the general American brand of spring roll/wonton wrappers. I actually prefer them over the thinner more delicate variety when I’m making wonton crisps for a soup garnish, such as in Hot and Sour Soup – the thicker wrapper actually holds up better in a soup.
Step-by-Step Spring Rolls:
Close-up of Sealing the Rolls:
Depending on the area of Asia and its local ingredients, spring roll fillings and their dipping sauce can vary greatly. This spring roll recipe is not of any particular region, just ingredients that are tasty and work well together. Since these rolls have no particular country of origin, feel free to use whatever dipping sauce you like. Personally, I like to serve these rolls with the Vietnamese dipping sauce, Nuoc Cham. However, you can also serves these with a soy sauce and rice vinegar mixture or a sweet and sour sauce.
If you have any leftovers, a fantastic way to use them, is to make Bun Thit Nuong Cha Gio (Grilled Pork and Spring Rolls with Noodles)
- 4 shiitake mushroom caps
- 1 -8 oz can bamboo shoots
- 5 cups napa cabbage
- 2 scallions
- 1 large carrot
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, minced
- 1 pound ground pork
- 3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
- 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons water
- good quality spring roll wrappers – enough for 50 rolls
- vegetable oil for cooking
- To prep the vegetables – thinly slice the shiitake mushrooms, bamboo shoots, and napa cabbage. Cut the scallions into 2-inch segments and then thinly slice, lengthwise. Cut the carrots into 2-inch segments and finely julienne. Set the vegetables aside.
- Over medium-high heat, warm the sesame oil in a large wok or sauté pan. Once the oil is shimmering and becomes fragrant, add the ginger and sauté for 30 seconds. Add the ground pork and break it up into small pieces as it cooks. Cook just until the pork is no longer pink, about 2-3 minutes. Add the sliced vegetables – mushrooms, bamboo shoots, cabbage, scallions, and carrot. Stir well to combine and cook the pork and vegetable mixture for another 2 minutes.
- In a small bowl, combine 1 tablespoon of cornstarch and 1 tablespoon of water. Mix well and drizzle over the pork and vegetable mixture. Stir to combine – the mixture should begin to thicken and there should be no excess liquid in the pan. Transfer the contents to a sheet pan and allow to cool for 10-15 minutes.
- In a small bowl, combine the remaining tablespoon of cornstarch and water. Stir well to form a paste. Open the package of spring roll wrappers and keep any unused wrappers under plastic wrap, to prevent them from drying-out. Using only a heaping tablespoon of filling, wrap the spring rolls as shown in the images below. Be sure to wrap them tightly, but be careful not to tear the wrappers. To seal the completed wrappers, spread the cornstarch paste along the edges of the roll like an envelope, if needed use your fingers. Keep the completed spring rolls in a single layer under plastic wrap so they do not dry out. If you do not plan on cooking them right away, you may refrigerate them for up to 4 hours. Alternatively, you can freeze them – just be sure to keep them from touching until they are completely frozen and then you may place them all together in a large zip-top bag. You may then cook them directly from their frozen state.
- In a wok or saucepan, add 1 1/2 inches of vegetable oil. Heat the oil to 350 degrees F. Working in batches, gently add the rolls to the pan. Cook for 3-4 minutes, turning occasionally. Using a spider or slotted spoon, remove the rolls and allow them to cool on a plate lined with a paper towel.
- Serve with Nuoc Cham or your favorite dipping sauce. Enjoy!