Quick & Easy Spring Rolls Are The Best
Finally, the days are starting to get longer. And while many people don’t like the artificiality of Daylight Savings Time, I appreciate that Ben Franklin came up with it. Having more daylight in the afternoons and evenings is invigorating, and I tend not to feel rushed since we’re not eating dinner in the dark.
While I am a fan of the rich stews, braises and thick soups of winter, I know they will be waiting for me in the fall. As the days get longer, I look forward to lighter fare featuring some fresh young spring vegetables and bright flavors.
But what better way to kick off a celebration of spring that with a dish that has “spring” in its name? Spring rolls appear in many Asian cuisines as well as in other parts of the world. They can be fried or fresh, rolled up in rice paper as is often the case in Vietnamese cooking or contained in some sort of pastry wrapper.
Today, let’s go with baked spring rolls. Serve these as an appetizer or make a meal of them. However you enjoy them, I know your family and guests will savor these spring rolls.
1 pound ground pork (if possible ask your butcher to give you coarse grind)
1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
½ head cabbage, shredded
2 medium carrots, shredded (you can use a peeler for this)
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 spring onions, finely diced
1 Tablespoon oyster sauce
1 Tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
1 Tablespoon soy sauce
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste (use white pepper if you have it)
1 package spring roll wrappers
2 tablespoons each flour and cold water mixed together to form a paste.
Vegetable oil for brushing
How To Prepare At Home
Heat a large wok (or heavy-bottomed skillet) over medium heat. Add the oil. When the oil is hot, cook the pork just until it is no longer pink.
Add the cabbage and carrots and salt to taste.
Continue to cook until the cabbage wilts and the carrot softens, about 5-6 minutes. Let cool for a few minutes.
Mix together the pork, cabbage, carrots, garlic, onions, oyster sauce, ginger, soy sauce and salt and pepper. Chill for at least an hour.
Preheat the oven to 425°F.
Place a spring roll wrapper in front of you so there is a point facing towards you. Put a heaping tablespoon of filling about 1” away from that point. Pull the point up and over the filling and tightly roll until you reach the half-way point. You will now have a roll that looks like a triangle, with the filling down in the bottom.
Brush a bit of the flour paste lightly all over the top of the triangle. Fold the two bottom corners of the triangle inward over the filling. The filling will now be completely enclosed by the wrapper.
Roll the spring roll the rest of the way up, pressing firmly so the paste will adhere.
Set aside and continue building the spring rolls in the same way until you’ve used up all your filling. Brush the finished rolls lightly with oil.
Spray a heavy baking pan with pan spray and arrange the rolls on it, leaving at least 1 ½” between them. Bake for 15-17 minutes, flipping each roll over halfway through the cooking time.
You can certainly dip these spring rolls in your favorite Asian dipping sauce or some Sriracha, but they are quite good on their own so the filling has a chance to really shine.
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