Vegetarian Spring Rolls
I love yam cha spring rolls freshly cooked, crunchy on the outside and moist flavourful on the inside, if you compare that to spring rolls that are served on occasions such as birtdays, fiesta and others you cant just compare it. These home made spring rolls are just the total opposite as they already lost that crunch and its too dry might be because it was cooked hours before the event thats why its not crunchy anymore and it was over cooked thats why it was dry, so if I saw some of these on occasions I just try to avoid unless its fresh.
So whats the secret to a really good spring roll? Its so simple and I noticed this on several observations I had in restaurants and some Chinese friends.
First make it crunchy, its like the frozen fries when you fry it directly from freezer then its crunchier than the defrosted, so what we usually do with spring rolls is to freeze them first after preparing before cooking. Also serve them fresh they cook fast anyway, serving spring rolls which is 30 minutes old just dont help.
Next, make the inside moist, my secret here is to add something starchy like wheat flour or cornstarch as it holds that juices while you fry, dont over cook it as well as this will just dry the meat and vegetables inside, once the skin is golden brown it should be ready as vegetables and mince meat cook quickly. You also need to make sure the oil is in proper temperature which you can test by dropping 1 frozen spring roll first and that should be golden brown in around 2 minutes, more than that then the temperature is not enough or less than that the temperature is too high.
And finally the flavour, if you notice the distinct flavours you get from yam cha, it usually comes from the sesame oil and mushrooms (the dried ones, theyre more flavourful) and making sure that the wrap is tightly closes do any juices will not come out. That strarch also helps bring the flavour to your palate.
Now for a bit of history, spring rolls originated from an annual Chinese New Year celebration which is also called the Spring Festival. The original spring rolls uses only fresh vegetables from the spring harvest, and knowing Chinese they have a lot of supersitions which they believed and this is one one them as the spring roll color when fried is gold in colour which symbolizes wealth and prosperity for the coming year. After that it became really popular and meat was now added as a variation it quickly spread onto neighboring countries such as Vietnam, Laos, Thailand and Philippines. Its a really good appetizer or side dish, in Philippines we even consume it as mains, its a bit tricky to prepare but really easy to cook. So my advice is if you want to give it a shot prepare lots of it and just freeze it, it has a good shelf life and just deep fry what you need.
1 cup carrots, chopped
1 cup cabbage, chopped
1/2 cup onion, finely chopped
1 cup potato, chopped
1 1/2 cups mushrooms, chopped
1 cup Green Peas
4 tbsp Wheat Flour
1/4 cup sesame oil
1 tbsp Soya Bean Paste
1 packet small spring roll wrapper
- Mix all ingredients in a deep bowl except for the spring roll wrapper and peanut oil. Adjust the taste to your liking with sugar, pepper and salt.
- Using a teaspoon, get 2 scoops vegetable mix and place on wrapper.
- Roll and wrap, then wet the ends to seal.
- Deep fry in peanut oil.