Thursday, April 14, 2011

2-3 Spring Rolls

Spring rolls are like a dainty cousin to the more familiar egg roll. The spring roll skin is very thin and crisps up quickly when deep fried. Traditional spring rolls contain less filling than an egg roll and are, consequently,  less filling to eat. Many types of ingredients may be used to fill a spring roll and in their many countries of origin, these rolls are served as a springtime appetizer.

Most oriental restaurants feature egg rolls and sometimes spring rolls as menu items. The fillings for both should be a tasty, savory vegetable mixture and may include meat or seafood pieces; the exterior is a crisp, fried wrapping. Nothing is quite as wonderful as biting into a crisp, hot egg or spring roll that has been dipped into one of the traditional sauces – mustard, sweet ‘n sour, or soy.

Spring rolls are actually easier to make than egg rolls because they are smaller and the wrapping does not degrade as easily by moisture from the filling before frying. I make the filling a day or so ahead of time and refrigerate it until it is needed.

This tasty treat may be served as a traditional appetizer or, if you love them as much as I do, as the entrée.

Spring Rolls

¼ C celery, finely chopped
2 T carrot, finely chopped
2 green onions, finely chopped
1 C bean sprouts
2 T green pepper, finely chopped
½ C cooked chicken, finely chopped (beef, pork or seafood may be used)
2 T melted margarine
1-2 T smooth peanut butter
Pepper blend and salt to taste

8 spring roll skins


Prepare vegetables as indicated and mix well in a bowl. Add bean sprouts and margarine, mix gently but thoroughly. Mix in peanut butter until well blended. Add chicken and mix well. Salt and pepper to taste. Cover and refrigerate until needed. (Chopped water chestnuts may also be used in filling).

Heat at least 2 inches of oil on med-high heat in a pot to 375 degrees. Use a deep-fry thermometer.

Meanwhile, peel off one spring roll skin from stack and place on a flat surface with one corner nearest you. Spoon 2 T filling in a horizontal line at one end of the skin.

Fold nearest corner over filling and tuck under slightly.

Fold both side corners toward the center.

Continue rolling toward the farthest corner. Moisten last two inches of edges and finish the roll.

Place finished roll aside and continue with remaining skins. Check oil temperature. If it is too hot, remove pot from burner to bring the temperature back to where it should be. With tongs, gently lower one or two rolls into the hot oil. When one side is lightly browned, turn roll over. If spring roll will not stay rolled to second side, press roll gently down under the oil with tongs to complete browning process. Remove from oil and drain on paper towels. Serve with dipping sauces. Makes 8 spring rolls.

Dipping sauces: Brown mustard, sweet ‘n sour sauce, cranberry sauce, soy sauce.

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