There are two types of spring roll wrappers.
One is made from flour and water and is found in the freezer section at the supermarket or Asian shop. These are normally square and are usually deep fried. They can be filled and rolled in advance and frozen until required. Then deep fry them straight from the freezer.
Dried rice paper wrappers are made from rice flour and need to be soaked in warm water to soften them. They are not cooked and are best served shortly after making them. These wrappers are available in some larger supermarkets and from Asian stores.
CHICKEN SPRING ROLLS
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
20ml chopped ginger
1-2 red chillies, seeded and chopped
500ml grated carrots
500ml shredded cabbage
1 bunch spring onions, chopped
45ml fish sauce
30ml oyster sauce
1 bunch of coriander, chopped
250ml bean sprouts
500g chicken breasts, poached and shredded
spring roll wrappers
1 egg, beaten
oil for deep frying
sweet chilli sauce for dipping
Heat the oil and gently fry the garlic, ginger and chilli for a few minutes.
Add the carrots, cabbage and spring onions and cook until vegetables are soft. Add the fish and oyster sauces and sugar and cook for 5 minutes.
Remove from heat and stir in the coriander, sprouts and chicken
Leave to cool. Strain the mixture in a sieve to remove all excess liquid if necessary.
HOW TO - SEE PICTURES ABOVE
Step 1: Place the spring roll wrapper in front of you, with one corner at the bottom so that it resembles a diamond.
Step 2: Put some filling in the bottom part of the wrapper in a thin log shape, not touching the edges. Leave the bottom a few centimetres clear.
Step 3: Lift the wrapper over the top and tuck it in under the filling. Fold over the left side, then the right side and roll it up to form a tube.
Step 4: Brush egg along the top part and seal the roll. Repeat until all the rolls are finished.
Heat oil in a deep fat fryer or in a saucepan and deep fry the spring rolls until lightly brown, which should take only a minute or two. Drain on paper towel.
FRESH VIETNAMESE SPRING ROLLS
1 carrot, julienned
small cucumber, julienned
1 bunch of spring onions, cut into thin strips
1 red and 1 yellow pepper, cut into thin strips
10 rice paper wrappers
100g vermicelli rice noodles soaked until soft
350g cooked prawns
picked mint and coriander leaves
chives for tying
60-80ml roasted peanuts, ground
half an onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
5ml Thai green curry paste
125ml coconut milk
30-40ml peanut butter
10ml soy sauce
15ml lime or lemon juice
Cut the vegetables into julienne strips about 6-8cm long.
Step 1: Soak a rice paper wrapper in warm water until soft. Drain and place on a damp clean tea towel.
Step 2: Lay a selection of strips of vegetables, noodles and prawns on the wrapper, sprinkle with some sprouts and herbs.
Step 3: Fold over the bottom end of the wrapper and roll up tightly, folding in the sides.
Step 4: Tie the roll up. Cut the roll in half diagonally and place onto a serving platter.
Keep covered with a damp cloth. Repeat with remaining wrappers and vegetables. Serve with peanut dipping sauce.
SAUCE: Process nuts until finely chopped.Heat oil and fry the onion and garlic until soft. Add the green curry paste and mix well.
Add the rest of the ingredients and cook for 5-10 minutes, to thicken up. Add more ground peanuts if the sauce is too thin.
BANANA SPRING ROLLS WITH CHOCOLATE DIPPING SAUCE
2 large bananas
45ml brown sugar
lime juice, to taste
8 small spring roll wrappers
100g dark chocolate
1 red chilli, halved
Peel the bananas and slice them in half lengthwise, then crosswise into quarters. Combine with the sugar and some lime juice and mix to coat.
Place one piece of banana diagonally across the corner of a spring roll wrapper.
Roll from the corner to the centre, then fold in the left and right sides, and continue rolling. Brush corner with a little beaten egg to seal.
Repeat with the rest of banana pieces.
Fry a few banana rolls at a time in the hot oil until evenly browned. Remove and drain on paper towel. Serve warm with sauce.
DIPPING SAUCE: Heat the chocolate, cream and chilli in a saucepan and bring almost to the boil.
Remove from heat, stir well and stand for 15-20 minutes. Strain to remove chilli. Serve with spring rolls.
QUINOA AND FETA SPRING ROLLS
125ml red quinoa
250ml frozen peas, defrosted
125g feta cheese, crumbled
125ml chopped fresh mint
3-4 spring onions, chopped
10ml grated lemon rind
45ml lemon juice
salt and pepper
14 sheets of phyllo pastry
100g butter, melted
Combine the quinoa and water and boil for about 20 minutes until the quinoa is soft and the water has evaporated.
Remove and add the peas.
Add the feta cheese, mint, spring onions, lemon rind and juice and mix well.
Season to taste.
Lay one sheet of pastry on your surface and brush with melted butter. Lay another sheet on top and brush with butter. Cut the sheet into 3 equal lengths.
Place a spoonful of filling at the base of the strip about 5cm from the edge. Bring the bottom half of the pastry over to cover the filling, fold in the sides and roll up, brushing with more butter to seal.
Place on a baking tray. Repeat with the rest of the strips until the pastry and filling is finished.
Bake at 160°C for 20-30 minutes until golden brown and crisp.
FRESH FRUIT SPRING ROLLS
a handful of dried rice vermicelli noodles, soaked until soft and drained
45ml chopped fresh mint
10-12 rice paper wrappers
julienned firm mango or paw paw
100g sliced strawberries
sliced apples or pears cut into thin julienne strips
125ml flaked almonds, toasted
125ml fresh or frozen raspberries, defrosted
10ml lemon juice
icing sugar to taste
Combine the noodles with the honey and mint and set aside.
Soak the wrapper in warm water until soft. Place on a damp tea towel. Place a mound of fruit, noodles and almonds at the base of the wrapper about 5cm from the edge.
Bring over the bottom part of the wrapper to enclose the filling, fold in the sides and roll up firmly. Slice in half diagonally.
Repeat with other wrappers. Serve with the fruit sauce.
SAUCE: Puree the raspberries and add lemon juice and icing sugar to taste.
Angela Day, The Star