Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Baked spring rolls "烤"春捲

Spring is here, so let's have some spring rolls. It is also called egg rolls. It is the perfect food for a day in spring, not too hot, but not too cold either. In Chinese culture, there is a typical day in spring (Qingming 清明), the first day of the fifth solar term. It is a time for people to go outside and enjoy the greenery of springtime and tend to the graves of departed ones. Spring rolls are the typical food for Qingming Festival (清明節), especially in southeastern China, like Taiwan.

I tried to make some wrappers at home, but it was a big mess and very disappointing, so I bought some from the grocery stores in Chinatown. I tried to be healthy, so instead of frying the spring rolls, I baked them in the oven, which was a big success! I was very pleased with the results. The fillings, ah, the fillings! The key points of the fillings are as following:

1. Pick the ingredients that don't produce much juice to prevent getting soggy. I put ground pork, scallions, bean curd, cabbage, Shiitake mushrooms and carrots.(Note: Vegetarians can omit the ground pork.)
2. Cut or shred everything into small pieces or cubes.
3. Cook the meat until it's done (avoid too much grease or juice). Turn off the stove. Mix the rest of the ingredients with the cooked ground meat. If you want to use bean sprouts,mix it in when the filling is completely cooled, so no juice would come out from them.
4. Remove from the stove and let cool, so it doesn't produce juice. Season with salt and pepper only. No soy sauce!
5. Let the filling cool to room temperature before wrapping.

Wrapping the spring rolls:
1. The wrappers I bought are squares. So put three tablespoons of filling in one corner, and fold the corner to secure the filling by rolling. 
2. Fold both sides into the middle section, and keep rolling up. Use a mixture of flour and water to clue the tip. Put the spring roll seam side down.
3. Make one at a time. Keep the rest of the wrappers in a tightly sealed zip-lock bag to prevent from drying.
4. Grease a cookie sheet with non-stick spray. Arrange the spring rolls, seam side down. Spray the non-stick spray on top of the spring rolls, so they will brown. Bake at 400F for 10 min, turn once. 

The results are surprisingly good! They are nicely browned and crispy. You can also try to make a batch, let cool completely and freeze them. Just heat them up in a small toaster oven before serving. Great for midnight snacks too!

I also made mung bean rice soup to go with the baked spring rolls (one part rice, 1/3 part mung beans, and 6-7 parts of water, cook until thick). We sat in the sunroom and chat. The birds and squirrels came to visit us. It was a lovely spring day!

Note: If you can't find spring roll wrappers at your local supermarket, try using "phyllo dough". Stack 3-4 sheets (6 in x 6 in) together; brush oilve oil in between sheets. Follow the same instructions as above.

1 comment:

  1. mung bean rice soup, looks like maggots and blow flys


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