Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Veggie Spring Rolls and Crispy Soya Mince Wontons

Vegan Crispy Spring Rolls
Crispy Soya Mince WontonsFirstly, I hope you all like my new look blog! I've been trying to change it since about August when I was going to move to wordpress as I really wanted to have extra pages. It caused me nothing but problems though and now that you can add pages on blogger decided to stay here, but change the look. I wanted bigger photos and will be adding to the sweet and savoury favourites tabs up top as time goes by, so do have a look now and again! I'm sure I'll be making small changes and additions all the time - like finally getting my blog list back up!! Until then, do let me know what you think :)

Now, on to the post! I have a serious spring roll addiction - I could easily eat a pack of 4 for lunch, especially those new Ken Hom Vegetable Spring Rolls you can get at Tesco! I don't however, one does need some willpower after all :) I have never however, made my own. Earlier in my blog I made some raw summer rolls made with rice paper but I've never had a go at deep frying spring rolls made with proper spring roll wrappers. I'm so glad I did - these were so, so good!! My first batch weren't as crispy as I would have liked so for the batch you see there I got my oil hotter - over 180C and found that worked out better. In fact my husband said these were by far the best spring rolls he's ever had - good praise indeed!

The filling is lovely, just a simple basic veggie spring roll filling BUT I do like to use one 'different' ingredient - kohlrabi. Spring rolls almost always call for a cabbage, and whenever cabbage is called for I tend to replace with kohlrabi. It has a lovely mild cabbage taste but the texture is more like crispy juicy apple. That makes it super easy to grate with the carrot, either by hand or in a food processor (it makes a fantastic coleslaw too by the way!) Also I don't tend to use cabbage much so if I buy a whole head it tends to get wasted. This way I can buy a smallish kohlrabi and use it all up :) They can, however, be hard to find, I'm lucky as I have a huge Hoo Hing near me and they always sell them, as well as fresh dumpling wrappers, fresh noodles, BIG bags of sweet white miso - it's great!

The wontons were an experiment. Wonton wrappers always contain egg so are ruled out but I found at Hoo Hing these 'Shanghai Wrappers' - basically they are the same as the dumpling wrappers I used in my Gyoza recipe but were square. So I thought they would work out well as wontons, which I have made YEARS ago, back when I ate meat (!) but not since. The filling I used was basically the same as the one in the Gyoza recipe except I finely chopped up some beansprouts in place of the kohlrabi/cabbage (as I had run out and thought that would provide a nice little crunch in there). They did fry up quite differently than how I remember wontons, you can see they are 'bubbly' a bit but were absolutely delicious! Next time though I might just cut the spring roll wrappers into squares and use that, I think that might create a more 'traditional' wonton.

I served both of these with just a store bought Thai Sweet Chilli Sauce but I also like to just mix up some wasabi powder into soy sauce and use that, but that might be my personal taste and pure addiction to soy sauce speaking there!!

Spring Rolls - makes 5
1/2 Tbsp peanut oil
1/2 small kohlrabi, or some cabbage, grated fine
1 small carrot, grated
1/4 large red pepper, sliced fine and into matchsticks
handful beansprouts
1 clove garlic, chopped fine
1 tsp finely chopped fresh ginger
1 small red chilli, de-seeded and finely chopped
2 spring onions, sliced into thin matchstick size
1/2 Tbsp soy sauce
1/2 tsp sweet soy sauce *see picture*
1/8 tsp toasted sesame oil
1/2 tsp arrowroot or cornflour, mixed in a bit of water
5 spring roll wrappers, de-thawed
more cornflour for sealing, mixed with a bit of water to make a 'glue'
vegetable oil to fry - at least 1 litre

Heat the peanut oil until almost smoking hot in a wok then add all the veg, stir all the time until the soften slightly then add the sauces and arrowroot/cornflour mixture. Stir until veg are soft and you have a thickened mixture - add more water if need be. Transfer to a bowl, stir in the sesame oil and let cool. Lay out one spring roll wrapper diamond shape in front of you and place some of the filling off centre close to you, roll over and tuck in then fold in the sides and roll up. Before finishing brush some of the cornflour/water glue mixture on and finish rolling. Place on a plate and cover with a damp cloth while you make the rest.

My apologies for not providing step by step photos for rolling these, I should explain that I have the worlds smallest kitchen - seriously, it's like a closet! So there is no way I can get the tripod in there. I used the video on how to roll them from Video Jug.

Heat the oil to quite hot - over 180C and gently place each one in, cook until golden and crispy and then remove and drain on paper towels. They will stay lethally hot for quite a while so let them cool well!

*the sweet soy sauce I used might be hard to find, I got it at hoo hing but it's a very thick syrup and basically a mixture of molasses and soy sauce*

Crispy Soy Mince Wontons (I got about 11 out of this)
100g frozen soy mince
1 tsp peanut oil
2 spring onions, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1/2 red chilli, de-seeded and finely chopped
1 tsp finely chopped fresh ginger
1/4 tsp toasted sesame oil
30g beansprouts, finely chopped (or cabbage)
11 square vegan dumpling wrappers, or spring roll wrappers, cut small
2 tsp soy sauce (I added 3 but like I said do have a soy sauce addiction!)
cornflour/water mixture to make a 'glue'
vegetable oil to fry - at least 1 litre.

Heat the oil in a wok until quite hot. Add all the veg and give it a quick fry - just a minute or so. Add the soy mince and about 50ml water, stir then add the soy sauce. When the soy is cooked and all liquid has cooked off transfer to a bowl to cool and stir in the sesame oil. Place one square down then place about a tablespoon of the filling in the centre. Brush the cornflour/water glue around the edges and seal, then brush the glue around the sealed edges and gather up to make a little parcel. Give the point they come together a good squeeze to ensure they don't come apart while frying. Place on a plate while you make the rest.

Heat the oil till quite hot and place them gently in, when they are golden and crispy remove and let drain on paper towels. Let cool then serve with Thai Sweet Chilli sauce, or whatever dipping sauce you like :)

You might also like:

GyozaSummer Rolls


  1. haha - thanks :) I'm just off to make the spring rolls myself now - BUT I'm going to try and oven bake them...trying to be "good" you see ;)

  2. Yum! i love spring rolls too. Although I bake mine in the oven even though they taste 100x better fried :)


  3. Your new blog layout is fabulous!

    I always have been to lazy to make my own spring rolls. I should start, yours look so awesome. I love crispy fried food.

  4. Am now truly ravenous! Lunch time I think :)

    New layout looking great by the way.

  5. Those are perfect. Now I want to fry some up myself. Thanks for the awesome post.

  6. Thanks for all the nice comments :)

  7. Wow. I made spring rolls once but I don't think you could tell that's what they were meant to be! These look amazing I shall try again inspired x

  8. love the new look blog! and i have never tried kohlrabi, but now i want to!

  9. Debbie these look fantastic. I can just imagine me biting into one right now. Deep fried or baked I'll eat them!

    I also love the new blog header.

  10. Looks yum! But, any calorie information?

    1. Thanks! Yeah, this was posted before I started providing the calorie information but the spring rolls are 347 calories for all 5 BEFORE frying, to figure out how much oil they absorb I usually weigh the oil before and after and add the difference.

      The 11 wontons are 680 calories also before frying.

      Tips on oven baking these are here:




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