Above picture: Spring rolls 2 ways, baked and fried. See how pretty???
Do I have to explain how good these are? I don’t think I do. But I will anyway. Everyone likes spring rolls, whether they’ve tried them or not. I’ve met so many finicky eaters in my life, who say they don’t like chinese food, pork, cabbage, carrots, mushrooms, fried foods, water, or eating in general, who smell these and just have to try them, and forget everything that they’ve said they ever disliked. They are that good.
And for all the people who say deep fried spring rolls are sooo unhealthy, well that’s probably true. BUT, understand this. If you are flash-frying, you are frying the outer shell, which is very thin, and that is the only part soaking up the oil. The contents inside contain lots of vegetables, that are instantly steamed from the heat, along with a small amount of pork. The oil does NOT absorb into the filling. Does that sound healthier now? And in my opinion, something like a donut, when deep fried, soaks up wayyyy more oil because of how heavy it is after frying. Plus, donuts just contain bleached flour and refined sugar, and no veggies. I mean, you can even say a spring roll is like a salad with a crispy shell! Going too far? I probably am. I just want you to try these. 99.99% of people loved them and begged for more.
For all of you still uneasy about deep frying, I also have directions on baking them. They still get crispy, and the filling tastes the exact same.
This post is divided into 3 parts for 2 reasons: 1 – for organizational purposes, and 2 – to make me look like a prolific writer.
Ingredients For Spring Roll Filling (makes 25. Double the ingredients for 50):
- 1 package spring roll wrappers (25 sheets)
- 1/2 head of cabbage, shredded
- 2 carrots, shredded
- 3-4 shiitake mushrooms, sliced thinly
- 1/2 lb. Char Siu pork, shredded
- 2 Tbsp. corn oil
- 2 tsp. salt
- 1 Tbsp. sesame oil
- 2 Tbsp. oyster sauce
- 2 Tbsp. Char Siu bbq sauce
*My images display enough ingredients for 50 spring rolls. So just imagine half of each picture.
**If you don’t have any Char Siu (bbq pork), just thinly slice 1/2 lb. pork shoulder, marinate in soy sauce and garlic, and cook in the wok right before you cook the cabbage.
Making the filling:
If you are reconstituting mushrooms, soak them in a bowl of hot water for an hour, turning once.
And they plump up.
Next, shredding cabbage and carrots.
I’m displaying 4 carrots here, sorry. But imagine 2 carrots. Using a peeler, take off the outer skin of the carrots. Then use the peeler to ‘shred’ the remaining carrot.
Hey, it’s easier than cutting them. And faster.
Using a chopping knife, slice the cabbage in half.
Shred 1/2 the cabbage as seen below.
Discard the thicker sections.
Using a knife, remove the stems of the mushrooms. Thinly slice the mushrooms.
This is the Char Siu that I made the previous night.
Slice ‘matchstick’ slices. That means cut them as thin as matchsticks, as seen below.
Have your oyster sauce, char siu sauce and sesame oil ready for seasoning the filling.
Pour corn oil in a wok heated to medium high. Add cabbage, carrots, sesame oil and 2 tsp. salt, stir-frying consistently until cabbage begins to wilt (4-6 minutes).
Add pork, oyster sauce, char siu sauce. Stir fry for another 4-6 minutes.
Set aside to cool, and refrigerate for at least an hour, or overnight.