Growing up I always loved Chinese take out, but the spring rolls were always just meh in my opinion. I really liked the idea of them … I mean what’s not to love about a deep fried pastry?! but everything was chopped up so small I never knew what was hiding in there. Fast forward several years, and it finally clicked. My aunt Maew (the one from Thailand) introduced me to her homemade spring rolls and they were SO. MUCH. BETTER. than the takeout ones! They were super crispy, so delicious, and I was able to learn about the ingredients by making them myself.
This recipe takes a little more time in the kitchen than most of the others I share, but it is so worth it, and the process is really fun! Invite some friends over, or get the kids involved, and turn it into a mini party!
I’ve made these many times with family and we always debate who is using too much filling. Meaw’s guidance is always to use around a 1/2 tbsp, but that just can’t be enough! Now generally, I like to follow the rules. I’m pretty risk averse and like to do things right, but I want ALL the filling and a measly 1/2 tbsp is just not cutting it for me. So I’ve tossed the rules out, rewritten by own set, and now we have FULLY LOADED Spring Rolls!
A trip to your local Asian grocery store will probably be in order to pick up all the ingredients needed for these beauties. Here’s a list of the ingredients that I get from the Asian grocery store because they aren’t available at my local conventional one :
- spring roll wrappers
- dried mushrooms (I use shitake)
- bean noodles (really fine noodles that look a bit like vermicelli)
- sweet chili sauce for dipping
Once your filling is cooked and you are getting ready to start rolling, you will want to make a paste with cornstarch and water that will be used to “glue” the rolls closed.
Once all of your rolls are assembled it’s time to get cooking! You will want to keep the peanut oil on medium to medium-high, just hot enough that the oil bubbles around the rolls when placed in it, but not so hot that it’s boiling or smoking.
- 16 dried shitaki mushrooms
- 4 carrots (shredded)
- 2 cups red cabbage (shredded)
- 6 tbsp hoisin sauce
- 1 cup bean noodles
- 1/2 package ground pork (approx 250g)
- 1 package spring roll wrappers (50 wrappers)
- 1 bottle peanut oil
- 2 tbsp cornstarch
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 bottle sweet chili sauce
Soak mushrooms in water for a few hours.
Remove spring roll wrappers from freezer at least 1 hour before beginning.
Rinse soaked mushrooms and squeeze out excess liquid. Finely chop the mushrooms and place in a bowl.
Shred carrots and red cabbage and add to bowl with mushrooms.
Soak approx. 1 cup of bean noodles in a bowl of water (3-5 minutes).
Heat 1 tbsp. peanut oil in wok. Add ground pork on medium heat.
Add vegetables to pork and cook until pork is cooked through (4-5 minutes).
Add bean noodles and hoison sauce to wok. Mix well and cook for 2-3 minutes.
Remove wok from heat and set aside.
Combine cornstarch and water in a pot and cook on medium heat, continually stirring until it makes a very sticky paste (approx. 2 minutes). Remove from heat.
Assemble spring rolls by placing 1 heaping tbsp. of filling into the center of a wrapper. Fold one corner of the wrapper over the filling and pull slightly backwards to keep tight. Roll once or twice, fold in the two sides, and then continue rolling until complete. Add a dab on paste onto the final corner of the wrapper to hold in place.
Once all spring rolls are assembled, fill wok with 2-3 inches deep of peanut oil over medium heat.
Once oil is heated (small bubbles will form around the spring roll when placed in the oil if it's hot enough), place 5-6 spring rolls in oil and continue to move around with tongs while cooking for 1-2 minutes.
Remove rolls from oil and place in a bowl or colander lined with paper towel.
Continue process until all of the spring rolls are cooked. Place sweet chili sauce in a small bowl for dipping and enjoy!
*If you forget to soak the mushrooms in advance, soaking in hot water for approx. 30 minutes will work!