Mini Spring Rolls

We were originally trying to make jiaozi, Chinese-style dumplings, but it turned out that the spring roll pastry that we got from the local Asian market reacted less than favourably to steaming. In fact, when steamed, it turned into a pulp! So, what do you make from spring roll pastry? Spring rolls. And they turned out great too!

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Spring rolls are actually quite simple to make. We made them on two separate occasions. The first time we just fried them on a pan, and the second time we baked them in the oven. The following instructions are for the oven, but they apply to pan-fried spring rolls too. Just don’t brush them with oil, but put the oil in a frying pan instead.

This is what we used:

  • ready-made wheat spring roll wrappers (we got them from Aseanic Trading on Kolmas linja)
  • 1 onion
  • 2-3 tablespoons canola oil for frying and brushing
  • 1 tablespoon of crushed ginger
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 yellow bell pepper
  • 150 g firm tofu
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon raw cane sugar
  • juice of 1/2 lime
  • 1 teaspoon potato starch

This makes enough filling for about 12-15 mini spring rolls.

For the dipping sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • ½ teaspoon sesame oil
  • ½ tablespoon brown rice vinegar

First, we preheated the oven to 200 degrees Celsius, chopped the vegetables into small pieces, and minced the tofu with a fork.

We put a frying pan over medium-high heat, added 1 tablespoon of oil, and fried the onions for a few minutes, until they turned translucent. Next, we added the garlic, ginger, chili powder, and bell pepper into the pan, and fried them for a couple of minutes more. Then we added the minced tofu, and fried it for an additional two minutes or so.

It was time to season the filling with soy sauce and sugar. We mixed the sugar with the soy sauce, and poured the mixture into the frying pan, stirred it in, and removed the pan from the heat. When the filling was done, it was time to fill the rolls.

Assembling the spring rolls:

First, we wet the edges of the spring roll wrapper using our fingers dipped into a bowl of water. This helps the pastry edges to stick together. Then, we put a tablespoon of the filling in one end of the wrapper, leaving about 1 cm space between the filling and the edge.

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Next, we folded the sides of the wrapper together, and started wrapping tightly from one end.

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We kept on wrapping until we reached the end.

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The first spring roll was ready to be baked or fried now. Next, we started from the beginning, doing two at a time:

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Once the spring rolls were ready, we brushed them with canola oil on both sides, placed them on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper, and put them in the oven for 7 minutes. We ate our spring rolls with rice, dipping them in a sauce made of soy sauce, sesame oil and brown rice vinegar.

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