Vegetable Spring Rolls

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Vegetable spring rolls are a big favourite from the Chinese take away, but as they're deep fried, they come with tones of extra calories. It's actually a pity they deep fry them as the ingredients are surprisingly healthy and low in fat.

In this dish, you can bake or fry the spring rolls in a little spray oil which maintains the taste, but cuts out the extra fats. 

They are a little fiddly for the fist couple, but you'll be surprised how quickly you improve.
The following recipe makes 12 spring rolls. (Serve 2-3 per person for a starter or 6 per person for a main course on a Friday!).

• 2 sprays of Fry Light One Cal Spray Oil
• 250g bean sprouts. Washed and patted dry with kitchen paper
• 2 spring onions. Topped, tailed, and finely sliced
• 1 pepper. Washed, deseeded and finely chopped
• 1 medium carrot. Topped, tailed, peeled and grated
• small bunch of coriander. Washed and finely chopped
• 2 tablespoons of Oyster sauce (optional)
• 2 tablespoons of light soy sauce
• a few dashes of sesame oil
• a good dusting of white pepper
• 12 spring roll sized filo pastry sheets. (Available frozen from oriental supermarkets. Alternatively, you can buy larger filo pastry sheets and cut them to size). Allow the sheets to defrost in the fridge for about an hour before using.
• 1 egg, lightly beaten
• 6 sprays of Fry Light One Cal Spray Oil
• a good dusting of white pepper
• sweet chili sauce to serve

  1. Heat a large frying pan on a high heat and when hot (almost smoking), add the two sprays of oil. Next add the bean sprouts, spring onions, peppers, carrot and coriander and stir fry for 2-3 minutes.
  2. Add the oyster sauce if using, (it tastes great and is not fishy!) soy sauce, sesame oil and white pepper and stir fry for a further minute or so. Remove from the heat off and leave to one side to cool. The mixture works best when it's dry so you can use kitchen paper to dry any excess moisture if needed.
  3. To assemble the spring rolls. Take the filo pastry from the pack and cover it in a clean dry tea towel  to prevent it from drying out.
  4. Place one sheet on a plate or clean work surface with one corner pointing towards you, so it forms a diamond shape.
  5. Next, using a brush, or your finger, paint the beaten egg  around the four sides of the sheet.
  6. Next take approximately 2 heaped tablespoons of the bean sprout mixture and place it in a rectangular shape about a third of the way down the sheet as shown below.
  7. Next, take the corner pointing towards you and bring it over the mixture and tuck it under. 
  8. Then tuck the corners in on either side.
  9. Next paint more egg onto the remaining flap and continue to roll away from you to form a roll shape. Transfer to a clean dry plate while you get on with the rest of the rolls. Cover the prepared spring rolls with a dry, clean tea towel to stop them from drying out. Continue until you have 12 rolls.
  10. When you're ready to cook the spring rolls. Paint each of them with the egg mixture so they colour nicely when cooked. (Try to paint all sides, including the underneath).
  11. To cook them in a pan. Heat the pan to a medium to high heat. Add the sprays of oil and fry them, 6 at a time, for 5-7 minutes until they are golden brown. It's a good idea to place the rolls, seam side down in the pan so they seal. Turn regularly. When they are done, sprinkle lightly with white pepper and transfer to kitchen paper. (Don't cover them as they will become soggy).
  12. To oven bake them. Turn the oven to 200°C. Spray a baking sheet lined with tin foil with the spray oil. Arrange the spring rolls, seam side down, on the tray. Bake for 10 minutes. Carefully remove them from the oven and turn them over. If they are looking a little pale, you can paint more egg onto them. Return to the oven for a further 10 minutes. When done, remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly on kitchen paper. (Don't cover them as they will become soggy)
  13. Serve with sweet chili sauce.

Lay out the sheet

Paint on the egg and place the contents on the sheet

Tuck the flap in

Fold the corners over

Paint more egg onto the flap and roll up

Oven Method

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