Vegetarian Spring Rolls

Holy spring rolls! Vegetable spring rolls are one of our favorite appetizers that we order whenever we go to an Asian restaurant. When was the last time you ordered spring rolls? Did you bite into it and wonder what was actually inside? Everyone has eaten them, but have you ever tried to make our own? If not then you are in luck, because these crispy vegetable spring rolls are about to rock your world.

So why are they so good? Is it that crispy crunch? Or the amazing dipping sauce? I love their crunch, the flavor and the moist interior. What I am not overly keen on is the fact that often spring rolls owe their crispy golden shell to deep frying. Well, don’t worry because I have an amazing trick that will blow your mind away! With the help of air fryer/ oven, you can make them practically oil free and as delicious as deep fried.

When it comes to filling, you can completely experiment here. I have made spring rolls at home practically half of my life. Since I was 10 years old, my parents have made them at home and over the years, we have experimented with various vegetables, noodles, tofu, soya crumbles, and sauces. Truly, options are endless here. Today I have made my favorite filling with vegetables, soy granules and noodles.

Tips to follow to get the perfect spring rolls:

  1. Your vegetable filling mixture must be drained of excess moisture and completely cooled prior rolling. Soggy and hot filling will give you soggy spring rolls.
  2. Choosing the right wrapping paper is very important. Make sure to read carefully at the label making sure you don’t pick up the wrong wrapping paper. Chinese spring roll wrapping shells are thin compared to egg roll paper. My favorite two go to brands are spring home – TYJ spring roll pasty sheets or Wei-chuan spring roll shells. They are super thin and give you the perfect spring roll crispy texture when cooked.
  3. When you buy frozen wrappers, thaw them. Once opened for wrapping spring rolls, keep covered damp cloth at all times to prevent them from drying out.
  4. When filling spring rolls, make sure to not over stuff the rolls. Roll small and tight. If your spring rolls are loose, it will allow oil to seep into the inside of the roll and make spring roll fall apart. Make sure to seal the end nicely with flour slurry.

Makes 20 spring rolls (20 servings)

Per serving Calories 100, Fat 2g, Carbs 19g, Fiber 6g, Protein 6g

Ingredients:

For the spring rolls –

2 -3 cup finely shredded cabbage

2-3 medium finely shredded carrots (julienned)

1 bell pepper finely shredded (julienned)

1 medium onion finely shredded

4 -5 cloves garlic finely shredded

1-2 jalapeno peppers finely shredded (optional if you like them spicy)

1 cup cooked rice vermicelli noodles (cook them and coat them with little oil to prevent them from sticking each other)

1 cup cooked soy crumbs (you can get them at the store; boil them until soft and squeeze all the excess water out)

3 tbsp soy sauce

1-2 tbsp black pepper powder

2 tbsp EVOO

Salt as needed

1 tbsp huy fong chili garlic sauce (optional)

Oil for frying

Spring roll sheets, thawed

Ingredients for slurry-

1 tablespoon cornstarch

2-3 tbsp of water

For soy dipping sauce –

½ cup soy sauce

1 tbsp rice vinegar

¼ tsp sesame oil

2 tsp honey

2 tsp chili oil

½ tsp finely grated ginger

For creamy dipping sauce:

¼ cup Greek yogurt

¼ cup olive oil

1 Tbsp fresh cilantro, finely chopped

1 Tbsp fresh lime juice

1 Tbsp rice vinegar

Salt & pepper to taste

Method:

Soy dipping sauce: Combine all the ingredients for the dipping sauce in a small bowl and set it aside.

Creamy dipping sauce: Add all the ingredients in the blender. Blend until smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Stuffing: Heat oil in a skillet or wok over high heat, add oil. Once hot, add garlic, jalapeños, and onion, stirring frequently. Sauté for 1 minute. Add all other vegetables and salt. The salt will evaporate moisture out of the vegetables. Let the mixture cook for approximately 3-4 minutes, while stirring frequently.  Add soy crumbs and cooked vermicelli noodles. Mix thoroughly until mixture is uniformed. Add soy sauce, black pepper and chili garlic sauce. Mix thoroughly and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Cook the vegetables al dente and turn off the stove. Set it aside to cool the mixture.

Slurry: In a small bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and 2-3 tbsp of cool water to form a slurry, which will be using to seal the spring rolls.

Assembling spring rolls: Thaw spring rolls sheets. Working with one wrapper, place the wrapper so that a corner is facing you, then spoon 2 tbsp of the cooled filling onto the bottom third of the wrapper that is closet to you. Lift the bottom of the wrapper and fold over the filling, flattening the wrapper around the filling so that no air bubbles form. Tuck it back. Begin folding the wrapper away from you. Fold in the sides to form an envelope like shape. Continue to cinch and fold. Brush the top inside corner lightly with the cornstarch slurry. The spring roll should measure 1 by 2 inch. Place the spring roll on a parchment line sheet tray; cover with a damp paper towel. Repeat with the remaining wrappers and filling.

Deep fry: In a large work or sauce pan over high heat, add about 1-2 inch of cooking oil. Slide several egg rolls into the oil and allow them to cook for 2-3 minutes, turning them over a couple times, or until the wrappers are golden brown. Remove the spring rolls to a cooking rack or paper towel cover plate to allow them to drain, serve hot with sauce of choice.

Baking or Air fryer: Place spring rolls on a rack and place the rack on a tray. Spray very generously with oil all over (use canola). Bake at 350-400F for 20-25 minutes until golden crispy on oven or air fryer. Serve hot with sauce of choice.

Notes:

When you are making your stuffing, keep in mind to not add too much sauce. You want to keep the stuffing dry. If the stuffing is watery, the spring rolls won’t be crunchy. If you are adding soy crumbs, keep in mind to drain all the water with muslin cloth prior adding to the stuffing. You can adjust the spices to your own taste buds. I like them little spicy, so I add little chili garlic sauce to mine.

I usually like to make a big batch and freeze them for future gathering/parties. If you do freeze them, do not defrost the spring rolls when you want to fry it. Just add them to the oil frozen 3-4 at a time. Add an additional 1-2 minutes to the frying time since they are frozen.

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