Tiny bit of China

Ethan took us to a Chinese restaurant the other day. I had spring rolls before, but i never realized how much I like them until yesterday. Heard you can buy them in Tesco or even cook them at home.

Prep Time: 35 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes


  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 thumb-size piece galangal OR ginger, grated
  • 2 green onions, sliced into matchstick pieces
  • 1 red chili, minced, OR 1/2 to 1 tsp. cayenne pepper (omit if you prefer very mild spring rolls)
  • 1/2 cup shredded or finely chopped cabbage
  • 4-6 shiitake mushrooms, cut into matchstick pieces
  • 1/2 cup medium to firm tofu, sliced into matchstick pieces (If non-vegetarian: add 1/2 cup cooked baby shrimp)
  • approx. 2 cups bean sprouts
  • 1/2 cup fresh coriander, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil, roughly chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. oil, plus more for deep-frying
  • 1 pkg. spring roll wrappers (thawed if frozen)
  • 2 Tbsp. regular soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp. fish sauce (if vegetarian, substitute vegetarian oyster sauce, or extra soy sauce)
  • 2 Tbsp. lime juice
  • 1/4 tsp. sugar
  • Thai sweet chilli sauce (available in Asian/Chinese food stores, and some grocery chains in the Asian section)
  • Mix 1/3 cup plum sauce with 3 Tbsp. soy sauce. Add cut fresh chili or cayenne pepper if desired.


  1. Place 2 Tbsp. oil in a wok or large frying pan over medium to high heat. Add garlic, galangal (or ginger), shallots, and chilli. Stir-fry until fragrant (about 1 minute). Stir-frying Tip: Add a little water to the wok/pan when it gets too dry instead of more oil.
  2. Add cabbage, mushrooms, and tofu (or shrimp). As you stir-fry, add the sauce. Stir-fry 1-2 minutes, until vegetables have softened.
  3. Remove from heat and add bean sprouts, tossing to mix in.
  4. Do a taste test for salt, adding 1 Tbsp. more fish or soy sauce if not salty enough.
  5. To assemble rolls, place a spring roll wrapper on a clean working surface. Place one heaping Tbsp. of the filling on the wrapper (if using large wrappers, you will need more). Tips: Spread the filling lengthwise along the spring roll wrapper nearer the end closest to you. Also, try not to include too much of the liquid left in the bottom of your wok/pan (a slotted spoon works well for this – drier filling is better.
  6. Now sprinkle some of the fresh coriander and basil over the filling.
  7. Fold the left and right sides of wrapper over filling, then lift up the wide end nearest you and tuck overtop. Roll to the other end. Secure the roll by dipping your fingers in some water and wetting the end, “pasting” it shut.
  8. To fry spring rolls, place some oil (about 1 inch deep) in a wok or deep-sided frying pan over medium-high heat. When bubbles rise, or when the oil begins to form snake-like lines across the bottom of the pan, the oil may be hot enough. To test it, dip one corner of a spring roll into the oil. If it beginsto sizzle and cook, the oil is ready. If not, wait another 30 seconds to one minute and try again.
  9. Using tongs, place spring rolls in oil, allowing them to fry about 1 minute on each side. Spring rolls are done when they turn light to medium golden-brown (see photo). Place on paper towels (or a clean dish towel) to drain while you finish frying the rest.
  10. Serve spring rolls while still hot with Thai Sweet Chili Sauce, or your own dipping sauce (see recipe above). ENJOY!

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