For a year now I’ve been learning Chinese. I have to admit it was not mine idea, but fortunately I got into a beginners group and loved it. In the beginning it was hard to keep up with all the characters and grammar rules we learned, but one step at a time and it all got into place. The main reason why I even started learning was the communication which played a bigger role than spelling/writing characters. Having a teacher who was young and communicative and for the first time in Croatia or even Europe for the matter of fact, made it a challenge I was willing to take. Now for a few weeks I’ve been absent from class due to my work and classes and I’ve been missing out on so many new interesting facts on China, new lessons and characters. Nevertheless I found time to make something that always makes me think of China – spring rolls.
When making spring rolls I’ve realised I don’t even have to use classic spring rolls wrappers which sometimes can be hard to find in our stores so I’ve been using homemade strudel crusts and I can say that there hasn’t been any major difference, spring rolls turned out as crispy and as tasty. I always like to find delicious alternatives with the ingredients I can find in every local store.
Well what would spring rolls be without a delicious dip. Since my spring rolls are vegetarian I sticked to the theme and made a delicious vegetarian red bean dip with olive oil and tomatoes. It brings out the spicy flavour of spring rolls filling and brings them to a new level. Give the recipe a go and let me know what you think, always like a nice feedback!
Preparation: 25 min
Cook time: 15 min
For spring rolls
- 16 large spring roll wrappers
- 50 g mushrooms, finely sliced
- 70 g carrot, grated
- 2 spring onions, sliced
- 1/2 kohlarbi, grated
- 150 g red cabbage, sliced
- 1 thumb sized piece of ginger, chopped
- 1 red chilli, finely chopped
- 20 ml sesame oil
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp aceto balsamico
- salt & pepper to taste
- 2 tbsp cornstarch
- 3 tbsp water
- vegetable oil
For red bean dip
- 150 g red beans, canned or cooked
- 120 g crushed tomatoes
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, pressed
- batch of fresh basil, chopped
- fresh parsley, chopped
- 2 tsp lime juice
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- salt & pepper to taste
- Place sliced mushrooms, grated carrot and kohlarbi, sliced spring onions, sliced red cabbage, chopped ginger and chilli in a large bowl. Season with salt, pepper, sesame oil, soy sauce and aceto balsamico.
- Heat a large wok and add vegetables. Toss the vegetables but don’t cook them since they have to stay crisp. The objective is to combine the ingredients so the seasoning and the flavours can interact together.
- Combine together in a small bowl cornstarch and 3 tbsp of water.
- Place two wrappers one over another on a large surface – using two wrappers so they don’t break while frying. Place some filling over the wrappers and roll them up. Using a brush spread some cornstarch mixture on the edge of the wrapper so you can ‘paste’ the rolls and they won’t open.
- Heat vegetable oil in a frying pan. Fry the spring rolls for a few minutes on both sides until crispy and golden.
- Place chopped onion and pressed garlic in a medium pan with olive oil. Simmer over medium heat for a few minutes. Add red beans and cook for a few more minutes. Stir in crushed tomatoes, basil, parsley, lime juice, salt & pepper to taste. Using a food processor, process the bean-tomato mixture until you get a smooth dip.
- Serve crispy spring rolls with a red bean dip and enjoy!