Dedicated to my friends. Make them yourself!
After living in Lake Placid for a few years I realized that a lack of Spring Rolls at my beck and call was leaving a gaping hole in my heart. So, after a little research I decided to take them on myself.
As it would turn out, this cooking adventure would be a turning point in my relationship with Andrew. Why? Well, I have always been a bit of a hot head. Granted I realize what I am doing very quickly, but unfortunately I don’t realize it fast enough to stop me from doing it in the first place. So, when we initially decided to make spring rolls we were not aware of the easy egg roll wrappers located in our local grocery store. Instead I tried making them myself. BAD IDEA. First off, if you think making thin crepes are hard, this takes it to a whole new level. You need to have some serious patience as you pour the liquid on a hot, but not too hot pan, quickly spread it to thin out with zero holes, and then flip it, while not ripping it because you left the pan too dry. NIGHTMARE! I am guilty of throwing a few spatulas, sobbing on the floor and letting out a stream of curses. Andrew was not amused and I was embarrassed by my behavior and praying that Andrew wasn't going to drop me like a sack of potatoes. After a few tries, I explained my frustration to my co-worker where he enlightened me of the glorious egg roll wrappers located in Price Chopper. HALLELUJAH! You have no idea how happy I was to find them. As you can imagine, I have been making egg rolls like a boss ever since.
PS. Andrew did not drop me like a sack of potatoes and thankfully I have grown to be a more even tempered individual (sorta).
FRIED SPRING ROLLS a la Kasia
- · 2 cups shredded Carrots
- · 2 cups of chopped Scallions
- · 1 Habanero or Chili Pepper, minced
- · 2-3 Cloves of Garlic, minced
- · 1 nub of Ginger, shredded or minced, whatever is easier
- · 1 head of cabbage, cut that baby up, instructions below
- · 3-5 table spoons of Soy Sauce
- · 1 package of egg roll wrappers ( I use Nasoya)
- · 1 small cup of water (for dipping your finger)
- · Olive Oil (enough so there is roughly 1.5 - 2 inches from the bottom of the pot )
- · Dipping Sauce (our favorite is Ginger People's, Sweet Ginger Chili Sauce
- Get your large wok out.
- Peel your carrots and then shred on the grater. Put into wok.
- Wash your scallions and thinly chop. Put into wok.
- Wash your habanero, cut the head off, scrape the seeds out with the tip of your knife, cut in half and then mince. Put into wok.
- Peel your ginger. You can either mince, if you like, or shred. Whatever you feel more comfortable with. Put into wok.
- Peel shell off your garlic and then mince. Put into wok.
- Peel the 1st couple of leaves off your cabbage. Now place it on the cutting board and cut it in half so one side is the top of the head and the other is the ugly numb. Take the top half and lay it flat on your cutting board and starting cutting strips about one inch wide. Keep your hand on the cabbage to keep it together to make it easier to cut. Next cut those in half or thirds (about 7cm long). Now take the bottom half and cut four chunks off around the core. Same idea with this and cut into strips. I avoid the core because it is hard and rarely cooks down and only ends up piercing the egg roll wrapper and making holes.
- Add the cabbage to the wok. Yes your wok should be full to the brim. If you don't have enough space, a. get a bigger wok b. wait for the items to cook down and add more of the cabbage as there is room.
- Drizzle soy sauce. I would say about three table spoons. Heat the wok between low -medium on an electric burner or on low-3 on a gas burner. Keep tossing the mixture as it cooks down for about 5 minutes. If it looks like your wok is burning, turn down the heat a bit and add a little more soy sauce.
- In the meantime get your rolling station ready.
- Put out a clean and dry cutting board. Place your egg roll wrappers (out of the package obviously) on the cutting board.
- In a small cup or bowl put some water. You will use this for dipping your finger to get the edges of the egg roll wrapper wet .
- Once your wok items are cooked down you are ready to roll (check out the photo below for some help)
- Place your egg roll wrapper so the points are facing north/south/east /west. Place some of the wok mixture in the middle. I would say about two table spoons. Fold the sides in and the start rolling from the bottom, up. Once you are halfway up, dip your finger in the water and wet the top edges of the point and edges. Continue rolling and hold it firm against the cutting board so the edges stick. SIDE NOTE: If you see food poking out of the edges, or through the wrapper, you put too much. If it was really easy to roll and it easily covered, you may be able to add more of the mixture.
- Set your rolls aside on a plate.
- Once you have gotten through about 3 of these, put you oil in the small pot and heat it on low or 1 on your gas burner. Give it time to heat. Once you get to approximately your 10th roll, take your first egg roll and place it in the oil. If it starts to bubble that means your oil is ready. If not, wait until you see the egg roll wrapper browning before adding more. You can typically fit three egg rolls in a pot. Takes about 4-5 minutes to cook, a little less as you go on. Watch them and help them turn if they are browned on one side and not the other
- Continue with your rolling. You should get about 20 from each packet.
- Get a plate ready with 2 layers of paper towel. Ideally you will fish your egg rolls out by metal thongs. If not, use whatever you have but try not to use plastic. Place on the paper towel plate to allow it to rid itself of some of the oil. Let them cool off.
The whole process probably takes 1 hour, maybe 1.25 hours, depending how quickly you cut and roll and what not. If you can do a couple of things at once then you can shave some time off, but no rush. They will be delicious when you finish. And then you will cry because they are all gone and you don't have the energy to go through the process again.
Fun Fact: While all you meat eaters have your wings for the Super Bowl, we always make these bad boys. Its the only item in our arsenal that is fried.