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Do you ever have those moments where you are pushing a cart through your local grocery store and you see an item that you’ve not purchased for such a long time, and you just have to have it?  That happened to me last week.  When I shop for groceries, I really like to take my time.  First, I walk around the perimeter and pick up fruit and veggies, bread of some kind, possibly a steak or a chicken breast to cook for myself when John.e is not going to be home for dinner, and then on to the frozen section for whatever might strike my fancy.

Vegetarian Spring Rolls with Chinese Sweet & Sour Dipping Sauce

Last week, while looking at the chilled dips and sauces, I saw a huge pile of packaged eggroll wrappers.  I immediately thought of deep fried crab rolls.  I used to make those at least once a month.  Next, I picked up some crab meat and continued on to do the rest of my shopping.  It wasn’t until I returned home and started to put my purchases where they belonged, that it dawned on me – crab rolls are a lot of effort for one person; John.e can’t eat fish, so I’m not sure I wanted to put in the effort for just myself.

Vegetarian Spring Rolls with Chinese Sweet & Sour Dipping Sauce

In an instant, my deep fried crab roll dreams were gone, and the eggroll wrappers became a vessel for these vegetarian spring rolls.  The spring rolls were fantastic, and the dipping sauce that I prepared worked really well with them, but alas, the packaged crab is still sitting in my refrigerator hoping that its expiry date does not come before I get the urge to do something with it.

Vegetarian Spring Rolls with Chinese Sweet & Sour Dipping Sauce

These vegetarian spring rolls were certainly worth the time and effort though; and that’s because there is very little time and effort needed.  This is such a simple recipe, but the pay off is so great.  I was able to make 12 spring rolls with dipping sauce in under 30 minutes.  I didn’t serve anything else with them.  John.e and I sat on the balcony in the middle of a Sunday afternoon and at all twelve!

Vegetarian Spring Rolls with Chinese Sweet & Sour Dipping Sauce

The recipe below is for both the spring rolls and the sauce.  Of course, you can certainly do without the Chinese Sweet and Sour Dipping Sauce, but why would you?  😉

Vegetarian Spring Rolls with Homemade Sweet & Sour Sauce
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 12
Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon dehydrated minced onion
  • ½ teaspoon grated ginger
  • ½ teaspoon grated garlic
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon Chinese five spice
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 package shredded coleslaw mix
Instructions
  1. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet
  2. Add all ingredients except the coleslaw mix and stir to combine, gently cooking the spices in the oil over medium heat for 2 minutes
  3. Add the coleslaw mix and toss to combine with the spices and oil
  4. Cook until the coleslaw mix begins to wilt slightly, no more than 3-5 minutes
  5. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely
  6. In the meantime, set up a working area to roll the filling into the wrappers; you'll need a clean cutting board, a small cup of water, and hot oil
  7. I recommend rolling the spring rolls first and then deep frying so that you can give your full attention to the hot oil
  8. Retrieve one wrapper and position it on the cutting board so that one corner points directly toward you (like a diamond shape) and place ¼ cup of the filling in the center
  9. Lift the corner closest to you over the top of the filling, fold in the left and right sides, and roll the eggroll wrapper up to almost the end; dip your index finger in the water and moisten the tip of the only remaining exposed corner; continue to roll to the end
  10. The water will act as a glue and keep the roll tight
  11. Once all of your spring rolls are assembled, bring cooking oil to optimum frying temperature and gently insert the rolls into the hot oil. Fry for 2 minutes per side; remove from oil and drain on paper towel
Notes
Chinese Sweet & Sour Dipping Sauce
In a small sauce pan, combine ⅓ cup white vinegar, 3 tablespoons brown sugar, 1 tablespoon ketchup, 1 tablespoon soy sauce, and 1 tablespoon of corn starch mixed with 4 tablespoons of water. Whisk together and bring to a slight boil. Sauce will thicken. Remove from heat and let cool.
 

Vegetarian Spring Rolls and Chinese Sweet and Sour Dipping Sauce

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This Post Has 39 Comments

    1. Hahaha – the next time I make them, I’ll call you. 🙂 I only ate 6; my partner at the other 6. I could have eaten all 12 of them though. 🙂

  1. lol @ shopping and impulse buying ingredients … then deciding at home it’s not worth the effort for one person. I do that all the time … my husband doesn’t care for beans and I’m always thinking I’ll make this great Mexican dish … oh yeah … lol

    I’m kind of nervous about egg roll wrappers … but this recipe looks like something I could manage!

    1. I’m glad I’m not alone here, Noel. 🙂 The egg roll wrapper is nothing to shy away from. Super, super easy! In fact, it’s easier than rolling a burrito. 🙂

    1. That’s two who’ve offered to help eat the crab rolls. Next time, okay? 🙂 Thank you, Ange; the dipping sauce was amazing.

    1. Thanks, Katalina! You and me both; if I ever go to a Chinese buffet, you can bet you’ll find me piling my plate high with spring rolls!

  2. Byron, these look and sound delicious.
    I love how delicious and crispy they look with only 1 tbsp of oil!!!! So good! I can’t wait to try them. YUM!!!!!

  3. This is exactly the kind of dish I’d order out at a restaurant! It takes me a bit to trust mystery meat filling haha. Do you think it could be made with finely diced fresh onion instead of the dehydrated? I’m adding it to my “snow day treats” list.

    1. I’m sure you can use fresh onion; just sauté it with the coleslaw mix for a few minutes and it will be fine. I prefer dehydrated onion for two reasons; it’s faster and has a stronger, more concentrated onion flavour.

  4. I love any kind of deep fried won-ton anything! These spring rolls look so tasty (especially with the sauce), and your crab rolls sound like they were gonna be super awesome, but I want to know what you ended up doing with the crab! 🙂 yum!

    1. I did end up making crab rolls too the next day. I had way too many egg roll wrappers left over to neglect the crab. And, besides, why should I suffer? He’s the vegetarian, not me! 😉

  5. Wow they look like you have nailed the perfect crispy outer coating and the filling sounds awesome… I’ve been meaning to make spring rolls after I picked up some wrappers on my last trip to the big city, thanks for the reminder 😀

    1. I love them too much, Paige. Even when I go to a Chinese buffet, I eat more spring rolls than anything else on the menu. 🙂

  6. Don’t mind me while I add some crab or pork or chicken to these. And then make that sweet and sour sauce to dip EVERYthing into.

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