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.
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.
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.
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!
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? 😉
- 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
- Heat the olive oil in a large skillet
- Add all ingredients except the coleslaw mix and stir to combine, gently cooking the spices in the oil over medium heat for 2 minutes
- Add the coleslaw mix and toss to combine with the spices and oil
- Cook until the coleslaw mix begins to wilt slightly, no more than 3-5 minutes
- Remove from heat and allow to cool completely
- 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
- I recommend rolling the spring rolls first and then deep frying so that you can give your full attention to the hot oil
- 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
- 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
- The water will act as a glue and keep the roll tight
- 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
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.