Vegetarian Spring Rolls are delicious and super easy to make. Using store-bought coleslaw mix speeds up the prep time and gets these appetizers to the table in 25 minutes! And, don’t forget that sweet and sour dipping sauce with a mild kick from the chilies!
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? 😉
Okay, Dear Reader, here’s an update for you. This recipe was originally posted in 2015. In August of 2017, I made the exact same recipe once more and updated my photos. I followed the recipe exactly like before, but this time, I added the sesame seeds and green onions. They didn’t change the flavour much, but the onion-y taste became more dominant, which I really liked.
Since posting the original recipe, my daughter, McKenna has moved in with us. She was at home the day I made these, so instead of John.e and I splitting the 12 spring rolls between us both, we shared with her and only got 4 each. That might seem like a lot, but that’s all we ate for lunch that particular Sunday.
Lastly, you might not believe this, but I had a package of imitation crab in the fridge again! I was so excited! My plan was to use up the leftover egg roll wrappers once the spring roll filling was used up to make myself some of those delicious crab rolls. The package of egg roll wrappers that I often buy have 16 wrappers and this recipe only uses 12 of those, so I was excited to be able to use up the remaining 4 wrappers with the crab filling.
So, I made the filling and once it was all said and done, I tasted it to make sure it was seasoned properly. Well, it was too salty to eat. I had added salt, in addition to the soy sauce and hoisin sauce in my crab filling recipe. I had to throw it out, I couldn’t rescue it. So, needless to say, I’m probably never buying crab again! Only these Vegetarian Spring Rolls with Chinese Sweet and Sour Dipping Sauce for me from now on!
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon dehydrated minced onion
- 1/2 teaspoon grated ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon grated garlic
- 1/4 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon Chinese five spice
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon sesame seeds (white or black or a combination of both)
- ¼ cup green onions, finely sliced (plus more for garnish)
- 1 package shredded coleslaw mix (14 ounces)
- 1 package egg roll wrappers
- ½ cup frozen green peas
- Vegetable oil for deep frying
- ¼ cup water
- In a large skillet, over medium heat, add all of the ingredients except the peas, vegetable oil, and water. Sauté for 5 minutes until the coleslaw mix begins to wilt.
- Add the peas and continue to cook for 5 more minutes. Remove from heat and allow mixture to cool completely.
- In the meantime, set up a clean working area to roll the filling into the wrappers. A large cutting board works well. Also, have close by, the ¼ cup of water.
- 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 1/4 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 of 350 degrees and gently insert the rolls into the hot oil. Fry for 2 minutes per side; remove from oil and drain on paper towels.
- Garnish with green onions and sesame seeds. Serve immediately. The Chinese Sweet and Sour Sauce is optional, but easy to make. See notes.
- Chinese Sweet & Sour Dipping Sauce
- In a small sauce pan, combine 1/3 cup rice 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. Add ¼ teaspoon dried red chili flakes. Stir. Sauce will thicken. Remove from heat and let cool.
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