Friday, April 15, 2011

Clearing out cupboards=Spring Rolls

   We still haven't done a big grocery shop in a few good weeks, as we're still trying to eat all the food in our cupboards. This was so we don't
1. Pack & take it with us, and 2. Throw good food out, and 3. have to go to the grocery.

So finding two spring roll wrapper packs gave me an extra challenge .

I tackled it head on and made Filipino lumpia, and fresh Chinese style spring rolls. YEAH-YUH.

I love my mother's lumpia so much that she made it for our reception, and I wrote about it here. Every time I visit she gives me frozen plastic baggies full and I take some out when I need something fried.

So here is her recipe (as tweaked by me):

  • 1tbs of canola oil
  • 2 cloves minces garlic
  • 1/2 pound ground turkey or lean beef (I used half and half turkey & meatless crumbles)
  • 1 Package egg roll wrappers, the frozen kind work best, pictured far left 
  • 8 oz or so of green beans, finely chopped
  • 3 Grated carrots
  • 2 tbs Soy Sauce, I use Toyomansi
Find this stuff at Asian food stores. The soy sauce is with the Filipino food, and the rice wrappers are with the Chinese or Vietnamese foods. And, yes, there is a difference.Or get it here. The ones on the left are frozen and the ones on the right are dry. 

1. Heat a large sauce pan over medium  heat, and throw on the garlic until it smells good but not burnt.
2. Brown the meat.
3. Add the green beans. They should be chopped like this:
Add the grated carrots and and soy sauce. Cook till veggies are soft, making sure soy sauce is equally distributed.

The next part is really important.
Drain! Soggy filling makes soggy eggrolls! Unless you like that.

And the filling looks like this:

I like a more veggie to meat ratio, so I could have probably used more green beans.
Now the rolling:
Start by cutting the wrappers in half, diagonally.

I used two triangles per roll, so they will hold up.  You may lose a few. I always do. But fry them and they're fun to crunch on.
Use a tablespoon to portion out the filling. More or less, if that's how you roll (ha ha!).
this one's a lil fattie
Use a spoon to push them back in there and have a bowl of water (with or without flour or cornstarch) to wet them and get them sticky.
Roll it over, fold the corners, and roll towards the point. Use that water!
No one can get them as tight as a mom who's made thousands of  lumpia. Your first ones will be a little loose.
My mom puts them in the freezer right away, in baggies or Tupperware. This helps them set and are easier to take out a fry when you need them.
I made about 15 fat ones. Hers are a bit thinner and tighter. A thing of beauty.

Fry these on high, 'till the wrapper turns golden brown.

For a dipping sauce:
Break a clove of garlic into white vinegar. Simple as that.
Add soy sauce and sesame seed oil to taste.
I already had these ingredients so this meal cost me nothing but an hourly wage! Wait, I had to buy carrots. So make that less than $2, and I worked for free :p

 And now the fresh spring rolls!

I basically tweaked this recipe from

This vegetarian Chinese-style spring roll recipe uses shiitake mushrooms and soy sauce for a very Asian flavor. You can also learn how to wrap spring rolls by following my illustrated step-by-step instructions here.


  • 1/3 green cabbage, chopped into thin pieces
  • 2/3 cup fresh bean sprouts
  • 1/2 cup snow peas, sliced into thin strips
  • 3/4 cup shiitake or portabello mushrooms, sliced thin
  • 3 scallions, chopped
  • 2 carrots, grated
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • one bunch fresh mint
  • spring roll wrappers (the dry ones)
  • water


Combine all ingredients (except for wrappers and water) in a large mixing bowl, stirring well to coat the veggies with soy sauce and sesame oil. Submerge spring roll wrappers in water until pliable one at a time. Place 2 to 3 tablespoons in wrappers. Place two or three mint leaves on top and wrap your spring rolls. Serve with a dipping sauce.

I left out the mushrooms and snow peas because I didn't have any. Subbed steamed bok choy for cabbage, and dried chives for fresh scallions. I added sesame seeds and a sliver of  of fresh ginger to each roll. Then I let rice vermicelli noodle soak in hot water, 
 add them to this mix:

For the dipping sauce, I added peanut butter to the above sauce recipe. Make sure you pull each dry wrapper off the stack before wetting it. Or you'll have one big chewy rice ball.

 And these babies are going to a potluck tomorrow!
I only bought bean sprouts and bok choy, so that's another $4. I grow mint in the yard.

I'm loving this empty cupboard challenge!

No comments:

Post a Comment