I craned my neck to look at the translucent sheet of rice paper rain that H had pointed out to me. It was pummeling the ground, before us, a few meters away. Within seconds I heard it drench our black Hyundai as we entered its realm. I ducked. It sounded like a Niagara. But I felt the eerie-ness of a clenched fist, at first knocking then spreading its fingers, softly, on top of my head. Have you ever felt that?
Juxtapositions of weather never fail to fascinate me ....nature's abrupt seperateness of downpour and clearness existing within meters of each other...side by side, face to face, meeting up, merging, yet apart, clear on one side, grey on the other, dry over here and wet over there. How cool is that?
That happened a few days ago. And it has nothing to do with these spring rolls. I just had to tell you. Because the past month has been a sort of tropical winter. Wet and gloomy most times yet smouldering in between. And my enthusiasm towards cooking or baking have shifted according to the weather. You can tell, can't you?.... from my blog.
I feel paralysed and unmotivated most times but with short sunny bursts of enthusiasm in between. Today I have three things in the making after a period of relative dormancy. Sometimes I wonder what makes me tick. And then tock :D
Anyway.....To cut a long story short.....with the excitement of eating healthy I had baked these spring rolls after swiping them with oil. But they looked so pathetic that I finally agreed to fry them in a little oil. That straightened them up, they came to life,looked perky crisp and sunny. What a difference a little frying made. yea...grease..tell me about it.
I would have left them at baked if I
The Recipe ~
Dip these in Thai Sweet Chillie Sauce. O. Yea.
Yield : About 16 rolls
A packet of spring roll sheets.
8 medium sized prawns, shelled, de-veined and chopped finely
2 cloves garlic, crushed and minced finely
1 small Chinese cabbage, washed and finely shredded
2 small carrots, washed, skinned and julienned
1 sengkuang (turnip?) (tennis ball size, maybe larger), skinned, washed and julienned
A handful of shitake mushrooms, cleaned, stalk removed and sliced finely
2-3 tsp light soy sauce
1 T oyster sauce (optional) I didn't use this
1 tsp sugar
1 T cornstarch mixed with a little water to a slurry
1 2/2 T vegetable oil
Make a paste from about 2 T plain flour and a little water to use as glue later.
Heat a wok until hot. Pour in the oil and saute the garlic for a few seconds until aromatic but not brown. Throw in the shitake mushrooms, carrots and turnips and stir to mix evenly. Add salt and pepper, sugar, soy sauce and oyster sauce if using. There is no need to add water at all. Just keep stirring and tossing and when the carrots and turnips are a little softened throw in the Chinese cabbage and mix and toss again. Adjust seasoning to taste. Keep stirring until the cabbage just softens. Add the cornstarch slurry and mix again and the cornstarch slurry thickens and the vegetable mixture is just slightly wet.
Note : The vegetable mixture should not be overly wet...just damp. And cool completely before making rolls.
Remove the spring roll sheets from the wrapper and cover with a damp cloth to keep them from drying out. Peel off one sheet and place on a board. Fill with the vegetable mixture (about 2 T) and roll into a firm and reasonably tight roll. Not too tight that it tears though. 'Glue' the end of the roll with the paste of flour and water that you made earlier. Keep aside on a tray while you make the rest.
If baking the oven should be pre-heated 15 minutes before at 375 F. Spray or swipe a baking tray with oil. Place all the spring rolls on top and swipe the rolls with oil on top. Bake for about 20 minutes or until the rolls turn a light golden brown. Serve immediately otherwise the rolls with get wrinkled and limp.
Alternatively, shallow fry the rolls to a crisp. They'll look better and stay crisp longer. :)