So, along with Christmas, Easter and Halloween, Chinese New Year is another celebration that seven year old M really looks forward to. Every year he gets excited finding out which animal the year represents. This year, February 19th 2015 is the year of the Goat/Sheep.
We have been very lucky to have been in China Town, London during the Chinese New Year parade with lions, and dragons and amazing costumes, music and dancing, if you can get there the celebrations this year are on Sunday 22nd February. It is great fun.
The children love Chinese food but we don’t tend to have it very often (Chinese take-aways are a coeliac sufferer’s nightmare) so when I saw a recipe for vegetable spring rolls in the latest John Lewis’ Cook Edition I thought why not treat the children to a home cooked Chinese meal and one that my son can actually eat!
No laughing at my vegetable spring rolls…I admit the photos are not the most flattering but they took a lot longer than I thought they would and I am a complete novice when it comes to deep frying. The children were just a little hungry by the time they were cooked and I was feeling a slightly harassed and hot and bothered.
I used Blue Dragon Spring Roll Wrappers which required soaking before using them which was slightly different to what I was expecting. I am thinking that perhaps I fried them for a bit longer than I should but they kept bubbling up, a bit alien like, which was quite comical, but hey it was part of the learning experience. Next time I might try cooking them in the Tefal Actifry.
As well as lots of accessory inspiration for an authentic Chinese meal (wok, bamboo steamer, julienne peeler, oriental teapot etc) the Cook Edition also has a link to a couple of fab videos on Chinese cooking.
To go with our vegetable spring rolls I made egg fried rice, noodles and this amazing slow cooker Chinese Pulled Beef recipe from Super Golden Bakes. The children loved it. I think I will have to make double next time!
I may not have made the best looking vegetable spring rolls but they tasted great, dare I say it, they tasted like ‘real’ spring rolls you would buy from a Chinese take-away.
Hmmm so mine don’t look quite the way they do in the photo but I think they must have been different wrappers to the ones I had.
Vegetable Spring Rolls recipe
- 600ml groundnut oil
- 1tsp peeled & grated ginger
- 100g shiitake mushrooms
- 100g tinned bamboo shoots, drained & cut into matchsticks
- 50g tinned water chestnuts, drained & sliced
- 2 tbsp light soy sauce (use tamari to keep the spring rolls gluten free)
- 1 tbsp Chinese five spice powder
- 75g beansprouts (check they are gluten free)
- 2 leaves cavolo nero, finely spiced
- 2 spring onions, sliced lengthways
- 1 carrot, cut into matchsticks
- 1 tbsp oyster sauce (omit to keep recipe gluten free)
- 1 tsp toasted sesame oil
- 24 small spring roll wrappers
- 1 tbsp cornflour mixed with a 1 tbsp water
- Heat a wok on a high heat and add 1 tbsp groundnut oil
- Stir fry the ginger for a few seconds.
- Add the mushrooms, bamboo shoots & water chestnuts to the wok and stir fry for 1-2 minutes.
- Season the mixture with 1 tbsp of soy sauce and the five spice.
- Put the beansprouts, cavolo nero, spring onions & carrot into a bowl, add the mushrooms, bamboo shoots & water chestnuts.
- Add 1tbsp of soy sauce, oyster sauce(not if recipe is gluten free), sesame oil, salt & pepper to the bowl and mix.
- Take 2 spring roll wrappers and lay one on top of the other.
- Spoon 2 tbsp of filling into the centre of the top wrapper & brush each corner with cornflour paste(I found I didn’t need to use this as the wrappers I used were very sticky)
- Fold the wrapper over the mixture and then fold in the sides and roll up.
- Heat the remaining oil in a wok until it reaches 180ºC (or until a cube of bread turns golden in 15 seconds & floats to the surface)
- Fry the spring rolls until golden brown, remove from the oil and drain on kitchen paper.
- Serve with sweet chilli sauce.
Disclosure: This is a collaborative post