Although you'll find these popular fried appetizers in many Asian cuisines, the Chinese version of spring rolls are usually filled with cabbage, maybe carrots or a few other vegetables. We made our rolls extra bright, green and springy by incorporating snow peas, minced green onions and cilantro. Shiitake mushrooms are an added umami bonus.
To learn more, read "TT Culinary Institute: Spring Rolls."
Vegetarian Spring Rolls
Recipe from the Tasting Table Test Kitchen
Yield: 14 spring rolls
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
For the Dipping Sauce:
⅓ cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
¼ teaspoon sesame oil
2 teaspoons honey
2 teaspoons chili oil
½ teaspoon finely grated ginger
For the Spring Rolls:
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 teaspoon minced garlic
2 teaspoons finely grated ginger
3 green onions, minced
12 shiitake mushroom caps, julienned
½ small green cabbage, shredded (about 2 cups)
1 cup bamboo shoots, drained and julienned
Kosher salt, to taste
1 cup julienned snow peas
1½ tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro
Spring roll wrappers, defrosted
1 egg white, lightly beaten
Canola oil, for frying
1. Make the dipping sauce: In a small mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients and set aside until ready to serve.
2. Make the spring rolls: In a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat, add the oil. When the oil begins to shimmer, add the garlic, ginger and green onions, and cook, stirring often, until fragrant, 30 to 40 seconds. Add the mushrooms, cabbage and bamboo shoots. Season with salt. Sauté, shaking the pan often until the vegetables start to soften, 3 minutes. Increase the heat to high, then add the snow peas, soy sauce and sesame oil, and season with salt. Sauté for 1 more minute until the vegetables are crisp-tender. Stir in the cilantro.
3. Drain the filling to remove any excess moisture, then spread the vegetables on a rimmed baking sheet and let them cool to room temperature for about 10 minutes.
Begin assembling the spring rolls (see the story for a slideshow): Working with one wrapper, place the wrapper so that a corner is facing you, then spoon 2 tablespoons of the cooled filling onto the bottom third of the wrapper that is closest to you.
4. Lift the bottom of the wrapper and fold over the filling, flattening the wrapper around the filling so that no air bubbles form. Tuck it back. Begin folding the wrapper away from you. Fold in the sides to form an envelope-like shape. Continue to cinch and fold. Brush the top inside corner lightly with the egg white. The spring roll should measure 1-by-3½ inches. Place the spring roll on a parchment-lined sheet tray; cover with a damp paper towel. Repeat with the remaining wrappers and filling. Make ahead: You can freeze the spring rolls in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet, making sure they do not touch. Once frozen, place the spring rolls in a plastic bag and store them for up to 1 month. Add 1 additional minute to the frying time for frozen spring rolls.
5. Fill a wok or a medium heavy-bottomed pot with 2 inches of oil and heat to 350°. Working in batches of 4, fry the spring rolls, turning occasionally, until golden brown and crisp, 1½ to 2 minutes. Remove using a slotted spoon and transfer to a wire rack to cool.
6. Serve the spring rolls with the dipping sauce.