Sunday, April 18, 2010

All Snug!

Last year I ventured into the world of homemade potstickers and, like opera, put it on the list of Things I Can Say I Tried And Never Have To Do Again. Countless teensy spoonfuls of filling on countless smallish squares of doughy wrapper... pain in the ass.

Really, really tasty, though.

So - how to keep the tastiness and reduce the work to a manageable level? Spring rolls! And as a bonus (for me), the wrappers are made of rice flour and tapioca flour - in other words, they're gluten-free.

And forgive me, please, for not spinning stories and offering insight. There's a lot going on and, to be honest, dinner has been tomato soup or a turkey burger out of the freezer more often than not. Fixing my (lack of) house decor has sucked up my creative energy of late, and there just isn't enough to go around.

At any rate - spring rolls are easier because they're bigger. More bang for the buck. Less work for the yumminess.

Oh, and they're not complete without a dipping sauce. I threw some low-sodium soy sauce, a dollop of hoisin sauce, and a little grated ginger into a small cup. Done.

I made a few substitutions (of course...). Instead of ground pork I thinly sliced 2 pork chops. And since cabbage tastes like pencil erasers to me, I used baby bok choy instead. Also, I added mung bean sprouts - a quarter cup or so - for crunch.

Adapted from


1/2 pound ground pork
1 cup finely shredded cabbage
1/4 cup finely shredded carrot
2 green onions, thinly sliced (optional)
2 TBSP chopped fresh cilantro (SO optional)
1/2 tsp sesame oil
1/2 TBSP oyster sauce (substitute hoisin sauce if you're allergic)
2 tsp freshly grated ginger root
1 1/2 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp chili sauce

1 TBSP cornstarch
1 TBSP water

12 7-inch square spring roll wrappers (mine were round, they worked fine)

4 tsp vegetable oil (substitute cooking spray/oil in a pump spray if you wish)

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

2. Saute pork over medium heat until thoroughly cooked; remove from heat, drain.

3. In a large bowl combine cabbage (or bok choy), carrots, cilantro, oil, sauces, ginger, and garlic. Toss to combine. Add pork and toss again.

4. Mix cornstarch and water in a small bowl. This is a slurry - you'll use it to seal the wrappers after you've worked your rolling magic.

5. Place approximately 1 TBSP of the pork mixture (or a little more) in the upper center of the spring roll wrappers. Roll like a burrito - fold the top over the filling, fold the sides inward (think "seam allowance' if you were sewing), and roll.

6. Dip your fingers in the slurry, moisten the bottom edge, and seal to the rolled spring roll.

7. Arrange spring rolls on a baking sheet - I lined my sheet with parchment paper so that they wouldn't stick to the pan.

8. Mist the spring rolls with cooking spray or oil, or brush with vegetable oil. This is what gives them that wonderful crispiness and browning.

9. Bake in the preheated oven 20 minutes. For really crispy spring rolls, flip them GENTLY after 10 minutes and mist again with oil.