Little Spring Rolls with Garlic Chives
Makes about 16 springrolls
These crunchy little pan fried spring rolls, filled with chewy mung bean noodle threads and shredded veggies, are destined for dipping in Mock Nuoc Cham or and an exciting role sliced up and tucked into the Seitan Bo Bun. These can be baked too, but with a little cooking oil spray it’s easy enough to quickly pan fry them for extra crunch.
Asian garlic chives are the star ingredient in these little spring rolls. These are rather different from European chives; if you’re a fan of leeks and ramps, you’ll adore these long, wide flat blades that are substantial, sweet and have a pronounced garlic flavor. Look for long green bundles of these chives in most any Asian grocery store; they’re typically cheap and plentiful.
Alternatively, the filling can be used for light, delicate dumplings. Omit the threads and stuff this filling into gyoza wrappers or dumpling dough and you’ll have a basic Chinese dumpling bursting with sweet garlic chive goodness.
2 ounces (one 5 inch bundle) mung bean noodle threads
4 teaspoons vegetable oil
2 large shallots, peeled and minced
1 1/2 inch cube ginger, peeled and finely grated on a microplane grater
1/2 pound Napa or Savoy green cabbage (about half of a small 6 inch head), chopped into thin shreds
1/2 pound thinly sliced Asian garlic chives
1 large carrot, peeled and shredded
4 teaspoons Thai thin soy sauce
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
Pinch white pepper
16 or more four to five inch square vegan spring roll wrappers
Dipping sauce, or use Mock Nuoc Cham
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons Chinese black vinegar or rice vinegar
2 teaspoons agave
1/2 inch cube ginger, peeled and finely grated on a microplane grater
1. Make the filling first: In a mixing bowl cover the mung bean threads with 2 inches of hot water and soak for 10 minutes or until soft, then drain the noodles and squeeze well to remove any excess moisture. Chop the noodles a few times into lengths of about 3 inches. In wok over high heat preheat the oil, then stir in the garlic and ginger and fry for 30 seconds. Add the cabbage, chives, and carrot and stir fry until just starting to become wilted and soft, about 2 minutes. Stir in the noodles, then sprinkle with soy sauce, sesame oil, and white pepper. Turn off the heat and transfer filling to a mixing bowl to cool.
2. When the filling is cool enough to handle, assemble the spring rolls. Place a spring roll wrapper on a clean work surface. Scoop 2 tablespoons of filling, then spread the filling over the bottom third of the spring roll wrapper, leaving 1 inch clear around the edges. Fold the left and right edges of the wrapper over the filling. Now fold the bottom edge over the filling. Continue to roll the spring roll to meet the top edge of the wrapper; it should look like a tiny burrito. Wet the tips of your finger in water and seal the edge. Place seam side down onto a baking sheet and repeat with remaining filling and wrappers (See illustration page XX).
3. To pan fry spring rolls, heat a tablespoon of oil in a wok or 12 inch deep skillet over medium high heat. Or generously spray the bottom of the pan with cooking oil spray. Place 3 to 4 rolls seam side down and cook for 2 minutes before turning the rolls occasionally to brown all sides. Add more oil when needed to prevent sticking. If desired lay hot spring rolls on paper towels to drain a little before serving.
5. To bake spring rolls, preheat oven to 425 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Generously spray spring rolls with cooking oil spray and bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven, turn them over, spray with oil again and bake another 6 to 8 minutes until wrappers crisp and golden.
6. To freeze spring rolls, lay unbaked in a single layer on a baking sheet and freeze solid before storing in zip top plastic bags. Don’t thaw, just bake directly in a 425 degree preheated oven on parchment lined baking sheets as directed.
Omit the bean thread noodles and if desired double the amount of chives for a total of 1 pound. Use this filling to stuff gyoza, wonton, or wrappers made from the Basic Dumpling dough; if using the dough, follow the directions for shaping and steaming momos