Thursday, January 5, 2012

Baked Vegetable Spring Rolls

Not the prettiest of photos, I admit. Hubby was doing me a favor and left a spot to add some sweet and sour sauce on the plate, but I think he forgot. Oh well, this is what I get for not taking the photo when the spring rolls were piping hot out of the oven and instead took a photo of the leftovers the next day. 

Bambino recently had her first experience with a spring roll at a Chinese restaurant my family has been frequenting since I was a child myself. I introduced Hubby to the restaurant years ago and we often go to the restaurant or at least get take out. When I was a child they had three locations, sadly they are only down to one location. Not sure why, the food is good, my favorite for Chinese in the city! Nothing fancy, just good food. Great hot and sour soup, vegetable dumplings and the best eggplant dish I've ever tasted!

Hubby and I took Bambino there once when she was six months old and after a huge diaper explosion and no changing table in their bathroom, we only obtained takeout, never dined in (Changing a stinky diaper in the back of your SUV in 100 degree weather is no fun, for mommy or for baby). So on Christmas Day, my family went to this restaurant (nothing wrong with consuming Chinese food on Christmas Day, and the restaurant was actually packed!) with Bambino since she is potty trained and diapers weren't an issue.

We ordered a smorgasbord of food and the first item up for Bambino to try was the spring roll and was it ever a hit! I gave Bambino some of the sweet sauce that comes along with it and she devoured the whole thing along with her dinner! The  sweet sauce that goes along with it is amazing, it has some type of applesauce base, I think?

Since Bambino was in infatuation with the spring roll, I decided to try it at home. But since I don't fry foods at home (I find it to be unhealthy and I fear being splattered with hot oil) I decided to look up baked recipes. Overall it was pretty easy to make and the results were a smashing success! Hubby, Bambino and I all enjoyed it. Sadly, I couldn't not find a recipe for the sauce they have at the restaurant and instead bought a jar of the sweet and sour sauce sold in the Asian aisle of the grocery store. It was good, but not the same!

Click here for the link to the original recipe. (I basically stuck to this recipe, but I used my own choice of vegetables.)

2 Tablespoons soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon grated ginger root
1/2 teaspoon brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 sprigs cilantro, chopped finely
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1 clove of garlic, minced
2 carrots, grated
1/2 head of green cabbage, chopped into strings
20 egg roll wrappers (I found this in the produce aisle of the grocery store, near the tofu)

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and grease a cookie sheet with cooking spray.

2. In a large bowl, combine the soy sauce, ginger, brown sugar, salt and garlic. Add in carrots, cabbage and cilantro. Mix together.

3. Place mixture in center of egg roll wrapper and roll together. I used this link to teach me how to roll the wrapper properly. (You'll get an idea of how much filling to put when you start rolling it together. The less you put, the easier it is.)

4. Mix sesame oil and vegetable oil. Brush spring roll with oil mixture on all sides and place on cookie sheet.

5. Repeat until all of filling is done.

6. Bake in oven for about 10 minutes then turn over and bake until crisp, about 10 minutes more.

7. Cool and serve!

Amateur Cooking Difficulty Scale: 4
Don't be intimidated by the thought of making spring rolls, it's actually pretty simple. The most time consuming part is rolling each spring roll, other than that, easy peasy!

One thing I will say is that because they are baked and not fried the outside wrapper is a little tougher than if fried and I feel that had I fried it then it would have turned out restaurant style. But, I prefer to make healthy versions of food, and for a healthy alternative, this was great!

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