Spring Rolls by Garaphin

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Originally Posted by: Garaphin

Welcome to my first food post on SA. I've been wanting to do this for quite some time now and today was the day... Allez Cuisine!!

This is actually a pretty simple recipe, although it does take a little bit of time. Believe me though it is worth it as nothing in the world satisfies hunger like a fresh, fried delicacy.

Ingredients

First step is assemble the ingredients. You will need:

- 2-3 carrots - Handfull of bean sprouts - Green onions (4-5 actual onions from the bunch) - 4-5 white mushrooms - 1/2 small can of bamboo shoots - 3 Cloves of garlic - 1/2 block of tofu (extra firm) - kosher salt - soy sauce - sake or rice wine - oil for stir frying - oil for deep frying - egg roll wrappers (available in the fresh section of most decent grocery stores)

...and here they are!

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Method

First, matchstick the carrots. I use a mandolin slicer because it's fast and easy. I did nick my finger once on the damn thing though so be careful! (Screamed like a baby too!)

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Next, chop the mushrooms. Since they lose so much moisture cooking don't worry about chopping these too fine. (By the way, I hate mushrooms but like them in this dish. Go figure.)

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Now slice the green onions into pretty, little threads. This is by far the most tedious part of the process, but they add nice color and flavor so shut up and keep slicing.

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At some point mince up that garlic. Basically we're just using this as an aromatic and to help flavor the oil for stir frying. Who doesn't love garlic? (You in the back. Put your hand down!)

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Cut up the bamboo shoots into small slices as well. Basically the same size as the carrots. Since the kind I buy already come close to the right size this is pretty easy.

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Finally, crumble up half of the tofu block into something that resembles cottage cheese. If you don't think you need tofu, go ahead and skip this step... although I think it adds some nice body to the dish. Could substitute chicken, shrimp or pork I suppose...

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Now we're ready for some cooking! Get that wok hot , add the oil and fry that garlic for a couple of seconds.

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Then add all those meticulously chopped veggies all at once and stir fry for a couple of minutes.

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Add about 2 tablespoons of soy sauce and a dash of sake to the delicious smelling mixture. Avoid the temptation to start eating this mix right now.

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Add a good dash of salt to the mix.

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When it's all done cooking (don't over do it, just long enough to soften everything up and blend the flavors) empty the contents of your wok into a bowl and allow to cool on your countertop for a few minutes.

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Because we're dealing with fresh vegetables here there might be some extra liquid at the bottom after all the stir frying. Feel free to drain off as you won't need it, or want it later on.

Now onto the actual rolling of the rolls! Nimble fingers, thanks to years of playing Nintendo, are helpful here.

First, the egg roll wrappers come in roughly 6 in x 6 in. sheets. Slice them in half on the diagonal.

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Next, using your fingers, grab a pinch of the vegetable mixture and place it in the middle of the wrapper like so:

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Fold the bottom edge up and over the filling...

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Bring in the sides....

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Roll up one more time and seal off the top edge with a little water on your finger. (Helps greatly if you use a half water / half cornstarch mixture for the sealant).

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Now place the finished, wrapped roll seam side down on a tray. You can also lightly flour it at this point to help keep it from sticking when frying.

Meanwhile, have your deep frying apparatus handy. You can use either a actual gadget built for deep-frying or the same wok you used before (cleaned out obviously... oh, and make sure that it's stable and level. We are dealing with hot oil after all.) I've used both and got the same results. Can't tell you a temp on the oil... just nice and hot. Probably up around 300 degrees.

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  • Note my fiancee's excellent Cream Cheese wontons already ready to go in the fryer. Perhaps another thread?

Ok, so get to frying!

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Cook until they're crispy and brown on the outside. Usually about 1 minute, 30 seconds or so... Remove from oil and drain on some paper towels.

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Ta-da!!! Serve with some soy sauce for dipping or your Asian condiment of choice.

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Things I learned from all of this:

1. It's difficult to cook and document at the same time. Big thanks go out to my fiancee for helping me out a ton and putting up with me in the kitchen!

2. Shave your arms before you cook, or wear a long sleeve shirt. I'm by no means a hairy guy but my wrists in these pictures are disgusting. I'm surprised you even made it this far down in my post.

3. Don't forget to add the sprouts like I did here... dumb dumb dumb. Now what the hell am I going to do tomorrow with a cup of sprouts?

4. Pete's Wicked Ale is a good beer to drink during the preparation and cooking of this recipe.

Enjoy!