There is a traditional Filipino fresh spring roll that uses what we know as the ‘heart’ of the banana. As this is not readily available, this is an alternative vegetable combination. Then again, maybe this is just my family’s version.
I have never really used specific amounts of ingredients and am only guided somewhat by the number of rolls I have to make. I gauge this by allowing 1/4 cup of filling per roll.
Equal quantities of:
potatoes, peeled and finely julienned
carrots, peeled and finely julienned
green beans, finely sliced on a diagonal
bean shoots, browned ends removed
cabbage, finely sliced
onion, finely julienned (I allow one onion for every two cups of filling)
2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
1 head of lettuce
frozen spring roll wrappers
For the sauce:
1 tbsp soy sauce
2 cups vegetable stock
2 tbsp cornflour dissolved in 1/4 cup water
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tbsp peanut butter
Heat a wok or large saucepan on medium heat. Saute garlic in a little oil until fragrant but not coloured. Remove garlic from pan. This will allow the garlic to flavour the oil without having to eat the garlic. Saute onion, potatoes, carrots, cabbage and green beans until just cooked. Remove from heat, add the bean shoots, the allow vegetable mixture to cool.
Prepare to assemble spring rolls by first taking spring rolls out of the freezer. Allow to soften a little and separate individually. While working on a spring roll, cover the remainder with a damp tea towel.
Set a small bowl of water on one side.
Cut lettuce into strips about the length and width of each spring roll. The lettuce serves two purposes. Firstly, it adds colour to an otherwise ‘white’ roll, and it stops the amount of moisture absorbed from the vegetables into the spring roll wrapper.
Place a spring roll wrapper with one point towards you. Place a quarter cup of filling in the middle. Bring the bottom of the wrapper over the filling and do a half roll. Bring both sides of the wrapper to the middle to enclose the filling. Place a piece of lettuce down making sure part of the lettuce remains visible. Continue to finish rolling and just before the end, using your finger, dab a little bit of water on the end the finish rolling. Repeat the process until all the filling is used up. Try maintain consistent sizes.
Do note that if these rolls are made well before serving, avoid the rolls ‘touching’ as they will stick together. In this situation, I cut some wax paper into square about 3/4 the length of the roll and wrap each roll individually. Store prepared rolls in the fridge covered in cling wrap.
For the dipping sauce:
Combine sugar, soy sauce, and stock. Bring the mixture just to the boil in a small pot. Add the dissolved cornflour into the mixture and whisk until the sauce thickens.Remove from the heat. Stir in the peanut butter and garlic.
To enjoy, simply remove wax paper, and dip the roll into the sauce. I often have teaspoons next to the sauce as I also like filling the roll with more sauce after the first bite.