Spring Rolls

The Chinese Spring Festival celebrates the New Year and new growth, and many foods are served during their multi-day festival. Traditional spring rolls have fresh vegetables; green shoots, and light wrappers so that they have a delicate flavor and a light texture which is meant to evoke spring, hence the name.

Spring rolls are also a part of Thai and Vietnamese cuisines, often wrapped in a thin sheet of rice pastry, rather than a wheat based pastry and are generally served raw or steamed instead of being fried. 

Spring rolls are served with dipping sauces. Soy sauce is common but dipping sauces like sweet plum sauce, or the spicy ones like the chili and mustard are popular too. Sweet sauces are often served with fried spring rolls, as the sweetness pairs well with the oil, while more mild sauces are served with steamed and raw spring rolls.

Anything can be used to fill a spring roll. Lightly steam or sauté the vegetables and if you want to use noodles, break them in half before cooking so they’re not too long. Tofu/soya paneer makes a tasty addition too. Heat the soy sauce, olive oil, sesame oil and ginger in a skillet and sauté thin strips of firm tofu just until lightly crisp. Then add with the rest of the vegetables.If spring roll wrappers are hard to find, the following is the recipe for the wrappers used to make spring rolls. 

For best results, make the spring rolls just about when you are ready to deep-fry. Have cornstarch and water paste on hand to seal the spring roll wrappers after they are filled


For the rolls:
Preparation and cooking time: 20+30 minutes

  • 2 scallions chopped
  • 1 carrot julienned
  • 2 oz canned bamboo shoots julienned
  • 2oz cabbage shredded
  • 1cup bean sprouts
  • 2tsp oil plus extra for frying
  • 1tbsp soy sauce
  • Salt
  • 12 spring roll wrappers
  • 2tbsp Cornstarch mixed in a paste with 1tsp water


  • Heat 2 tsp of oil in a preheated pan. Add the julienned carrots, bamboo shoots and stir fry for 2 minutes. Add the scallions, cabbage, bean sprouts and soy sauce. Season to taste with salt and stir-fry for 2 minutes. Cool.
  • Divide the mixture into 12 equal portions and place one portion on the edge of each spring roll wrapper. Fold in the sides and roll each one up, brushing the join with the cornstarch paste to seal. I found a great video that shows how to wrap the spring roll.
  • Heat the oil for frying. Add the spring rolls in batches and cook for 4-5 minutes, or until golden brown and crispy. Take care that the oil shouldn’t be too hot or the rolls will turn brown on the outside before cooking on the inside. Drain on paper towels and serve with sauce of your choice.

For the spring roll wrappers:
Preparation and cooking time: 1 hr 20 minutes

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup water
  • Cooking spray, as needed


  • In a large bowl, stir the salt into the flour. Mix the water into the flour to form a batter. The batter should be well mixed and fairly thick, but still thin enough to drop off the back of a wooden spoon. Cover and let rest for 1 hour.
  • Spray a non-stick pan with cooking spray and heat on medium low heat.
  • Turn the heat down to low and add a heaping tablespoon of the batter to the middle of the pan. Quickly spread the batter out evenly to form a circle 5 - 6 inches in diameter. Continue smoothing out the batter as the skin cooks.
  • Cook the skin briefly, until it is cooked on the bottom and the edges curl slightly. Take care not to overcook. Remove carefully and refrigerate or freeze until ready to use.