I love food. Everything about it. The flavors, the textures, the colors. The way food brings people together and puts a smile on their faces. Cooking is my hobby; my passion. After a long or stressful day, cooking is one thing that can put me at ease. It's never a chore. Food is an amazing thing and I am still discovering its possibilities. I would be delighted if you would share this journey with me.
Wednesday, March 3, 2010
Baked Spring Rolls with Sweet Chili Sauce
Today is all about making those guilty pleasures a little healthier! And one of those happens to be Spring Rolls. You know, those crunchy, deep fried treats that tempt you on every Chinese menu. Oh, and then there are the ones that you can buy in the freezer section and bake or fry at home. Don’t even get me started with those ones! Don’t you hate it when you spend all that money on packaged spring rolls, only to bite into a hollow roll?
Well no more sparse spring rolls for you! These ones are so much healthier and tastier than the ones you buy in the store and they are baked instead of fried! (although to be perfectly honest, you can fry them if you want to…).
Another reason that this is a great recipe is because it is quite easy to make, and it can be doubled or tripled to stock up the freezer for those days when you don’t feel like cooking, or you are faced with unexpected company. I love recipes like this that can be made ahead.
So, roll up your sleeves and make a bunch! You will thank me for it later!
Baked Spring Rolls
Makes about 25-30 large spring rolls
1 tsp Ground Ginger
250 grams Pork Belly, cut into small chunks
750 grams Chicken Breast, cut into small strips
1 tbsp cooking oil
2 tbsp Sesame Oil
8 cups Cabbage, shredded
2 cups Carrots, shredded
1 Onion, shredded
1/2 cup Cilantro, chopped
3 tbsp Dark Soy Sauce
Salt and Pepper
In a large pan, cook the pork and chicken with the ginger. When almost cooked, add both of the oils, cabbage, carrots, onion, and soy sauce, and cook until just tender. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Remove the pan from the heat and let cool. Stir in the cilantro.
Once cool, start rolling the spring rolls. Place some filling in the diagonally across the center of the wrapper. Roll into a tube by first folding the bottom corner over the filling, then folding in the side corners, then rolling. Continue with the remaining wrappers and filling. At this point, you could freeze the spring rolls for up to 2 months.
To bake, place the spring rolls (fresh or directly from the freezer) on a lined, lightly oiled baking sheet. Brush each spring roll with oil. Bake at 180 degrees Celsius (350 degrees Farenheit) for about 25 minutes, until they are golden brown. Serve with sweet chili sauce.
Sweet Chili Sauce
Adapted from recipe at http://thaifood.about.com/od/thaicurrypasterecipes/r/sweetchilisauce.htm
Makes 2 cups sauce
2 cups water
2 tbsp cornstarch
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp. dried crushed chili (more or less to taste)
1 regular chili powder
2 Tbsp. fresh-squeezed lime juice
5 Tbsp. brown sugar (or more to taste)
2 Tbsp. honey
1 1/2 tbsp light soy sauce
Place 1/4 cup of cool water in a small bowl or cup. Add the cornstarch and stir to dissolve. Set aside.
Place remaining water in a sauce pan or pot over medium-high heat. As the water comes to a boil, add the remaining ingredients. Stir well and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat to medium-low and add the cornstarch dissolved in water. Stir continuously as the sauce thickens (about 1 minute).
Remove sauce from heat and taste-test. If not sweet enough, add more sugar or honey. If too sweet for your taste, add another squeeze of lime juice. If too spicy, add a little more water (you may have to add more cornstarch-water too).
Cool and/or refrigerate until ready to serve.
Note: This sauce will keep for up to 1 month in a covered jar in the refrigerator.