Why the World Would End Without Spring Rolls

Posted on 20 April 2015

The world would end without spring rolls.

Spring Rolls

I’m quoting a kid talking to his mom on another table near ours during a weekend fare at an Asian bistro in Newcastle. His face beamed as he munched the golden, crispy spring rolls piece by piece.

Adults as we are, we know how spring rolls can make an entree extra special or a potluck party superb. With an aromatic and flavourful dipping sauce, crunchy wrapper, tasty vegetables, and succulent meat or fish bits – a spring roll is a bite of heaven on earth.

Where did this delightful treat come from?

Known as a traditional Chinese snack, a spring roll is made by rolling delicious fillings inside a wrapper (made of rice or wheat) and then frying it in vegetable oil or serving it as is, i.e. fresh. According to history, people in China started the spring roll cooking and eating tradition to welcome the new season, i.e. Spring Festival. It’s also a popular dish on the Chinese New Year banquet.

Here in Australia, we do not need any special occasions to have a feast of spring rolls. They are a typical part of an Asian restaurant’s sensational appetisers. For some,  a plateful of tasty spring rolls and beer make a great pair on a night out with friends. Some families love to bring a lunch box of spring rolls on picnics at the park or by the beach.

It’s safe to say that spring rolls are here to stay – they might even survive Armageddon.

What are some of your favourite spring roll fillings?

From the simplest to the most sophisticated, the limit to spring roll fillings is only your imagination. You can be as lavish as you want with pure vegetable fillings if vegetarian fare is your thing.

The most common veggies used are fresh bean sprouts and canned bamboo shoots strips. You’d be glad to know that both contain a low amount of saturated fat and cholesterol but packed a lot of essential nutrients.

There is also a non-vegetarian option if you wish to stuff your spring rolls with your choice of juicy meat. Or you can combine veggies and meat if you want the nutritional benefits of veggies and the finger-licking goodness of pork, beef or chicken.

Now you just have to assemble shreds of veggies, meat (if you’re not vegetarian), seafood, and seasonings on a thin sheet of wheat or rice dough, roll them altogether, glue the sides with cornstarch and water, and  then fry.

What makes a delicious dipping sauce for spring rolls?

No matter how perfect the spring rolls are, if the dipping sauce is ill-chosen, they will be ruined. Many years of trying different dipping sauces taught me that there is a lot to choose from – but there are only few choices that would guarantee a pleasant eating experience:

  1. Sambal Oelek – a traditional sauce used in Thai, Malaysian, and Chinese cooking commonly contains a variety of chilli peppers
  2. Soya Sauce with chopped onion and ginger – soy sauce brands are widely available in Asian supermarkets, just add onion and ginger for an enhanced flavour
  3. Ketchup – among all condiments, ketchup (t0mato) wins the hearts and palates of most kids
  4. Sweet Chilli Sauce – this condiment is a popular Thai-style sauce composed of vinegar, sugar, garlic, and fresh red chillies

Some cooks love to make their own version of dipping sauces and spring roll fillings at their own kitchen. Yet before you go that route, spring rolls at Steven’s Asian Kitchen are worth checking out. Scratch that, I mean their spring rolls are totally unmissable. So drop by and enjoy a spring roll dish like never before.

Share this post because people should know.