Saturday, October 18, 2008

Turkey Spring Rolls - Step by Step Guide

I wrote about my mom's vegetarian spring rolls more than a week ago and promised to post my own version and step by step photos when they're up and running. And now, the wait is over! I like to make them on a weekend and put them in the freezer. They're ready to fry up anytime - no need to defrost.

So I never asked my mom for her spring roll recipe; I just made my own. I used the vegetables that she used, and added ground turkey for a more hearty spring roll. In terms of seasonings, I put in what I thought tasted good. As for the spring roll wrappers,
I prefer to use the smaller size (5x5) because they're easier to handle and to fry. You can buy these in the frozen section in an Asian supermarket.

Turkey Spring Rolls
makes about 20

1/2 lb ground turkey
10 dried shiitake mushroom, rehydrated and sliced thin
1 1/2 cup mung bean sprouts
1 medium carrot, julienned (tip: take a short cut by using a vegetable peeler to make thin strips)
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
1 1/2 tablespoons oyster sauce
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon sesame seed oil
1 scallion, julienned
2 tablespoons oil (any oil other than olive)
salt and pepper to taste
spring roll wrappers (5x5)
1 egg white (for sealing the spring rolls)

To make the filling:

Soak the mushrooms in a bowl of water, preferably hot or warm. Make sure they are fully submerged. They should soften in about 30 minutes in hot water; more than an hour in room temperature water. Remove the stems and slice the mushrooms at about 1/8 inch thick.

Heat up a pan (preferably a wok) over medium-high heat. Add oil. When the oil is hot, add the ground turkey and a dash of salt & pepper. Toss around for about 2 minutes, then add the garlic. Toss around for another about 2 minutes or until fragrant. Add mushrooms, carrots, bean sprouts, soy sauce and oyster sauce. Toss around for about 5 minutes. Add sesame seed oil and scallions. After about a minute, turn off the heat. Let the mixture cool.

To fill the wrappers:

Grab 2 sheets of the wrappers at once and lay them down flat in one layer, with one of the corners facing you. (You can use one sheet if you're short on wrappers, but 2 sheets make a more crunchy exterior when you fry them)

Take 1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons of the filling and place across the bottom of the wrapper, about an inch above the corner.

Roll up the bottom corner until you don't see the the filling anymore. If there's any filling that escaped (like below), just tuck them back in.

Moisten the left and right hand corners with egg white and fold them in towards the center.

It should look like an envelope now. Moisten all the edges on the upper flap with egg white.

Roll tightly from the bottom up. After rolling it up once, you should have more than an inch of the upper flap remaining. Continue to roll up, and you're done!

Just make sure the spring roll is sealed on all sides; if not, brush those areas with egg white. If you place it seam side down, it should dry and hold together nicely.

This is what it should look like on the other side.

In terms of frying them, I don't like to deep fry them. Just have enough oil in a pan to fry up these babies. Drain them on paper towel before serving.

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