This is actually a lumpiang gulay (vegetable spring roll) but since the dominant veggie is the togue (beansprouts) so I've decided to call it same as that snack you get from roadside shacks or in markets in the Phils. I've been trying to adapt this recipe from Huang Su-Huei's Chinese Cooking For Beginners for years. But always my problem is the lumpia wrappers getting soggy hence getting holes or breaking up during frying. I've tried so many different tacks from draining for a whole day to actually laying on paper towels just to get it drier but to no avail. The problem stems from the fact that the procedure calls for blanching the vegetables with boiling water for a few seconds and that's where all the water comes from. So this time I decided to stir fry it for a few seconds in oil then drained it well (for a few hours actually). That's when I had a breakthough of having fully fried lumpias with no holes. What I like about this recipe is the flavouring of sugar and sesame oil at the end. It gives it a nice sweet-savoury finish. To make this fully vegetarian, substitute the meat with mushrooms. The combination vegetables here can be varied as well according to your taste. If you're not too excited by togue then by all means replace it with shredded cabbage and/or throw in some woodears or shiitake mushrooms, etc. The variation is limitless.
(Beansprouts Spring Rolls)
1/2 cup minced pork or chicken or beef (optional)*
1 tsp cornstarch
1 tsp cooking wine
1/4 tsp salt
4 cups togue (beansprouts) [about 400 g]
1 stalk celery - shredded
1 medium carrot - finely julienned
8 big egg roll wrappers (about 9 inch x 9 inch)
2 Tbsp oil
1 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp sesame oil
1 Tbsp flour
1 Tbsp water
2 Tbsp vinegar
2 Tbsp soy sauce
1 garlic clove - smashed
- Mix all seasoning, flour paste and dip ingredients separately. Set aside.
- In a bowl, mix the cooking wine, salt, and cornstarch. Stir until salt is dissolved. Add the meat into it and mix to combine.
- In a wok, heat the oil. Tip in the meat mixture and cook until meat changes color - about 3 minutes. Making sure to mash it from time to time to separate the meat.
- Turn heat to high and add in all the vegetables. Stir fry for 2 minutes.
- Remove from heat and transfer to a colander.
- Mix in the seasoning. Leave to drain in the colander for several hours or until completely cool and fully drained.
- Place the egg roll wrappers on a clean working surface. Put about 3 Tablespoonful of the vegetable mixture on the wrapper. Fold and roll like an envelope.
- Seal with the flour paste.
- Deep fry for a few minutes or until golden brown. Drain vertically on a small colander or sieve or on paper towels. Serve warm with the dip.