Popia Thot – Thai Vegetarian Spring Rolls

Popia Thot - Thai Vegetarian Spring Rolls
Brimming with vegetables and lots of flavour, these spring rolls make a great appetiser or party food. And they're surprisingly easy to make. Get some help from your children or guests with the rolling, and you'll be crunching on these delicious spring rolls in no time. As a bonus, this spring roll recipe is also fresher and healthier than the spring rolls you'll find in most restaurants.
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Ingredients
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 thumb-size piece galangal or ginger, grated
  • 2 spring onions, sliced into matchstick pieces
  • 1 red chilli, minced (or ½ - 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper) (optional - omit if you prefer very mild spring rolls)
  • ½ cup shredded or finely chopped cabbage
  • 4-6 shiitake mushrooms, cut into matchstick pieces
  • ½ cup medium to firm tofu, sliced into matchstick pieces
  • 1½ - 2 cups bean sprouts
  • ½ cup fresh coriander, roughly chopped
  • ½ cup fresh basil, roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons oil, plus more for deep-frying
  • 1 package spring roll wrappers (thawed if frozen)
For stir-fry sauce
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • ¼ teaspoon sugar
To serve
  • Thai sweet chilli sauce
Instructions
  1. Place 2 tablespoons oil in a wok or large frying pan over medium to high heat. Add garlic, galangal (or ginger), spring onion, and chilli. Stir-fry until fragrant (about 1 minute).
  2. Add cabbage, mushrooms, and tofu. As you stir-fry, add the sauce. Stir-fry 1-2 minutes, until vegetables have softened. Remove from heat and add bean sprouts, tossing to mix in. Then do a taste test for salt, adding a little more fish or soy sauce if not flavourful enough.
  3. To assemble rolls, lay spring roll wrappers on a clean working surface. Place one heaping tablespoon of filling on each wrapper (if using large wrappers, you will need more). Spread filling along the width of the spring roll wrapper - you'll want to do this ⅔ of the way down, closer to you so you have room to roll it. Try not to include too much of the liquid left from the wok/pan (a slotted spoon works well for this).
  4. Sprinkle some of the fresh coriander and basil over the filling. Then fold the left and right sides of wrapper over filling. Lift up the end nearest you and tuck over, rolling upwards. Secure by dipping your fingers in some water and wetting the end, "pasting" it shut.
  5. To fry spring rolls, place some oil (about 2 cm deep) in a wok or deep-sided frying pan over medium-high heat. When oil begins to form snake-like lines across the bottom of the pan, the oil is starting to heat up. To test it, dip one corner of a spring roll into the oil. If it begins to sizzle and cook, the oil is ready.
  6. Using tongs, place spring rolls in oil, allowing them to fry about 1 minute on each side. Spring rolls are done when they turn light to medium golden-brown (see photo). Place on paper towels (or a clean dish towel) to drain while you finish frying the rest.
  7. Serve spring rolls while still hot with Thai Sweet Chilli Sauce, or your own dipping sauce.
Notes
Add a little water to the wok/pan when it gets too dry instead of more oil.

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