Spring rolls are always a big hit at parties and with my family, but they are usually deep-fried and high in fat. Not exactly what we need after a solid week of on-point training and eating. We want gains but not the kind that sit overtop of our waistlines. Baking spring rolls after brushing them with a touch of oil eliminates the need to deep-fry them, without sacrificing that lovely crispy exterior. You can find the wrappers in the freezer section of many grocery stores. Thaw according to package directions before using. You can also find the dried version of rice wrappers that require you to soak for 5 seconds in warm water. I also eat these without any baking or frying in their soft form in the summer as I crave more cold foods on hot days. The filling combinations are endless but this is my go-to recipe that everyone always raves about.
1 tbsp (30 mL) healthy oil
1 cup (250 mL) thinly sliced shiitake mushrooms
2 green onions, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced (or tube paste version)
1 tsp (5 mL) grated fresh ginger (or tube paste version)
2 cups (500 mL) shredded Savoy cabbage
1 carrot, shredded
½ weet red pepper, thinly sliced
1 pinch salt
1 pinch pepper
½ cup (125 mL) water
1 tbsp (15 mL) cornstarch
1 tbsp (15 mL) hoisin sauce
12 spring roll wrappers
½ tsp (2 mL) sesame oil
Chili Garlic Sauce:
2 tbsp (30 mL) rice vinegar
1 tbsp (15 mL) liquid honey
1 tbsp (15 mL) water
2 tsp (10 mL) sodium-reduced soy sauce
1 clove garlic, minced
½ tsp (2 mL) sambal oelek (Sambal Oelek is widely available, but any hot pepper sauce will do)
In large skillet, heat half of the vegetable oil over medium-high heat; cook mushrooms, green onions, garlic and ginger, stirring, until mushrooms are slightly softened, about 2 minutes.
Stir in cabbage, carrot, red pepper, salt and pepper; cook, stirring, until tender-crisp, about 4 minutes.
Whisk together water, cornstarch and hoisin sauce; pour over cabbage mixture, stirring to combine. Transfer to bowl and let cool.
Lay 1 spring roll wrapper on work surface with point facing up; place 2 tbsp cabbage mixture on bottom third of wrapper. Fold bottom point of wrapper over filling. Fold in sides and roll up until 2-inch (5 cm) triangle of wrapper remains at top.
Lightly brush triangle with water and roll up to seal. Repeat with remaining filling and wrappers. Place on greased baking sheet. (Make-ahead: Cover and refrigerate for up to 8 hours.)
Combine sesame oil with remaining vegetable oil; brush all over spring rolls. Bake in 425°F (220°C) oven, turning once, until crisp and golden, about 20 minutes.
Chili Garlic Sauce: Meanwhile, in small bowl, whisk together vinegar, honey, water, soy sauce, garlic and sambal oelek until honey is dissolved. Serve with spring rolls.