This time of year is good for food-related festivals but typically this year Shrove Tuesday, Valentines & Chinese New Year all fall in half term. After teaching the kids how to make pancakes last year, this year I decided to teach food from a different celebration and country. We’ve been doing quite a bit about Chinese New Year in work and have been dishing out the Fortune Cookies. I was particuarly pleased with my 2 fortunes:
The next week is full of fun and adventure
You’ll travel far with business and pleasure
Other people’s are far more cryptic.
I had been asked by some people if I could teach them to make Spring Rolls. Traditionally they are fried and there is a fryer in the kitchen I use but 1) we’re walking towards Healthy School status 2) I’m not that brave! I wanted the spring rolls to be easy to make, healthy and didn’t want to have to pre-cook the filling. I don’t claim these to be authentic, but is a great kid friendly recipe. Spring roll wrappers are nigh on impossible to find around here so used filo.
One thing I learnt today that filo pastry doesn’t always come in squares, it just so happens that every pack I have ever bought before today was squares. If your filo pastry comes in a long oblong cut in half to get to sets of squares. If not brushed with egg the rolls can look a tad anaemic. Also don’t use more than 2 sheets of filo per roll or it can end up being filo pastry overload. Also if you use sweet chilli sauce as your sauce filling, but be careful; due to the sugar content it caramalises fast. Just keep an eye on it.
If you’re looking for a delicious chinese takeout-style recipe for Chinese New Year I can highly recommend Tastefully Done’s Sweet & Sour Chicken. We often double the sauce and cook with a handful of sliced red & green pepper. Happy Chinese New Year.
Baked Vegetable Spring Rolls
(makes 6 large spring rolls)
1 pack of filo pastry
½ pack of raw stir fry vegetables
6 tbsp chinese-style sauce (eg Hoi Sin, Sweet Chilli, Soy etc…)
1 egg, beaten
Sesame seeds for decoration (optional)
1) Unwrap the pastry and lay out on the table. If the filo is a long oblong cut in half to make 2 squares. Take two layers of filo, pile on top of each other, then turn so one point is facing you.
2) Place some of the veg and inch or so above the bottom point. Cover with 1 tbsp of sauce. Begin to roll. The next bit is difficult for me to describe so here is the crib sheet I made for my classes – click here
3) Once they have been rolled, place on a tray lined with baking parchment, brush with beaten egg and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake at 190°c for 5 min, turn over, brush again with egg and bake for a further 5-10 minutes. The rolls are ready when they are golden in colour. Allow to cool slightly before eating as they can been bloomin’ hot inside. Best served with a dipping sauce.