When I see these fried springrolls, I see me. These attractive rolls and I have a lot in common: pleasantly plump, greasy, full of hearty goodness on the inside and bubbly, yet delicate on the outside. All my good “rough and tumbled ” looks, luscious waistline and oily, emulsified skin come from the weekly consumption of these springrolls. Without this weekly lunch item dish, I just might fall into my appropriate weight category and lower my cholesterol count by triple digits. But my priorities will always get the best of me and I shall happily reach for another batch of rolls than try to squeeze into a size 4 pair of jeans (anyone fitting into a smaller size should be bound, force fed, then tarred and feathered).
With health and fitness as a constant reminder poking at my bulging belly, I exercise for the sake of being able to eat more springrolls. I’ll run that extra mile and sweat it out like a treadmill demon, as long as I can eat that extra dozen or so (yes, I can eat that much) without too much guilt. Growing up in a hungry family of 6 kids helped me acquire some great table side manners and skills : keep your rice bowl close to your mouth, shovel the food in quickly, go for the meat items first, eat fast and save the beverages for later. Unfortunately the same habits apply when I’m over come with fried springroll emotions. Maybe it’s time for me to start a “Springroll’s Anonymous” chapter.
Turkey and Bacon Fried Springrolls Recipe
1 lb fresh ground turkey
5 slices bacon
1/2 cup chopped rehydrated glass noodles (about 1 small individual package). Optional, if available.
1/2 cup chopped rehydrated black fungus mushrooms (wood ear mushrooms) or chopped fresh mushrooms.
3 green onions, chopped
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1/2 cup chopped cabbage
1 tablespoon fresh cracked black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons fish sauce
2 large cloves crushed garlic
1 pkg of about 25 springroll wrappers or rice paper wrappers.
Vegetable oil or Peanut oil for frying.
Fresh lettuce, sliced cucumber and mint, basil or available herbs.
1. Par-fry bacon till just slightly crisp, but still soft. Remove bacon from oil and chop bacon.
2. Rehydrate glass noodles and/or black fungus mushrooms in hot water, drain. Chop these, as well as green onions, cilantro and cabbage.
3. Mix all ingredients together in large bowl . Using your hands, dive into the bowl and mix everything together well. Mush it all between your fingers to ensure that all chopped ingredients are blended well.
4. If using rice paper wrappers, dip rice sheets in warm water for a few seconds. Place rice sheet on your work surface (cutting board or plate). Let rice sheet soften and become gelatinous for about 1 minute. Start on the wrapper edge closest to you, place about one full tablespoon of filling on edge of wrapper. Slowly roll and shape filling to a tubular shape. Roll about the first 1/3 of wrapper, then fold in both sides and continue the roll until it is completely finished.
-For flour based/pastry springroll wrappers, follow wrapping nstructions as above. But use a bit of egg white to help seal all the edges and seams of the springroll wrappers. These type of wrappers do not need to be dipped in water. Use them straight from the package.
(above) rolls made with rice paper
(above) rolls made with springroll/eggroll pastry wrappers
5. In frying pan or deep fryer, place about 1 inch of vegetable oil. Let oil heat up slowly on medium heat. Gently place rolls in hot oil and fry on each side until golden brown.
6. Serve warm with fish dipping sauce, fresh lettuce, slices of cucumber and mint, basil or what ever herbs are available.
Makes about 25 rolls, but depending on how big your rolls are and how much filling you use, the recipe may only make about about 12-15 rolls.
P.S. I really meant that about anyone fitting into a small size, especially size “0” . That even goes for my own mother and everyone at the nail shop. Nail Shop Eats.