An easy Indian vegetable spring rolls recipe with a delicious filling of cabbage, carrot and spring onion greens. Crispy and golden on the outside and bursting with flavour at first bite!
Mmmm, vegetable spring rolls! Until I tried making them, I always used to think that these oh-so-tasty rolls must be very difficult to make at home. How mistaken I was. Indian spring rolls are nowhere near as difficult to make as they look (some recipes just look complicated). If you get the technique of wrapping them right, you can make these any time.
The beauty of spring rolls is that they can be made and frozen ahead of time. When the urge for a fried snack strikes, just whip them out of the freezer and fry them. You have fresh, hot spring rolls ready in a jiffy!
If you like Indo-Chinese recipes like this one, you might want to look up gobi manchurian, another vegetarian appetizer that tastes heavenly over a bed of noodles or rice. Or, if you're not strictly vegetarian, do try this easy version of chilli chicken, adapted for the instant pot.
Fried or baked?
These spring rolls can be made both ways with excellent results. If you want a guilt free experience, bake 'em and enjoy! Baked spring rolls turn out quite crisp and delicious. No points for guessing which method is healthier!
If you're baking them, spray a baking tray with cooking oil and place the rolls on it, taking care not to let them touch each other. Stick the tray in a preheated oven at 400 Fahrenheit for 35 minutes. Turn once in between to make sure the outside is evenly baked and you're done.
Filling ingredients for these veg spring rolls
- shredded cabbage
- shredded carrot
- spring onion
- garlic, chopped
- soy sauce
- hot chilli sauce (optional)
- white pepper, ground
- white vinegar
- oil, for frying
This makes for a delicious filling. The veggies are tossed in two tablespoons of oil and the other ingredients are added to them quickly. The whole process takes all of 3 minutes (minus chopping of the vegetables).
How to fold spring rolls
The steps are self explanatory but I will elaborate on one thing: how to seal the rolls. Dissolve 2 teaspoons cornflour in 2-3 tablespoons of water to make a thick, sticky sludge that acts like a glue. Using your finger, dab this on the edges of a wrapper and seal it. Press for a few seconds to make sure the edges don't come apart again.
Tips for making the perfect vegetable spring rolls recipe
1. Wait for the veggie filling to cool completely before assembling the rolls.
2. Keep the wrappers and the prepared rolls covered with a damp tea towel at all times since they dry out very fast.
3. When sealing the wrappers, apply the cornflour sludge with your fingers and press for a few seconds to seal them. If they are not sealed, the filling will come out while you're frying them.
4. The oil has to be at the correct temperature for making perfectly golden brown and crispy spring rolls. If the heat is too low, the rolls will absorb a lot of oil and turn soggy. If it is too high, on the other hand, the rolls will not be evenly golden, but pockmarked!
Tip: I always test fry one roll before I add the others.
5. Fry the rolls in batches if you're frying them all. Overcrowding in the wok will also lead to uneven frying.
Two simple ways to make these rolls quicker
1. Instead of shredding the vegetables by hand, you can buy small bags of pre-shredded cabbage and carrot available in the produce section of the supermarket. You will still have to chop the spring onions, but this only takes a couple of minutes.
2. Shred the veggies in a food processor using the shredding blade. Obvious and simple hack!
What to serve with spring rolls
If you want to go the easy route with the minimum of fuss, serve spring rolls with ketchup. I had a too-sweet plum sauce languishing in the fridge, so I mixed some with regular ketchup and made my own dip of sorts! You can do the same if you have any left-over sauces from other recipes, maybe.
But if plain ol' ketchup is boring or you don't have anything else at hand, here's a good post from A Beautiful Mess all about dips for spring rolls. You'll find not one, but three different dipping sauces. Choose the one you fancy to make your spring rolls eating experience really interesting. A good sauce is what gives a fried snack that extra kick, after all. Just my opinion.
How to keep spring rolls fresh
The best way to keep recently made, unfried spring rolls fresh is to wrap them in a damp towel and keep them in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Assuming, of course, that you are going to fry them in a couple of hours. They will be none the worse for frying later.
If you have fried left-over spring rolls (never happens in my home), wrap them first in some paper towels, then cling wrap and store them in an airtight container. When you want to reheat them, it is best to pop them in a preheated oven for a few minutes for crispy rolls again. Microwaving them will make them soggy. Also, never store fried spring rolls in the freezer as you'll get a soggy mess when you defreeze them.
What I like to do is to make a large batch at a time and then freeze them. Since unfried spring rolls freeze beautifully, it just takes a little effort upfront but it's very convenient subsequently. All I need to do when I want to eat some is to take them out of the freezer and fry them. They taste fresh and crispy when fried, as they should.
If you want clear instructions on how to store spring rolls in the freezer, check out this lamb kebabs recipe of mine. I use the exact same method to store spring rolls too.
Other snacks you might like
vegetable spring rolls recipe
- 20 spring roll wrappers defrosted and covered with a damp tea towel
- 1 cup shredded cabbage
- 1 cup carrot cut into long strips
- 2 bunches spring onions whites and greens separated and chopped
- 2 tablespoon cooking oil
- 3-4 garlic cloves finely diced
- ½ teaspoon white pepper powder
- 1 tablespoon white vinegar
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon hot chilli sauce optional
- 1 teaspoon cornflour
- 2 teaspoon cornflour dissolved in 2 tablespoon water (for sealing the rolls) and 1 teaspoon for mixing in the veggies
- canola oil for deep frying
- sea salt to taste
- Heat 2 tablespoon oil in a pan and add garlic followed by the veggies (except the spring onion greens).
- Tip in white pepper, vinegar, soy sauce, hot chilli sauce, salt and the single teaspoonful of cornflour. Toss the vegetables on high heat for 2 minutes. Once the veggie mixture is ready, let it cool down completely. Mix in the spring onion greens set aside earlier.
- Now, assemble the spring rolls. Carefully peel off one wrapper and place a spoonful of filling on a sheet. Roll up halfway, then fold the sides and continue rolling. Seal the roll with the cornflour dissolved in water: take some of the sludge on your finger, apply on the edges of the open side and close the flap tightly. Once all the rolls are assembled, they are ready for frying.
- Heat oil in a wok (there should be enough to cover the rolls completely) to medium high. Drop the rolls one by one in the hot oil and fry until they turn golden brown. Turn them once or twice while they are frying.
- Take the rolls out on absorbent kitchen paper and serve hot with any sauce of your choice or ketchup.
- Adjust the salt according to your preference. I use a little less than I normally do because the soy sauce used in the recipe is quite salty.
- The veggie filling should be crunchy and dry (it's okay if it is a little sticky, but it should not be over-cooked or soggy).
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