The Dish: The Art of Spring Rolls

19
Gugak Center

When talking about food, one debate never fails to arise: Is cooking an art or a science?’ The truth is that it is very much both. I’ve had friends assert that either you ‘get it’ or you don’t,’ insisting that understanding flavor is innate.

There are just some people who understand food intuitively. They can conceive of unique flavor combinations simply because they have the ability to imagine taste, much in the same way that a painter can envision the juxtaposition of certain colors. This is the art.

The science of it is a whole other animal, and one that can be easily learned. I’ve always struggled with the science part of cooking, due mostly to my reluctance to follow recipes. A great way to have fun with different ingredients, and to earn props at a dinner party, is mastering the art of the spring roll.

Though spring rolls are a staple in many Asian cuisines they are absent from the Korean repertoire, hence my obsession with making them at home. I am equally enthralled with the fresh (rice paper) and deep fried (pastry) spring rolls. They each have their merits, and they each require equal amounts of trial and error before being perfected. I find that getting a nice, compact wrap is easier with pastry spring roll wrappers, but there’s the added process of frying them – which can be messy. Not to mention much more fattening.

Vietnamese rice paper wrappers are available at almost every large mart, but pastry wrappers are hard to come by. The small imported foods store in the basement of Shinsaegae carries brand name, Spring House TYJ Spring Roll Pastries in the refrigerated section. As for the rest of the ingredients, I usually go for whatever veggies are about to go bad in my fridge.


Spring Rolls – Two Ways

Makes 15 spring rolls

Ingredients:
15 round rice paper wrappers OR 30 pastry wrappers (double wrapping avoids them falling apart while frying)
2 bunches enoki mushrooms, roots cut off
1 large carrot, grated lengthwise
1 small zucchini, julienne (shoestring) cut
¼ head of purple cabbage, finely chopped
½ cup olive or grape seed oil
1 Tbsp. minced garlic
1 Tbsp. peanut butter
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
Fresh cilantro and/or basil if you can find it
3 Tbsp. soy sauce
2-3 Tbsp. Sriracha sauce (gochu-jang, or red pepper paste, is an appropriate substitute)
Salt and pepper to taste

For frying:
One egg
½ cup water
3 cups soybean or vegetable oil

Tools:
Large cutting board or other surface for rolling, wok/sauté pan, grater
For fresh spring rolls: A large bowl of hot water
For fried spring rolls: A small pot, tongs and A LOT of paper towels
Like I’ve said, once you get the science of it down, it’s time to get creative. I’m thinking that the next time I do fried spring rolls, I might try eggplant and mozzarella with a marinara dipping sauce (my Italian grandma’s marinara recipe to come in a future issue).

Method:
Place all the ingredients in a wok and sauté for 10-12 minutes. Drain ALL the excess oil/juices out of the wok. Transfer to a bowl beside a large, clean, flat surface.

Fresh Spring Rolls:
Immerse a rice paper wrapper into a bowl of hot water for two seconds. Lay the paper flat and place a heaping tablespoon of the sautéed mixture in the center of the wrapper, arranging it in a horizontal line that leaves an inch on either side and two inches on the top and bottom. Fold all the sides while poking it to secure the wrap. This part takes some practice. Patience, grasshopper!

Fried Spring Rolls:
Make an egg wash (mix an egg and a cup of water). Peel two wrappers from the stack and lay as a diamond. Use a brush (or your fingers) to lightly coat the entire wrapper with the egg wash. Place a heaping spoonful of your sautéed mixture in the center, and follow the same instructions as above for rolling. Heat the canola or vegetable oil in a small pot until it is sizzling. Place 3-4 spring rolls into the oil. Fry for one minute on each side, using tongs to turn them. Place spring rolls on several layers of paper towel to remove excess grease.
For a no-brainer, yet killer, dipping sauce, mix:
3/4 cup mayonnaise
4 Tbsp. soy sauce
2 Tbsp. Wasabi
1 Tbsp. grated ginger (powdered if you’re NOT using a food processor)


You can check out Jen’s recipe for the perfect tuna burger here.

The Latest Haps

NewsEntertainmentLifestyleFood/DrinkTravelSports
parkgh

President Park’s Fate Likely Decided This Afternoon

The motion to impeach president Park Geun Hye have been formally carried out by 171 lawmakers from the main opposition Democratic Party, minor opposition People’s Party and Justice Party lawmakers.

0 comments
Screen Shot 2015-06-24 at 7.14.29 PM

5 Steps to Good Investing for Expats in Korea

Looking for a few simple ways to save money? Here are some quick tips to get you started saving up for the future.

0 comments
studyy

Korea Falls in International Education Rankings

Korean students fared worse this year in the OECD’s PISA rankings, which assesses the quality of secondary students around the world.

0 comments
Source: Filmlinc.org

Japanese Cinema Premier Festival to be Held at the BCC

The “Japanese Cinema Premier Festival,” will be held from the 10th, for two days, at Busan Cinema Center.

0 comments
Image: YouTube

SNL Korea Women Under Fire for Groping Male Hosts

Some female cast members of SNL Korea are under fire after a video of them sexually grabbing a popular K-pop boy bands genitals has sparked outrage on Korean social media.

0 comments
Image: YouTube

Have Your Say: Do You Like Busan’s Newest Branding Video?

The City of Busan has released its newest branding film entitled “Busan Brand Film” in hopes of promoting the city domestically and internationally.

0 comments
egg

AI Epidemic Spurs Drastic Increase in Egg Prices

Egg prices in the nation are on the verge of having a drastic increase.

0 comments
reindeer

Join the Gwangan Reindeer 5K Dash

For those looking for a little holiday exercise and fun, the Gwangan Reindeer 5k Dash is taking place on December 18th.

0 comments
Source: Filmlinc.org

Japanese Cinema Premier Festival to be Held at the BCC

The “Japanese Cinema Premier Festival,” will be held from the 10th, for two days, at Busan Cinema Center.

0 comments
hq gwangan

Three Great Events at HQ Gwangan This Weekend

HQ Gwangan is once again having a big weekend of events with great food and drink specials.

0 comments
Image: Gorilla Beer Co.

Busan Beer Tour Hits Five Gwangalli Favorites

Five of Gwangalli’s favorite craft brew places are teaming up for the “Busan Beer Tour”.

0 comments
wine-

Busan Wine Club Hosting Special Christmas Event

Start the Christmas season off right at the Busan Wine Club’s 8th wine party on 17th of December.

0 comments
Image: SR

New Super Rapid Train Service in Korea Begins Friday

High speed rail travelers will have a new option on the Korean peninsula as the SR bullet train service begins this Friday.

0 comments
The sun sets on the gorgeous French countryside.

Self-Guided Food Tours in France – Check out this Interactive Guide

France is renowned for its creative use of fresh market produce, and our hoteliers pride themselves on serving fare of the highest standard. Enjoy delicious food and elegant wines as you recall the highlights of the day.

0 comments
marinabaysandsinterior

24 Hours at the Marina Bay Sands Singapore

Marine Bay Sands in Singapore has become the standard for not only luxury, but also noted as the place to go if you’re on a vacation to the southeast Asian tourist mecca.

0 comments
Image: Claw Digest

Lotte Giants Sign Parker Markel, Lose Lindblum

The Lotte Giants have signed American pitcher Parker Markel for the 2017 season.

0 comments
kimchi

Lotte Giants Players Join in Winter Kimchi-Making Event

Lotte Giants players, including Kang Minho, Son A-sub, Jeon Joon-woo, Kim Moon-ho, and Jeong Hoon will participate in a winter kimchi making event today.

0 comments
Image: Busan City

City to Tear Down Gudeok Baseball Park and Gymnasium

The city office has decided to tear down Gudeok Baseball Park and Gymnasium and operate it as an exercise park in a smaller scale.

0 comments

 

Comments

comments