The Dish: The Art of Spring Rolls

339
CHB

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

Female Undercover Cop Brings Down Ulsan’s Infamous “Burberry Man”

Ulsan police have arrested a 50-year-old man accused of exposing himself frequently around a girl’s high school.

0 comments

Man Arrested in Haeundae for Stealing from Foreign Tourists After Buying Them Drinks

Police say the 43-year-old Kim approached 10 foreign tourists at the guesthouses between Mar. 29 to Apr. 12 offering to buy them drinks and then stole cash and valuables including laptops and cell phones worth about 10 million won ($8,700).

0 comments

Police in Gimhae Arrest Farmer Who Threatened Them With an Axe

A 61-year-old farmer is Gimhae was arrested this week after threatening four police officers with an axe.

0 comments

Monthly Ha Ha Hole Returns Friday Night

This Friday, April 21st, at HQ Bar KSU sees the return of the monthly Ha Ha Hole, Busan’s only live English comedy show.

0 comments

5 Korean Films Make Selection at Cannes This Year

Five Korean films have been selected for the 70th edition of the Cannes Film Festival in 2017.

0 comments

PyeongChang Olympics Names Actor Kim Woo-bin as an Honorary Ambassador

South Korea’s 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics has appointed actor Kim Woo-bin as an honorary ambassador hoping to capitalize on the model turned actor’s popularity across Asia.

0 comments

Monthly Ha Ha Hole Returns Friday Night

This Friday, April 21st, at HQ Bar KSU sees the return of the monthly Ha Ha Hole, Busan’s only live English comedy show.

0 comments

10 Second Korean: Busan Dialect 억수로 [ eoksuro ]

Easy and quick Korean expressions!

0 comments

Join the March for Science Busan on April 22

The March for Science Busan, planned for Earth Day, has expanded into a global movement with marches organized in over 50 different countries and over 500 cities worldwide.

0 comments

Busan Bites: Gugine Nakjibokkeum

Dynamic Busan offers restaurant recommendations from the dongjang, community heads of each neighborhood. This month, we take a look at Gugine Nakjibokkeum in Suyeong-gu.

0 comments

Enjoy Jazz and Wine at Gavi on Friday Nights

Gavi, a restaurant/wine bar located in Seomyeon, is hosting Friday night jazz by Robert Coates from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. weekly.

0 comments

Taejondae’s Shellfish Village Gets a New Home

Shellfish Village, a number of dining tents which occupied the Gamji rock beach on Taejongdae, will reopen but in a new location, restoring the beach to its natural habitat.

0 comments

‘Busan Air Cruise’ to Open in May in Songdo Beach

‘Busan Air Cruise’ is set to become the newest tourist attraction in the city with a scheduled opening at the end of May.

0 comments

International Destinations: 5 Reasons to go to Langkawi

Langkawi, also known as the Jewel of Kedah, is a tropical paradise in Malaysia which is a very affordable option for budget travelers looking for relaxation and stunning views.

0 comments

‘Dadaepo Sunset Fountain of Dreams’ Music Show Begins Today

One of Busan’s biggest tourist attraction draws returns for another year beginning today.

0 comments

Global Gathering International Sports Day 2017 to be Held on Saturday

Global Gathering International Sports Day 2017 will take place at Norimaru playground in Seomyeon on Saturday, April 22, 2017.

0 comments

E-Sports World Championship to be Held in Busan

The “E-Sports World Championship”, also known as the E-sports Olympics, is going to be held in Busan.

0 comments

Watch: Japan vs Korea Final Match 2017 Men’s U19 Asian Volleyball Championship

Here, in its entirety, is the final match between Japan and Korea for the 2017 Men U19 Volleyball Asian Championship. Who won? Sorry, we won’t spoil it for you, but if you are curious, you can go here for the score.

0 comments

 

Comments

comments

HQ bar