Crispy family favourite

FRIED spring rolls, the ones I learned to make from my mother who still prepares them up to this day, have always been sought after in our household.

Growing up in Penang and during Hari Raya, these tasty morsels would be made in the hundreds to cater to hungry visitors to our open house.

Suffice to say, the spring rolls were the first on the festive menu to disappear from the serving plate.

The ingredients to make vegetarian spring rolls. — Photos: LOW LAY PHON/The StarThe ingredients to make vegetarian spring rolls. — Photos: LOW LAY PHON/The Star

They were golden brown and crunchy, dipped in tangy home-made chilli sauce. This was the family’s favourite even when it was not Hari Raya.

The key to a good fried spring roll is not only the filling but also the skin.

A tablespoon of filling is placed on the skin before rolling it up.A tablespoon of filling is placed on the skin before rolling it up.

My mother uses round-shaped skins made mostly from rice flour sold by a trader who makes them fresh at our neighbourhood market.

Unlike the square-shaped skins which are made using wheat flour, the rice flour version is crispier and does not soak up too much oil.

The filling is easy to make and you do not even need to use oil, as the vegetables caramelise and produce a natural sweetness.

Enjoy the spring rolls with the home-made spicy dip.Enjoy the spring rolls with the home-made spicy dip.

Spring onions are often added to the mix but you can also use coriander for added freshness.

I found round-shaped skins that looked like the ones my mother used, at a supermarket in Petaling Jaya, so I gave them a try.

The texture was good and resulted in crispy spring rolls.

Vegetarian spring rolls.Vegetarian spring rolls.

Before you assemble the spring rolls, remove the skins gently from the plastic packaging and place them on a flat plate covered with a damp tea towel to retain moisture.

The skins can get dry and brittle if left in the fridge for too long.

Vegetarian Spring Rolls with Spicy Dip

Ingredients1 jicama (330g), shredded using mandoline

3 carrots (150gm), shredded in mandoline

4 bulbs shallots, finely sliced

5 cloves garlic, finely sliced

1 teaspoon white pepper

1 teaspoon salt to taste

3 sprigs fresh coriander

1 egg white

3 cups cooking oil


Saute over medium heat for about 10 minutes or until soft and caramelised.

Add pepper.

Add chopped coriander.

Mix until well combined and fragrant.

Let cool. This can be kept overnight in the fridge.

To assemble spring rolls:

Place one sheet of the skin on a flat surface. Put about one tablespoon of filling on one end, and fold into a roll tightly, but do not rip the skin. Dip finger in egg white and smear on the skin to seal the roll to avoid spillage during frying. Heat oil on medium to high heat. Fry spring rolls until golden brown. Serve hot.

Spicy dip ingredients

5 red chillies, chopped

5 cloves garlic

3 bulbs shallots

1 tablespoon apple cider


1 teaspoon salt to taste

1 teaspoon sugar


Blend until smooth and serve with spring rolls.

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