Roll on Spring..... spring rolls are on

After the ice age of a winter we have experienced,roll on spring I say. You’ve never really had a spring roll until you’ve tried homemade ones,believe me.They are absolutely incomparable to the spring rolls served in Chinese restaurants and fast food joints,the ones with unidentifiable fillings.You take one bite and oil sqirts everywhere. You think but can´t place whats inside it. We love takeaways,and sometimes letting the chain take the strain is a great option,but the East Algarve is not known for its takeaways, let alone deliveries, aside from food courts and outlets in large shopping malls.Lets face it its a pretty run of the mill experience.Ironically, last night as we were about to sit down to dinner the door bell rang and the telepizza man was there with a pizza.We had not ordered one.It was the wrong house No longer being city slickers and along with being expensive it’s also not the healthiest option open anyway.I know spring rolls are one of those things that may seem daunting to try your hand at. But it’s actually not that tricky at all. Wrapping spring rolls is more straight forward than it seems. Nowadays I try to make as many homemade alternatives as possible, pizzas, burgers,fish and chips. We can still enjoy the delicious taste of a takeaway but it’s much healthier and for a fraction of the cost. Spring Rolls are one of my most favourite takeaway  options, so I set out to make a version that can be baked rather than fried.
I encased the filling in filo pastry. You can of course use spring roll wrappers too, but filo pastry is easier for me to buy and it bakes really well too, meaning you get a wonderfully crisp spring roll without frying.These are definitely going on the casa rosada starter menu.
The filling
Vietnamese chicken spring rolls
serves 2
Total Time: 40 minutes 

1 boneless, skinless cooked chicken breast,skinned and shredded
2 cups thinly shredded Chinese cabbage
1/2 cup (60ml) shredded Carrots  
1/2 cup chopped fresh herbs:  coriander, mint, basil, and/or coriander
1/4 cup (60ml) crushed, roasted Peanuts 
1/4 cup (60ml) fried Shallots optional
    4 sheets filo pastry, each cut into 4 rectangles (approx 15cm x 12cm)
    50g salted butter, melted
    Sweet chilli sauce to serve 

    For the stir fry base 
    Teaspoon dried chilli flakes
    2 garlic cloves minced
    Small knob of fresh ginger, grated
    1/4 cup water
    1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
    1 tablespoon soya sauce
    1 tablespoons nam pla ( Fish Sauce )

    1 tablespoon Sugar
    1 soup spoon peanut or ground nut oil

    Heat all the ingredients for the stir fry base in a wok over a high heat till thick
    add the veg, herbs, peanuts and shallots,stir well to mix for about a minute.
    Add the chicken and keep stirring. Spoon the veg into a sieve over a bowl 
    and allow to cool slightly.
    Place a spoonful of the veg mix at one end of a filo rectangle, in the centre. Roll the filo around the veg until halfway along the filo sheet, then fold each side of unfilled pastry into the centre. Continue rolling into a cylinder and brush with butter to seal. Place on a baking tray and brush with butter. Repeat with the remaining pastry sheets.
    Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden and crisp. 
    Serve hot with sweet chilli sauce.


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