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Crispy Sweet Chilli Spring Rolls \ VIDEO

Crunchy spring rolls packed with a juicy filling and served with a sweet chilli dip.

Like Chinese New Year, one of the most important traditions of Songkran (Thai New Year) is the gathering together of families to share stories, laughs and of course – plenty of delicious food. And when it comes to crowd-pleasing party food, nothing beats crispy spring rolls. These little morsels seem to pop up everywhere, from birthday parties and weddings to potluck dinners and work events.

It’s easy to see why spring rolls are such a popular party choice. Moreish savoury filling wrapped in super thin golden brown pastry that shatters satisfyingly between our teeth? Yes please. There’s often another quiet hero in this scene too. The spring roll’s trusty sidekick is a glossy character who always plays the important role of best supporting actor. We are, of course, talking about sweet chilli sauce. It’s almost sacrilegious to have freshly fried spring rolls without first dunking them into the sticky crimson red sauce flecked with bits of chilli.

This match between finger-food and dipping sauce is so brilliant that we’re taking the union to the next level. Our special Songkran spring roll recipe delivers a double whammy of sweet chilli tanginess by sneaking some of the special sauce into the filling as well as having it on the side as a dipping sauce. We’re using Blue Dragon’s sweet chilli sauce, which we’ve been big fans of since first discovering it when we moved to the UK. Sometimes sweet chilli sauces are just that – sweet. What we like about Blue Dragon’s version is that it has the sticky sweetness that we all love, but also a garlicky, sour and spicy kick too. We find that the sauce makes our filling very juicy, and of course it’s also the perfect dipping partner. We like to add a little splash of soy sauce to the sweet chilli dip too, for that extra umami hit.

Take the guesswork out of wrapping spring rolls by watching our video, where Amy shows you step-by-step how to do it envelope style. You’ll notice that we opt for a bigger spring roll over the wee ones, because the little size just doesn’t have enough room for a generous portion of that deliciously juicy filling. If you have the self-control to not cook and eat these all at once (the struggle is real), then you can freeze them after the wrapping stage and add another 2-4 minutes of deep-frying time to cook them from frozen. Our spring rolls also work well in the oven: simply brush a little vegetable oil on all sides, then bake them at 180°C for 15-24 minutes (depending on whether they’re fresh or frozen) until the rolls are golden and piping hot inside.

Crispy Sweet Chilli Spring Rolls

By the Dumpling Sisters

Makes 10-12 spring rolls

2 tbsp vegetable oil, plus more for deep frying
2 cloves garlic, diced
2 tbsp ginger, diced
4 spring onions, sliced
1 tsp chilli flakes
250g pork mince
150g white cabbage, shredded
1 carrot, grated 
6 water chestnuts, julienned
3 tbsp sweet chilli sauce, plus more for dipping
2 tbsp light soy sauce, plus more for dipping 
1 tbsp fish sauce 
1 tsp sesame oil 
2 tsp tamarind paste (optional)
10-12 20cm square spring roll wrappers

1. In a wok or large frying pan, heat the 2 tablespoons of oil over high heat. Lightly fry the garlic, ginger, spring onions and chilli flakes.

2. Add the pork mince and stir fry until it’s lost its pinkness.

3. Add the cabbage, carrot and water chestnuts and stir fry until they’ve softened slightly, before allowing to cool in the pan. Once cool, stir in the sweet chilli sauce, light soy sauce, fish sauce, sesame oil and tamarind paste, if using.

4. Wet a piece of kitchen paper and keep it nearby, along with a small bowl of cold water for re-wetting as needed.

5. Lay a wrapper, one corner facing you, on a clean work surface. Put 2 heaped tablespoons of filling in a sausage shape in the centre of the wrapper, leaving space at each end.

6. Fold the bottom corner over the top of the filling, tuck it underneath, and then make one full roll upwards.

7. Wet the side flaps and fold them over the sausage. It should now look like an envelope. Wet the triangular flap, then roll up tightly. Repeat with the remaining wrappers and filling.

8. Heat a wok or large saucepan filled with 5cm of vegetable oil to 180°C/375°F, or until tiny bubbles gather around a dipped chopstick. Fry the spring rolls in batches of three or four, for about 2-5 minutes each, turning occasionally, until crisp and golden. Drain on kitchen paper and serve with sweet chilli sauce that’s had a little soy sauce mixed in to taste.

This post was kindly sponsored by Blue Dragon. All of the opinions expressed here and the recipes are our own. For more information, visit: 

Chillies image by James Stevens 

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