Spring rolls

I grew up with a Thai chef and did not take as much advantage of this as I probably should have. One thing she did teach me though was how to roll spring rolls and I am very grateful for that. Spring rolls are fairly quick and easy to make and also very, very cheap. I can make 20 for less than $5. The main ingredient is cabbage and so it’s a good way to get kids to eat vegetables. My 7 year old loves them but he will not touch cabbage in any other disguise.

I was not able to find spring roll wrappers when I was in England. I’m sure they must be available but not at my local supermarkets. It may be something that one needs to get from an Asian supermarket. Most supermarkets sell them in Australasia.


Half a cabbage
one carrot grated
two spring onions
3 cloves of garlic
sesame oil
1-2 tbsp soy sauce
1/2 tsp sugar
fresh basil and coriander if you have it
juice from one lemon
20 spring roll wrappers
a thumb-sized knob of ginger (I buy a large root of fresh ginger and store it in the freezer. It lasts forever and can be grated from frozen directly into the dish)

Chop up the cabbage and fry it in the sesame oil in a wok or large frying pan with the garlic and ginger. Add all the other ingredients and fry until soft.

Now for the rolling. Here’s my four year old separating the spring roll wrappers:


Put some mixture onto one wrapper like so:


Start rolling by folding over the corner nearest the mixture and tucking it under as firmly and tightly as possible.


Roll just past half-way and fold in the side corners. Just before the you reach the last corner, dip your finger in a bowl of water and dab the pastry so that the spring roll sticks shut and doesn’t unroll.


Here’s my plate of rolled spring rolls. These can be frozen if you want to make them in advance.


To cook, fry them in a half-centimetre or so of vegetable oil until golden brown, or if you prefer, microwave them as is and avoid the oil altogether.


They taste great dipped in sweet chilli sauce.

21 responses to “Spring rolls”

  1. Cabbage is really a versatile vegetable. Your recipe is a bit similar to something I make. Stir and fry shredded cabbage, onions and celery in a bit of olive oil. I cook until you can’t distinguish the veggies and they are really browned (burnt)….about a half an hour. I use an electric skillet. Add low salt soy sauce and mix in day old cooked rice. I have also added cooked chicken or pork and hot salsa and anything else left over in the frig. πŸ™‚

      • Cheap! Another good reason to cook with cabbage. πŸ™‚
        After writing about it, I’m going to make the recipe tomorrow. lol Except I am going to add diced and browned red potatoes instead of rice.

        I am not much of a cook, but I do have one thing going for me. My husband will cut up all the ingredients for me. πŸ™‚

  2. Looks like a good recipe. The first thing I thought when looking at the photos was ‘They don’t look like Rachel’s hands’. I imagine Elizabeth enjoys her cooking classes with mum. πŸ™‚

    • Elizabeth’s hands are much nicer than mine which are tough and leathery from years of gardening and washing dishes. I really should wear gloves.

      Elizabeth does live cooking. I like she probably likes baking best as then she gets to lick the bowl.

  3. Can’t get the wrappers here in Brazil either, but they do have wrappers for pasteis which are similar. It’s been ages since I have made them, must buy some wrappers at the s/market when I’m there next week.


    • Spring rolls are great. It seems everyone makes them! I forgot to mention in my post that they’re good to freeze before the frying stage.

      We’re lucky in Auckland as there’s a very large South East Asian population and so we can get practically everything food-wise from these countries.

  4. It’s interesting how much more Oriental influence there is in Australasia than there is over here. Can’t imagine anywhere doing spring roll wrappers in England.

    When you move over here, you may need to make your own!

    • Really? Not even in an Asian supermarket? There was one in York but I never checked it out. I just assumed they’d sell them. If not, I’ll have to use your recipe πŸ™‚

      • BBD,

        Those Blue Dragon wrappers at Waitrose are not fit for this purpose. They’re not meant for frying at all but rather dipping in hot water, then rolling, then eating right away. I bought them when I was in York and they don’t work for these types of spring rolls.

      • Ah. Thanks for the pointer. When I get round to giving this a try I’ll get some wrappers from the Chinese mini-mart in Winchester, which sells a range of Chinese brands. Blue Dragon stuff is generally crap, it has to be said, but I didn’t know its wrappers were no good for frying at all. Apologies for any confusion caused.

  5. Rachel

    I grew up with a Thai chef and did not take as much advantage of this as I probably should have.

    You child of privilege, you.

    Thanks for this. The *only* reason I’ve never tried to make spring rolls is because I was under the apparently mistaken impression that they would need to be deep-fried. With that imaginary obstacle removed, I shall have a go. We all love them.

    • BBD,

      You child of privilege, you.

      It was tough, let me tell you. πŸ™‚

      I’m really pleased that my post has opened up the possibility of home-made spring rolls for you. You can also microwave them and avoid the frying altogether, but they don’t taste as good in my view.

  6. Yum yum yum πŸ™‚ I’m glad to read here that we can get the wrappers at Waitrose, these look easy to make and I remember Denise’s post when she made them too πŸ™‚

    • Waitrose online does not sell them. I did try when I was in York, but I never physically visited the store so that might be why I couldn’t find them. Let me know if you have any luck.

      • I’ll ask my mum, she shops at Waitrose all the time. She can see if they are in-store and I’ll let you know πŸ™‚

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