Filipino Spring Rolls

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I don’t often follow recipes really well, as my creative brain kicks in and I end up making it ‘my way’ which is usually a little off the norm. However, there are times when the traditional ‘handed down’ recipes are so good, that even I follow them. These Spring rolls fell into the latter category and I can only but thank Chrestie Diaz Bancos for sharing this traditional family recipe with me.

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These traditional Filipino Spring Rolls are scrumptious and appetising. None of us could stop munching on them and even my fussy 10 yr old son could not keep his hands away from the platter until they had all disappeared. These spring rolls are easy to make and can be frozen for later use. I am going to have to make a big batch next time as they are highly addictive. Whether deep fried or baked, these are equally delicious either way when served with a spicy sweet chili sauce.

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FILIPINO SPRING ROLLS

My son and I made another batch of these today, as he wants to take them to School on Monday in his lunch box. In this version. I didn’t use the carrots but instead I brushed a little Sour cherry chutney on the inside of the spring roll before rolling them out, and they came out fabulous too – albeit, that’s not the traditional recipe.

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Filipino Spring Rolls
 
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A traditional Filipino recipe by Chrest Diaz Bancos who shared her family recipe with me.
Author:
Recipe type: Appetisers, Snack,
Cuisine: Filipino
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • Filling:
  • 1 cup pork mince
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • a small bunch of green onions, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp corn flour
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • Vegeta seasoning to taste
  • Readymade Spring roll pastry
  • Oil for frying
Instructions
  1. Blitz all the ingredients for the filling in a blender.
  2. Using 2 tsp of filling, make the spring rolls, using water to seal the edges.
  3. Deep fry the rolls until golden brown on both sides.
  4. Serve with sweet chilli sauce for dipping.
  5. Freeze the leftovers in ziploc bag and reheat in microwave for 2 minutes before serving hot.

Whilst these little rolls are packed with flavour, their flavour is enhanced when dipped in the Sweet Chilli sauce. The combination is amazing and I would strongly recommend it.

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The pork in the filling can be replaced with any type of meat – whether Beef, Lamb, Chicken, Turkey or even some Tofu, Tempeh or vegetable mix.

 

Supa cu Galuste (Romanian Soup with Dumplings)

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Whilst we were having our Romanian cooking lesson from my friend Cristian, he introduced us to this beautiful delicately flavoured soup made using fresh Chicken soup with wheatlet dumplings. This soup was amazingly delicious and easy to make, so much so that even my fussy 10 year old son loved the soup. It has an amazing power to make you sweat a few minutes after you’ve had the soup so this would be a fantastic soup for when the weather starts getting a little chillier. DSC_1095 (1280x859) I would love to make this soup with a little bit of ginger added to the ingredients, but truthfully speaking this is a dish that is perfect as it is. I would definitely be making this again a few times this winter. This soup doesn’t need a lot of ingredients and for an instant version, you can use ready made store bought chicken stock and simply add some fresh vegetables and the dumplings to the stock, but the flavour of fresh chicken stock in this soup is exquisite. SUPA CU GALUSTE (ROMANIAN SOUP WITH DUMPLINGS) In a large pot put 1/2 a chicken (bone in) to boil along with some roughly chopped carrots and kohlrabi. If possible add some parsley roots to the stock as well and let this boil in a large pot of water. Add some seasoning – salt, black pepper and some vegeta seasoning to your taste and let this simmer away until the the chicken is fully cooked. Remove the chicken from the soup. You can shred the chicken pieces and add them to the soup but traditionally this soup is a clear broth with the dumplings in there along with the carrots and kohlrabi. Whilst this pot is cooking, prepare the dumplings: Take 2 eggs and whisk in some wheatlets to the eggs. Continue to add wheatlet to the eggs, beating them in with a fork slowly until it reaches the point where the fork can rest on the mixture without sinking in. (See picture). DSC_1085 (1280x859) At this point, using a wet spoon drop the wheatlet mixture directly in to the soup in the shape of dumplings and let these cook on high heat. Use up all the mixture by adding it to the soup as dumplings. Serve the soup hot with some crusty bread rolls. DSC_1089 (1280x859) If you want to use ready made store bought chicken stock, then bring the chicken stock to boil with some chopped carrots and kohlrabi and parsley roots. Add the seasoning and drop the dumplings into the soup as soon as it reaches a boil. Sprinkle some freshly chopped parsley on top before serving. This recipe was prepared b my friend Cristian who learnt this from his mother, as a family handed down recipe.

Supa cu Galuste (Romanian Soup with Dumplings)
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
An exquisite and elegant Romanian Chicken Soup with Dumplings made using a traditional family handed down recipe.
Author:
Recipe type: Soup
Cuisine: Romanian
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 2 eggs
  • Wheatlets - ½ cup plus more as required to make the dumplings
  • Half a chicken, with bones in
  • 2 large carrots, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup Kohlrabi, diced
  • A small bunch of parsley with roots
  • Salt and black pepper
  • Vegeta seasoning
Instructions
  1. Boil the chicken along with the vegetables and parsley roots in a large pot. Add the seasoning and let it boil.
  2. Make dumplings batter using the eggs and the wheatlets, until the batter is thick enough for the fork to rest on it without sinking in.
  3. Remove the chicken from the soup.
  4. Using a wet spoon, make small dumplings and drop them directly into the soup whilst it is boiling.
  5. Sprinkle some finely chopped parsley before serving the soup with some fresh crusty bread rolls.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 4

 

Romanian Cabbage Rolls

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My Romanian friend Cristian promised to teach us how to make traditional Romanian Cabbage Rolls that he learnt from his mum. We have been talking about it for years and finally, we got the opportunity of making these together and he taught me the secret skill of rolling and preparing these delicious Cabbage rolls. We used two different types of cabbage to make these rolls and whilst the process may seem a long and it was definitely a messy process when we were rolling these cabbage rolls, but the resulting taste was well worth it.

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My mind was ticking non stops with the possibility of spicing up these rolls using Kebab meat or even some spicy Italian sausage, but for this first attempt, we stuck to tradition and cooked them using traditional ingredients and methods.

For the Cabbage – we used some sour cabbage and some fresh Savoy cabbage. I am told the savoy cabbage is the best to use for stuffing and rolling cabbage rolls due to their softer texture and the fact that they are a little bit more flexible to stuff and roll up. For both types of cabbage, using a small paring knife Cristian took the hard stem out leaving an empty hole in the centre of each cabbage.

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This made removing the leaves individually a lot easier. He put a pot of water to boil and as soon as the water came to a boil, he seasoned the cabbage with a bit of salt in the hole that he had made by removing the stalk, and dunked it into the water and left it on a rolling boil. Cristian also added a little white vinegar to the water and this is where it started to smell like sauerkraut in the house.

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The cabbage started to sink as it softened and soaked up the water and using a pair of tongs Cristian slowly started pulling individual leaves off the cabbage. The sour cabbage, he just drained the sour water that it was packed in and started taking off the individual leaves off the cabbage and staking them on a plate ready to be filled.

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Whilst this was going on, Cristian started preparing the stuffing for the cabbage rolls. He sauted the onions using a little oil and added them into a big mixing bowl with raw pork mince, some raw long grain rice, salt, paprika and vegeta seasoning. I was a little surprised with the raw rice going in with raw meat for the stuffing, but he assured me the rice would be perfectly cooked and would almost disappear with the meat inside the cabbage rolls. Getting his hands right in, Cristian mixed everything really well and to my horror, even tasted the stuffing regardless of the fact that it was raw meat. I would strongly recommend not doing that though!

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Once all the ingredients were prepared we started the stuffing and rolling of the cabbage and this was a little messy as the water from the cabbage whilst necessary to keep the cabbage soft and moist, made things very messy to handle. We learnt how to roll the cabbage in two different ways – one was the traditional way of rolling them up like springrolls and then making indentations on both sides of the cabbage rolls.

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This was important as when we packed the cabbage rolls in the pan to cook them, they were pushed into each other to help hold them down once the water is added. Apparently, the cabbage rolls love to float in water as they cook, so these little indentations helped twine them together almost, which in turn helped them stay down a bit. The other method was the ‘cone’ shaped cabbage roll and I personally found this one easier to do whilst Cristian’s wife, Chrest found these the harder ones to put together.

Our team work helped us put these together fairly quickly and painlessly but I can imagine it would take a lot longer if it was just one person putting these together.

The cabbage rolls were then tightly put together into a large pot, but before these were lined in the pot, Cristian had made a little bed of tomatoes and leftover cabbage bits on the bottom of the pan as it prevents the cabbage rolls from sticking to the bottom. Once they were tightly fitted into the pan, he sprinkled some more vegeta seasoning on the top, spread some tomato paste on the top and filled the pot with water to the top. Then using a heavy teacup saucer turned upside down on top of this pot, Cristian put the put to boil on medium high heat. He kept an eye on it until the water reached a boil, then reducing the heat and covering the pot with a lid on top of the saucer, we left it to cook for a good 45 minutes to an hour. You could smell the vinegary cabbagey smell all over the house and we couldn’t wait to taste the end result, which was absolutely amazing.

We enjoyed these cabbage rolls with some fresh sour cream. I no longer fear making cabbage rolls on my own and I will definitely be making these again. Perhaps some Chorizo and chicken ones? A big THANK YOU to Cristian and Chrest for this little cooking lesson. We went home with lots of leftovers to enjoy the next day.

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ROMANIAN CABBAGE ROLLS

1 sour cabbage
1 savoy cabbage
2 lbs minced meat (we used pork but can use beef, chicken – any type of meat)
Salt and black pepper to taste
2 tbsp Vegeta seasoning
2 tbsp paprika
2 cups rice – long grain
1 large onion – finely chopped
2 tbsp oil to saute the onion