Friday, 15 January 2010

Wok 'n' roll

Wok n roll

Every now and again me and my family will have a Chinese takeaway on a Sunday evening - it's the end of the week for me and I don't always want to cook. Last time I ordered a chop suey spring roll and was delighted by how delicious it was. I had to put it on my menu.

Inspired, I scouted the internet for a recipe, and found one. To be honest I thought it was unlikely to work as it involved using tomato ketchup and leeks which I thought would be too tough a vegetable to sit inside a delicate and crispy spring roll. I tried it anyway and I was quite amazed at how it came out - so amazed that it made it to my menu.

Here's the recipe for chop suey spring's very easy. This recipe should make about 6 spring rolls.

Chop suey spring rolls
large spring roll wrappers - largest you can find
1 large leek
1 onion
1 large carrot - grated
10 button mushrooms
2 cloves of garlic - crushed
1 thumb of ginger - fine grated
vegetable oil for frying
1 small tin bamboo shoots
generous dash of tomato ketchup
a little soy sauce to taste
1 small bag beansprouts
2 teaspoons of cornflour
Oil for deep frying

First of place a little oil in a large wok and place it over a high heat. Add the sliced leeks and onions and start to wok fry them turning them over with a slotted spoon all the time. After a couple of minutes add the sliced mushrooms and grated carrot and continute stir frying for a couple more minutes. The picture below shows you how this would look.

wok frying the vegetables

Next add the garlic and ginger and allow it to hit the bottom of the wok so it gets a chance to fry a little in the oil. I know that the proper Chinese method would be to fry the ginger and garlic in the oil from the beginning but trust me doing it my way works well and and allows the flavours of these pungent roots to stay more in the forefront of the final taste of the dish. Cook this for a few more minutes.

Add the bamboo shoots, tomato ketchup, soy sauce and then the beansprouts. As this cooks away mix the cornflour with a little water to form a smooth paste and add it to the wok and mix it through well. The cornflour will thicken it. See below.

The finished chop suey

There you have it vegetable chop suey. You could serve this vegan dish with some noodles as it is but for this dish you will need to cool it to room temperature so you can fill the rolls. I forgot to mention you will need a deep fat fryer set to about 220°C or 440°F to cook the spring rolls.

When the mixture is cooled fill you spring roll wrappers with the mixture and roll up. Seal the end of the rolls with a little of the cornflour mixed with water. Deep fry until they are crisp and light brown. If you want to make the funky spring roll shape that I use in the restaurant you can as I have created a short video that shows you how to do it. Just follow the link below.

Wok n roll

In the restaurant I serve the spring roll on top of yakisoba - a Japanese style noodle dish - with a little Japanese style curry sauce. I will post the recipes for these at a later date.




  1. Hi chef
    I am vegan living in Newcastle. I often dine in your restaurant with my husband. Your food is just out of the world. We love your food. My husband is a big fan of all your dessert. My husband had ordered this Wok n Roll main course and I had a taste of it and it was very good. I will definitely try making this at home. Thanks a load for posting recipes from your menu. I would want to know where to buy vegan spring roll wrappers?

  2. Hi Varsha,
    As far as I am aware spring roll wrappers are vegan. I buy them from the Chinese supermarket in Chinatown

  3. Andy it's Louise the kiwi that worked at blah blah blah. Been trying to find you for ages. My email is would love to hear from you guys xxoo