Thursday, July 5, 2018

Fireworks, Bowling, Cleaner, Medical Marijuana,

I know at least one person who did not like the fireworks on the 4th. Apparently someone (a neighbour?) chucked fireworks in the garbage and set their house on fire. Amazing how stupid people can be. I was surprised to read recently that more accidents are caused by sparklers. I thought those were supposed to be pretty harmless, obviously not.

Bowling was not a success today, both of us were hurting and neither of us were bowling worth a damn. I was getting 190s on Wednesday and 128 on Thursday!!! It started to rain later in the afternoon not much, but I wondered if it was the pressure change which was making us hurt more.

Our cleaner came today, another client had requested a swap. She showed me pix of herself in an obstacle race. Oh to be that fit. She is considerably younger than I am of course. She was proud she had kept up with a group of friends who were all somewhat younger than her. If it had been me I would have been proud to keep up with a 90 yr. old. My cleaner also took away the kaput toaster oven for me to get rid of it. Nice of her. Don't tell her I said that mind you. I have finally got round to making an appointment with the cannabis lab next week. Gotta do something about this pain.

Friday I am thinking of doing the filling for my egg rolls which I plan to have on Saturday. Will have to see how it goes. This is a long recipe but there are lots of options and advice plus I am not sure I will bother with the sauce, never have it in the restaurant. Of course I won't be frying them in the accepted sense of the word but doing them in the air fryer.

Spring Rolls! (aka Egg Rolls)

Homemade spring rolls are nothing like the ones at suburban Chinese takeout joints with unidentifiable mushy fillings and overly greasy. These are delicately crispy and golden, just like they should be, and you will actually be able to taste the filling. ?? Watch the VIDEO below for the
wrapping technique. Fry them for the best results, or bake them (Note 5). Also see Note 7 for explanation of terminology differences re: Egg Rolls and Spring Rolls! Feel free to sub the Filling ingredients with similar vegetables.

1 Tbs oil
2 garlic cloves , finely chopped or minced
13 oz pork mince (ground pork), or chicken or turkey
6 dried shiitake mushrooms soaked in boiling water OR 8 fresh (Note 1)
1 1/2 cups shredded carrot (1 large or 2 small)
1 1/2 cups (heaped) bean sprouts
1 1/2 cups (packed) shredded green cabbage (any type is fine)
1 tsp cornflour / cornstarch
1 1/2 Tbs Oyster Sauce
2 tsp soy sauce (light or all purpose is best, dark is also ok)

Spring Rolls:
15-20 spring roll wrappers, defrosted (21.5 cm / 8” squares) OR 35 - 40 small spring roll wrappers (Note 2), or Egg Roll wrappers to make Egg Rolls (Note 6)
2 tsp cornflour (for sealing rolls)
1 Tbs water (for sealing rolls)
Oil for frying (I use vegetable) OR oil spray for baking (I use canola)
Sweet and Sour Sauce (makes ~ 2/3 cup):
2 tsp cornflour/ cornstarch
2 Tbs water
½ cup apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup brown sugar (adjust to taste)
2 Tbs tomato ketchup
2 tsp soy sauce


2. Heat oil in a skillet or wok over high heat. Add garlic, stir quickly, then add pork. Cook, breaking it up as you go, until it turns white.

3. Add carrot, bean sprouts, cabbage and mushrooms. Cook for 3 minutes or until vegetables are wilted. Add cornflour, soy sauce and Oyster sauce, cook for 1 minute until the liquid is gone. The Filling should not be watery, it should be kind of sticky (watery filling = soggy spring rolls = ?? ).

4. Cool Filling (super speedy: spread on tray, refrigerate 5 minutes). (Hot filling = spring rolls burst open = ?? )


6. Mix cornflour and water in a small bowl (for sealing the rolls).

7. Carefully peel off one spring roll wrapper, keep the others covered under a damp tea towel.

8. Place the wrapper with the SMOOTH SIDE DOWN (Note 3) in a diamond position. Place a very heaped dessert spoon of filling on the bottom. Roll up halfway, fold sides in, then finish rolling. Use cornflour sludge to seal. They should be about 5" long, 1" wide once wrapped.

9. Pour enough oil in a wok or large saucepan (Note 4) so it is double the height of the spring rolls. Heat on medium high until hot - stick a bamboo chopstick or wooden spoon handle in, if rapid bubbles appear, then it's hot enough.

10. Carefully place spring rolls in the oil (about 4 - 5 at a time) and cook, turning occasionally, until deep golden - around 1 1/2 - 2 minutes. Transfer to paper towels to drain.

11. Repeat with remaining spring rolls. Serve while hot with Sweet and Sour Sauce!

12. BAKING option:

13. Place spring rolls on a rack and place the rack on a tray. Spray very generously with oil all over (use canola or other natural oil). Bake at 200C/400F (standard) or 180C/350F (fan / convection) for 20 to 25 minutes until golden and crispy - no need to turn.


15. Combine ingredients in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to simmer, stirring regularly, then simmer until it thickens to taste (about 3 - 5 minutes).

16. Recipe Notes

17. Shitaake Mushrooms: Soak dried mushrooms in plenty of boiled water for 20 minutes or until rehydrated (don’t do this step if using fresh mushrooms). Drain, squeeze excess water out of the mushrooms (like they are a sponge), then finely chop.

18. Dried Shitaake mushrooms are available at Asian grocery stores and in the Asian section of some supermarkets. They are whole dried mushrooms and, like porcini mushrooms, the mushroom flavour is more intense so it brings a great savouriness (“umami”) to anything it is added to.

19. If you make this with fresh mushrooms instead, finely chop them and add them before the carrot to give them a head start on the cooking, to ensure all the moisture inside cooks out (because wet filling = spring rolls burst open).

20. You can get spring roll wrappers at the supermarkets. Frozen section, Spring roll wrappers are made of wheat. You can also make this with rice paper spring roll wrappers (that are used to make things like Vietnamese Rice Paper Rolls) but will need to be soaked first before wrapping, and the spring roll will come out crispy with a bubbly surface and kind of see through.

21. Look closely at the wrapper and you’ll notice one side is slightly rough, one side is smoother. You want the smooth side on the outside of the spring roll – looks prettier. Not a deal killer. ??

22. Because of the shape of woks, the oil usage is more efficient than using a saucepan or skillet. i.e. With a wok, there is more surface area with less oil usage.

23. FRYING vs BAKING: they look very similar! Frying makes spring rolls that are more delicate, crispy and flaky as they should be. With baking, the wrapper is still very crispy, but it is not quite the same delicate flaky texture. Also with baking, the wrapper flavour is slightly more dominant. Tip for baking is to SPRAY VERY WELL with oil!! If you don't use a rack, then turn the spring rolls at about 15 minutes.

24. MAKE AHEAD / FREEZING: Freeze before cooking them cook from frozen. Best to serve freshly cooked so don't try to store cooked ones. ??

25. EGG ROLLS vs SPRING ROLLS: Egg Rolls are an American-Chinese dish, they are not found in Asia. Fundamentally, they are the same - flaky, crispy pastry enclosed around a filling. Use Spring Roll Wrappers to make spring rolls, and Egg Roll Wrappers to make egg rolls (and make them larger, if you want).

26. Egg Rolls are typically larger than spring rolls found in Asia and the rest of the world (no surprises there! ??) The pastry for spring rolls tends to be thinner and a bit more see through, so it's got a more delicate flaky wrapper. The wrappers for egg rolls are typically thicker and therefore oilier. BUT having said that, I have ordered Egg Rolls numerous times in the US and they were spring rolls.

27. I prefer Spring Rolls. The wrapper is more delicate, flakier and doesn't absorb as much oil - an all round better eating experience! Plus they are a good size - I find that most Egg Rolls are too large i.e. too much filling, falls out too easily.

Yield: 15 - 20

Author: Nagi

Have a great day


  1. Air frying these is the best (for me). I love, love, love them.

    Sorry bowling wasn't the best and that you guys hurt. Glad to read that you're gonna do something about the pain. Have you considered dropping dairy for a bit? Just as a test?

    I tell ya' I had the worst spinal issues and dropping that dairy made a huge difference, but I totally, totally understand that that's not for everyone. Also, I eat very little sugar, which also can cause inflammation. Either way, I understand a clean diet is not the way for everyone. I get that.

    Here's to you feeling better and kicking Matt's BUTT at bowling. Hugs -- Me

    1. I guess I should try the dairy bit Ivy, you've mentioned it before. I don't eat sugar much at all so it sure isn't that.

    2. What have you got to lose? It might not work. There's a chance it will not work. But I am telling you I was in constant pain and that pain was due to spinal crap beyond words. I had to leave both my kitchen jobs because of it and the one, I loved and didn't want to leave.

      Again, it really might not work. But as someone who has had to give up A LOT of foods during the last year, I get that it can suck monkey balls. 100 percent. But on the flip side of that, it's beyond better.

      Now I still have aches and pains and get sore. That's there, but that driving flippin' pain and disc issues are gone.

    3. You're right Ivy, what have I got to lose? Email me with just what is covered by dairy, will you?

  2. The idiots live a couple of miles from me. I have enough of my own. At least they burned their own house instead of a neighbor's. I saw a picture of Charlie with a sparkler and my DIL said he is too young for them. I agree. They burn at something like 2000F.

    1. As you say, at least they burned their own house Denise. I didn't know sparklers burned that hot. I used them as a youngster.

  3. Anything with flames is dangerous, including sparklers.
    Agree with Ivy - air frying egg rolls makes them so much easier to do. And I just dip in soy sauce.

    1. I didn't know that about sparklers Alex, as kids we were always given them to hold.

      Didn't think of just soy sauce.

    2. I do a Braggs aminos and little jalapeno dust and a wee bit of local maple syrup and sometimes, the smallest splash of almond extract. I gotta do a video it. So good on rice and broccoli.

    3. That sounds interesting Ivy. I have made the filling now and I think it needs a little salt, the soy sauce wasn't enough. I will do the wrapping tomorrow. Made Shrimp Creole for tonight.

  4. A couple of years ago a drunk kid in Maine thought it'd be a good idea to put the mortar launch tube on top of his head, light the mortar and drop it in the tube. Needless to say it was a rather gruesome ending and I'm sure his friends are still in therapy from witnessing that.

    1. Someone here in Michigan stuck the mortar on top of his head and lit it. And then the family was saying what a great guy he was and asking for donations for his funeral.

    2. Really I am speechless at such idiots. JoJo and Denise, It is conceivable isn't it?

  5. Hi Jo - for some reason I haven't heard any fireworks ... possibly the fire-hazard - which is very high notice around here. But people don't have much common sense ... I guess the sparklers is the swirling around, perhaps dropping and setting something alight, and poking people with them ... accidentally one would hope. Love Spring rolls ... good luck with all things - cheers Hilary

    1. Odd, I wish we hadn't heard them round here Hilary. Been pretty dry here too although recently had some rain, maybe enough to damp the fireworks.

      Thanks for the good luck wishes.

  6. Fireworks are banned in Australia (unless you have a licence) because of fire dangers We do have sparklers on sale though which seems silly if they start more fires.

    1. Actually, although nothing like as dry as Australia Pinky, I am surprised we don't ban them here because we have been having lots of extremely dry, almost drought, weather. Not just this year either.