My love for Thai food is something that can never be satiated, or so I’d like to believe. About a decade ago, my parents and I had a week long vacation there, with a few days at the beach and the rest in the bustling capital. What was clear from this vacation was that my mum and me gluttonously attacked Thai food at every meal (ok fine, barring breakfast, although even at breakfast our plates were filled with mangosteen) so much so that after 4 days, my dad actually ordered a sandwich from room service before we went for another Thai meal, because clearly, he had reached the brink.
Not for me. Every city I visit, always has me looking for at least one Thai pit stop. In Delhi, it’s always Ego Thai, a classic non fussy joint, packed with loads of comfort food. Even when we were in Croatia, we managed to find Pearl of Siam, which coupled with my desire to eat spice and flavour (the vegetarian food in the more touristy parts of Croatia were unimaginative) went so out of control, made us return there two nights in a row! In London, there are so many amazing ones, like Patara (which has a separate vegetarian menu!) and Busaba, we even tried Nahm a few years ago.
I’m not a big gizmo hoarder, but I do cherish my kitchen aid stand mixer. Small tools do make it to my shopping bag often, but anything that occupies counter space gives me sleepless nights, and up until I cant take it no more, which means I won’t regret purchasing it (previous regrets include an ice cream machine, zoku pop maker and even an ISI canister). So then arrived my airfryer, and I try to airfry everything! But when I found out that spring rolls airfry in under 10 minutes, it was just too good to not try! I used a bunch of vegetables I had lying at home, and the original plan was to use noodles as well, but for some reason along the way, I decided against it and stuck to a healthier version sans the noodles.
The key was to sauté the vegetables until all the excess liquid has evaporated, for two reasons:
- the flavours intensify and almost caramelise
- the excess liquid makes the spring roll soggy and well, that just ain’t the kind of way we roll;
also, once cooked nicely, nothing remains raw or tough, leaving each mouthful of the spring roll to be as consistent and even as the next. I preheated the airfyer to 200* for 5 mins and then placed 4-6 rolls on the cooking rack. Basted with vegetable oil on both sides, in 5-7 minutes you’ll see them nicely browning. Obviously, this recipe works just as well with deep frying, but since I am an airfryer convert, that just isn’t an option for me no more. In fact, for spring rolls in particular, I have often found the deep fried versions to be super greasy in the hand. These airfried ones are just as golden and crisp as the deep fried ones, but without that feeling of excess oil dredging the rolls.
I used frozen spring roll sheets that my mum brought back for me from Dubai, but these ones work just as well. My AirFried Vegetable Spring Rolls are fantastic accompaniments with a drink, as a mid-day snack or part of a larger meal. One thing that I really liked is that apart from the cheap spring roll wrappers (50 rupees for 40 sheets!) that you can mindlessly store in your freezer, any vegetables you have at home can make it into your vegetable filling, and people will still be smacking their lips!
- 10 spring roll sheets (see options above)
- 1/4 yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced
- 1/4 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
- 5-6 mushrooms, sliced
- 1 clove garlic, smashed
- 1 tsp galangal/ginger, minced
- 1 green onion, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup carrot, thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup cabbage, thinly sliced
- 2 birds eye chillies, finely chopped
- 1 tbs soya sauce
- 1 tbs vegetarian oyster sauce (optional)
- 2 tbs sweet chilli sauce
- 2 tbs soya sauce
- In a small saucepan, sauté the green onion, ginger and garlic until soft and fragrant.
- Mix in the carrot, and after a few minutes the rest of the vegetables (except the chillies). The pan may seem overcrowded but in a few minutes the vegetables will release their juices and it will cook down noticeably. Add the soy sauce and the oyster sauce and cook for 10-12 minutes, stirring occasionally. Once the pan seems dry (no liquid is visible when you move the vegetables around), take off the heat, add the chillies to taste, and leave to cool completely.
- Remove the spring roll sheets from the freezer and cover with a cloth, for approx. 30 minutes till the vegetables cool.
- Preheat the airfryer to 200*.
- Place a single sheet on a clean surface/plate in a diamond shape (as pictured above). Place a tablespoon full on the mixture once inch from the triangle closest to you. Roll tightly half way, tuck on the left and right corners and continue rolling. It's actually really easy.
- Place on the rack of the air fryer and brush with a little bit of vegetable oil. Airfry, shaking every few minutes and brushing with oil, if it looks very dry. Your perfect golden brown and super crisp spring rolls will be ready in under 10 minutes.
- Enjoy served with 2 dipping sauces - soy and sweet chilli.
- I haven't tried freezing the stuffed spring rolls yet. But I am temped to. I am not sure if the air fryer will react well with frozen spring rolls, as they tend to give off water while thawing. Anyone tried it yet?
- This combination of vegetables is arbitrary, use what you have at home.
- This amount of vegetable mix filled 10 spring rolls (which 2 of us gobbled up in no time), so may want to double the recipe for safety!