The English-speaking world calls them spring rolls although this Asian delicacy has nothing to do with spring. They are served fried or non-fried and fillings vary. The wrappers vary too depending on which part of Asia you are in.
Spring rolls called cha gio are served as an appetizer in Vietnam using paper-thin rice wrappers sun dried on baskets. The Fujian style fresh non-fried spring roll with the flour-based wrapper is known in Taiwan, Singapore and Malaysia as popiah (or poh piah). In the Philippines, savory spring rolls are lumpia. If the filling is sweet, it’s turon.
Bean sprouts spring rolls, or lumpiang togue as they are popularly known in the Philippines, are so named because bean sprout is the dominant ingredient in the filling. But that’s not really a strict rule.
The proportion between the different vegetables can be changed. You can have more carrots and green beans. Or you can add tofu, pork or shrimps. It’s all a matter of preference. Or budget. If you want to keep the cost down, then more bean sprouts and less of everything else will do the trick.
Bean Sprouts Spring RollsRecipe by
Bean sprout filling
- 200 to 300 grams mung bean sprouts
- 2 tablespoons cooking oil
- 2 shallots peeled and chopped
- 2 tomatoes peeled, cored and chopped
- 6 cloves garlic peeled and chopped
- ¼ cup chopped cilantro roots and stems
- 300 grams shimeji mushrooms chopped
- 1 carrot peeled and julienned
- 15 green beans trimmed and thinly sliced
- 15 six-inch spring roll wrappers
- 1 egg beaten with a tablespoon of water
- cooking oil
Cook the filling
- Rinse the mung bean sprouts and drain well.
- Heat the cooking oil in a wok or frying pan.
- Saute the shallots and tomatoes (sauteeing is always on medium-low heat) until softened.
- Add the garlic and cilantro roots and stems, and continue sauteeing for another two to three minutes.
- Add the chopped mushrooms. Sprinkle in a teaspoon of salt and a quarter teaspoon of pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, for two to three minutes.
- Add the green beans and julienned carrot. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, for another two minutes.
- Toss in the bean sprouts and cook just until the sprouts soften (do not overcook).
- Taste, and add more salt and pepper, if needed.
- Immediately transfer the cooked filling to a strainer set over a shallow plate to allow excess liquid to drip off.
- Cool the filling to room temperature.
Wrap the spring rolls
- Separate the spring roll wrappers.
- Place a heaping tablespoon of filling on the center of a wrapper, moisten the sides of the wrapper with egg wash, and wrap and roll (see step-by-step guide on how to wrap spring rolls).
- Repeat until all the filling has been used, or until all the wrappers have been filled.
Fry the spring rolls
- Into a frying pan, pour enough oil to reach a depth of at least two inches (see notes after the recipe) and heat.
- Fry the spring rolls in batches, rolling them around for even browning, until golden and crisp.
- Drain upright in a strainer to remove excess oil.
- You may serve the spring rolls whole or you may cut them into halves.