- 1 medium carrot, trimmed
The carrot, with its distinctive bright orange colour, is one of the most versatile root…
- 1 medium leek, trimmed, outer leaves removed
Like garlic and onion, leeks are a member of the allium family, but have their own distinct…
- ½ celeriac or small kohlrabi, peeled
The unsung hero of the vegetable world, knobbly, odd-shaped celeriac has a subtle, celery-like…
- 2 sticks celery, trimmed
A collection of long, thick, juicy stalks around a central, tender heart, celery ranges in…
- 1 small red onion
- ½ each red and yellow pepper, cored, deseeded
- 1 large fresh red chilli, deseeded
- 2 cm knob fresh root ginger
- 2 fat garlic cloves
- 25g bunch coriander, leaves picked
- 25g bunch flatleaf parsley, leaves picked
- 2-3 tbsp olive oil
Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…
- 1-2 tbsp soy sauce
An Asian condiment and ingredient that comes in a variety of of varieties ranging from light to…
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 100g mung beansprout or mixed bean sprouts
Widely seen as a major, somehow magic, ingredient, beansprouts…
- 1 tbsp sesame seed, lightly toasted
- 6 large spring roll wrappers (about 25cm square)
- 1 egg white, lightly beaten
- groundnut or vegetable oil, for deep frying
For the dipping sauce
Make the filling. Slice the carrot into long, thin lengths. Then cut into long, thin ‘julienne’ sticks. Cut the leek into three, halve, then cut into sticks. Slice the celeriac and celery, then cut into julienne sticks as before.
Halve the onion lengthways, then slice thinly. Slice the peppers into sticks. Cut the chilli into thin shreds. Cut the ginger into small julienne sticks and chop the garlic. Mix everything together in a bowl with half the picked herb leaves.
Heat olive oil in a wok until very hot and add half the veg. Toss for 30 secs to wilt, then remove from the heat, season and toss in soy and sesame oil. Drain in a colander set over a bowl. Repeat with remaining veg. Mix in bean sprouts, sesame seeds, remaining herbs and extra soy, if liked.
When the filling has cooled, peel off a spring roll wrapper – it will feel slightly sticky. Cover the remainder with a tea towel. Lay the wrapper on a board and brush the edges with egg white. Spoon a sixth of the vegetables in a line on the top third of the wrapper.
Fold over the top of the wrapper and press well down all round. Fold in the sides, then roll up firmly, pressing the end in well. The roll should be about 18cm long. Repeat process with the remaining filling and wrappers. The rolls can be chilled at this point for up to 3 hrs, uncovered, in the fridge, until ready to cook. (You should only cook the rolls just before you’re ready to serve, so that they remain crisp.)
Heat a deep fat fryer or large pan a third full of oil to 180C (or until a cube of bread crisps and turns brown). Deep-fry two rolls at a time for 5 mins until golden and crisp. Drain on paper towel. Mix ingredients for the sauce and pour into 1 larger or six very small bowls. Trim the ends off the rolls, then cut in half diagonally. Serve on one large or six small plates with sauce. Garnish with herb leaves or salad.
Mise en placeChefs use this French term to refer to getting ready before service in a restaurant. Cooking a special dinner can be quite daunting, so make sure you are prepared, just as Gordon has to be in the restaurant. Cook the fillings for the rolls and timbales the day before, then make them up about an hour before your guests arrive, giving you plenty of time to prepare to impress.
Chinese wrappersThese can be found in Asian stores. Spring roll wrappers are made from a mix of flours, and are not the same as rice wrappers. If you can’t get hold of them, use large filo sheets instead. Allow two sheets per roll, brushed with melted butter or oil, and bake at 200C/fan 180C/gas 6 for 15 mins until golden and crisp. For a Thai variation, Gordon adds thinly-sliced just-ripe mango.
SproutsThe sprouts are beans or lentils that have just sprouted so the shoots have not grown too long. They can be bought in Asian shops or health food shops, but if you can’t find them, use longer bean sprouts instead.