August 28, 2005
IMBB 18 - Phyllo Spring Rolls

IMBB time again and this time out it's frying with "Summer's Flying, Let's Get Frying" hosted by fellow Chicagoan At Our Table. What neighborhood, AOT? We're just West of Lincoln Square.

Spring rolls are normally made with fresh wrappers. I make these with a phyllo wrapper brushed with olive oil and stuffed with some of the best vegetarian ingredients.

I don't fry much, but these rolls don't take too much oil in the pan, don't get fried for too long and taste fantastic, so I make an exception. The method here produces a small burrito like roll. You could cut back on the filling, use half as much linear phyllo and make something more like a phyllo cigar.

Did you know, by the way, that phyllo dough comes in varying thicknesses? I use a #7 dough for this recipe. If you use a thinner dough (like a Pepperidge Farm), add more layers to the roll before adding the filling. Don't overdo it though or you'll end up with raw phyllo in the finished product which doesn't have the best texture.

Phyllo spring rolls

2 cups cabbage, chopped into 1/4" disks then sliced into very very thin batons
1/2 cup fennel, grated on the big holes of a box grater
1/2 golden delicious apple
1/2 cup carrots, grated on the big holes of a box grater
2 scallions
1 cup vegetable stock
8 leaves phyllo dough, #7 thickness
1/2 cup regular olive oil
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
sprinkle of lemon juice
pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds

This recipe is all about mise en place or having all your ducks in a row before you start. Prepare all the vegetables for the filling before breaking out the phyllo dough, though you should defrost the phyllo overnight and leave it out of the refrigerator for a half hour before use.

We want all the ingredients to be cut almost as thin as grass or hay. Slice the scallions on the extreme bias into 1/8" wide lengths, slice the apple into similar thin batons. The grated carrot and fennel should be thin enough as is. Sprinkle lemon juice all over the apple and fennel to keep them from browning.

In a small pan, combine the cabbage and stock over high heat. Add salt and fennel seeds and stir. Cook until the cabbage just gets soft and loses that "squeaky" texture.

Drain and set aside.

Lay out your phyllo dough under a damp clean dishtowel to prevent it from drying out. Working quickly. take one sheet of phyllo and lay it flat on a clean dry work surface. Brush liberally with the extra virgin olive oil. Lay the next sheet on top of it and brush it with olive oil all the way to the edges.

At the bottom middle half of the sheet, lay out a couple of tablespoons of cabbage, more or less. Add half as much carrots, and fennel, and almost as much apple actross the middle 1/2 of the bottom of the sheet.

Fold the side 1/4 of the sheets in lengthwise. The ends of the filling should be covered by them.. Brush the folded lengths with olive oil and roll up the filling in the dough so it forms a neat packet.

Place the roll under a barely damp towel and repeat procedure above until you have 4-8 rolls, depending on how much filling you chose above.

Heat 1/2 cup of ordinary olive oil in a skillet. It should cover the bottom of the pan easily, but not be much deeper. Turn the burner on high. The oil is ready when it sizzles when you touch a corner of a roll to the surface.

Fry each side until it's a deep rich brown. Remove to a paper towel and pat off the oil.

Slice on the bias down the middle and serve with a dipping sauce of your choice.

Posted by Barrett in Maryland at August 28, 2005 1:41 PM | TrackBack Print-friendly version

What a great idea and it looks so yummy too. I can imagine how crunchy it must be with the phyllo.

Posted by boo_licious on August 28, 2005 at 3:35 PM

Great idea with the phyllo roll, Barrett. I'm definately going to try this method.

Posted by Nic on August 28, 2005 at 5:29 PM

Those phyllo spring rolls look delicious! Thanks for the inspiration. I've quite enjoyed reading your blog the past few months.

Posted by Tracy on August 28, 2005 at 6:54 PM

I'm with Nic- great idea! I also like that you added apple to the filling- cabbage and apples are such a happy pair :-)

Posted by tanvi on August 28, 2005 at 11:12 PM

That looks so yummy! The perfect app and easy to customize. I wish I could find phyllo here in Germany -- but I'm heading home to NY for a visit soon and I'm definitely going to whip up some of these to impress my family. Thanks!

Posted by Mia on August 29, 2005 at 1:21 PM

I've never made "homemade" phyllo dough. I feel silly asking, what is a #7 dough? Thank You. This looks fantastic.

Posted by Lu on August 30, 2005 at 7:46 PM

Great entry, Barrett! Thanks so much for participating in this month's IMBB. Always nice to have a fellow Chicagoan in the group. (I'm Lakeview, by the way).

Posted by Linda on September 1, 2005 at 9:17 PM

Great idea, Barrett and a gorgeous photo! Congrats!!

Posted by Meg in Paris on September 2, 2005 at 1:36 AM

I just printed out your satay kabobs with peanut sauce, carrot/chipotle sauce, and these spring rolls. Do you think these can all be made ahead and warmed up? I need to make a thanksgiving meal for carnivores and 2 vegans. I'd love to do these ahead.
Thanks for any help.

Posted by Arlene on October 31, 2005 at 11:14 AM

I'm sure the satay kabobs and the carrot/chipotle sauce would work if done well ahead of time.

I haven't tried reheating the pyllo spring rolls (frankly, they didn't stick around long enough for that).

My one concern is that you fry them ahead of time. That may give you enough of a seal that the phyllo doesn't get soggy from any moisture leaking out of the filling, but I wouldn't store them too long.

Test one out and see if it works before committing to doing a whole tray.

Posted by barrett on October 31, 2005 at 11:22 AM

hello people

Posted by steven brewer on February 26, 2009 at 4:52 AM
Post a comment

Remember personal info?

Please be sure you read and agree with our ADVERTISING POLICY before posting.