Spring Roll Filling
This filling can be made purely veg, or you can add chicken to it if you like. We normally prefer it with a little bit of chicken. My spring roll recipe is more 'chinese' oriented than anything else, so I don't use any 'curry' spices and keep it simple and authentic, with just the basic spices (salt/pepper/lemon/soya sauce). The only curry spices I use (and that also very sparingly) is when drying the chicken separately that I later add to the veggie mixture. It's a very yummy recipe that goes well as a filling for buns and sandwiches just as nicely as it works for spring rolls!
What we want when cooking spring roll mixture, is to get the filling as dry and moisture-free as possible. Any excess moisture will ruin your wraps, and they might crack or break during rolling or storage or frying.
This is how they look once wrapped and fried: Spring Rolls
I normally make this filling in bulk, like 2 whole big cabbages at a time, so am trying hard to estimate a 'reasonable' amount for someone who wants to cook just enough for their family to consume right away. Therefore I can't be sure how many rolls you will get out of this, but I would think approximately 20-30 is a safe estimate depending on how much you fill the rolls and the size of your wraps.
The trick is to try and estimate an approximate combination of the first three ingredients (finely sliced cabbage, grated carrots, green capsicaum)that suits your preferences. If you like capsicums, feel free to add more. If you find the carrots too much, use less. You can't go wrong with this recipe, a little more or less is fine.
First, you want to cook the chicken separately. Take a small pan and add 1 tbsp. butter/margarine , when it melts add the chicken cubes, quarter tsp. each of ginger and garlic pastes, salt, pinch of chili powder and turmeric. Let this cook without adding any water at all in it. Keep the pan partially covered and maintain a medium temperature, and stir every now and then. Once the chicken is tender and done, add the tsp. of lemon juice, then dry off any excess liquid/moisture until it literally begins to stick to the bottom of the pan, so you know there is no moisture left. Now turn off the heat, then using a wooden spoon, crush the pieces until all are shredded...then set aside.
Take a bigger pan or wok, add the remaining butter/margarine plus the 3 tbsp. oil, once melted, add the cabbage, keep the heat on high and stir fry the cabbage for a few minutes until it JUST starts to soften. The more you cook the cabbage, the more moisture it releases and that's a big NO-NO! No more than 2-3 minutes, then add the carrots and capsicum. Please note that up to this point, we have not added the salt yet. The earlier you add the salt, the more moisture will get released from your veggies coz salt helps veggies soften faster, so don't add the salt right away. Stir fry together once more for a while (about 5 minutes or less, keep an eye on the veggies as you stir-fry, you want them just starting to soften) then add the sweet corn, green chilies, salt, soya sauce (a couple of splashes is enough). Mix together and turn the heat off.
Now check your mixture, if it has any extra moisture at the bottom of the pan (sometimes it does happen even if you take all the precautions not to over-cook) then don't worry, there is a solution for this. Put your mixture into a strainer or sieve and keep a bowl under it, and let it sit there for a while until any extra moisture has seeped out into the bowl. But don't discard this water, coz all the nutrients and flavor are in there, what I do is I add it into the shredded chicken and place it on the heat again so that it is all absorbed once more into the chicken which will go into the spring rolls.
Once the mixture is relatively cool, add the spring onions, shredded chicken, chopped coriander and pepper powder. Adjust salt to your taste and if you want you can add a tiny bit of lemon juice again. Then spread out the mixture on a flat pan so that it cools off completely and any extra moisture will dry up faster this way too. Once completely cool, your mixture is ready to be used!
Wrap up your spring rolls and enjoy! :)