The BEST Vietnamese Spring Rolls Recipe evarrrr!!! :D

So every time I create a recipe how-to post, I just HAVE to include that it’s the “Best xxx recipe evarrrr” because it so totally is! If I didn’t think so, I wouldn’t feel obliged to share it. :P

If you didn’t already know, my boyfriend Sam is half-Vietnamese, and half-Chinese. But I just think of him as only Vietnamese because his whole family follows the Vietnamese culture, they speak, eat and look like viets, not Chinese, so his Chinese ethnicity is sort of invalid in my opinion.

Now, I don’t eat a lot of Vietnamese food, I generally prefer Thai food as they’re similar but Thai is more tangy and spicy. The one Vietnamese food I really like is Vietnamese spring rolls, the fried ones – not the fresh ones! And Sam happens to make this REALLY well.

This is what I’m talking about!!!! It looks so deliciously crispy and golden brown omg ♥

For every single occasion, be it a house party, chinese new year, etc.. people will always ask one question: “Is Sam making his famous spring rolls?”

My relatives will not stop hounding him until he fries up a whole big batch for them! Mind you, they don’t eat 10, or 20 of these. When Sam makes a batch of these, 50 is the minimum amount he’ll make, and they are ALWAYS snapped up… There are no leftovers whatsoever!!! I’ve seen people fight for the last piece on the plate hahaha. Word of warning, when you cook this, it’ll all be gone before you know it.

This dish will be unlike any spring rolls you’ve ever had before.

When I think of spring rolls sold outside, I would never order them. I would think they’re too oily, just full of lousy vegetables, and a waste of carbs and money in general. These however, will blow your mind. They’re crazily addictive because they’re perfectly sized, small enough to make you want to pop another, and another into your mouth. It’s not too filling, although they are hearty – normally I have at least 10 of these for dinner. The SUCCESS to this dish is the sauce that comes along with it – without the sauce it’s good, but nothing to rave about. However dunk it in Sam’s secret recipe sauce (not so secret now!) and it becomes the best thing ever!!!

So I’m about to begin teaching you guys how to make this, however..

I do want to make this very clear that this recipe is 100% original, not “inspired” from recipes taken from other cook books or websites. Sam wanted me to credit his mother for these as he grew up eating a very similar dish she cooked, but he’s made some slight modifications since then. If you do make these or want to share the recipe / pictures online (even after altering it), do remember to credit and link back to this entry. It took me awhile to convince Sam to give me the recipe to share with you guys, so please use with integrity. :)


Let’s rock and roll!!!


YOU WILL NEED:

Main Ingredients

♥ — 200g chopped minced pork (if you’re muslim, try this with minced beef!!!)
♥ — 200g chopped fresh prawns, de-shelled and de-veined
♥ — 100g grated carrots, wrung (squeezed) dry
♥ — 150g cooked bee hoon / rice vermicelli
♥ — 150g diced shitake mushrooms

♥ — 4 cloves diced garlic
♥ — 1 small onion or half a large onion diced

♥ — 1 egg
♥ — 2 tablespoons fish sauce
♥ — 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
♥ — 1/2 teaspoon white sugar
♥ — 3 teaspoons of salt
♥ — A pinch of MSG / flavor enhancer (you can leave this out if you want, but a lil bit never hurt!)

Extras

♥ — Spring rolls pastry, defrosted (NOT the fresh, rice paper type. I use this, available at NTUC)
♥ — 1 egg white (you will need this for wrapping the spring rolls)

Sauce

♥ — 1/2 cup water
♥ — 2 tablespoons fish sauce
♥ — 2 tablespoons white sugar
♥ — 1 tablespoon white vinegar
♥ — 2 tablespoons lemon juice
♥ — Juice of 1 Calamansi
♥ — Half a chilli padi, cut up (use a whole chilli padi if you like it super spicy, or 1/4 if you have low spice tolerance, but don’t put none at all if you can help it!)


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Step 1: Combine all the main ingredients together in a big bowl!

Here’s Sam doing the dirty job for me. Well somebody has to be holding the camera, right? It’s not truly authentic unless it’s made by a Vietnamese!! Lol… kidding.

(actually I’m not, but yeah. :P)

After combining all your ingredients it should look like this!

Yeah, it’s not pretty or gourmet, but it’s yummy nevertheless. Honestly, the measurements are pretty forgiving, so you don’t have to go nuts trying to measure all the ingredients so accurately… and I think it’s pretty much impossible to mess up because of how straightforward it is. If you manage to screw this up, sorry honey, you have no business in the kitchen, time to learn dancing or juggling instead.

Now, that’s the easy part about this recipe. Who can’t dice a few mushrooms and grate a few carrots then combine them? The difficult bit will probably be learning how to roll your spring rolls nicely. If you don’t do this properly, your spring rolls will either be 1) Ugly 2) Tastes yucky due to weird texture 3) Not as appealing as it could be.

I took the liberty of taking Step-By-Step pictures of how Sam does it, so follow these instructions carefully!

1) Get a big tray for working on, and place a sheet of the spring roll pastry in front of you, in a diamond-shaped position.

2) Spoon a decent sized amount of your spring roll mixture and place it 3/4 down your pastry. You want a small amount of filling, no more than half a tablespoon (or use the above to gauge!).

3) Take the end of your pastry…

4) And fold it over the filling, as shown above.

5) Fold it across from one side

6) Now do the other side! …I hope you’re good at origami, haha. I kinda suck at this because I was never good at symmetry.

7) Take some egg white and spread it across the area which the finger is pointing at. This will keep your spring roll from unfolding involuntarily.

8) Now to finish it up, roll it all the way up from the bottom! Do not roll it too tightly, or loosely. Sam tells me the less you think about how you’re doing this, the better it will probably turn out.

If you do it too tight, your pastry will loop around the mixture too many times and will not be as crispy as it should be when fried.

9) When you have something like this, you’re done! Yay, congratulations, you just rolled your first spring roll! :D

It’s actually pretty fun… for the first 20, at least. Then it gets tiresome. Now the awesome part about this recipe is that you can keep the rest of the spring rolls that you think you can’t finish in the freezer for a long time. I’d recommend keeping it for a week or two tops, but according to Sam, his mum kept it for months. LOL. Make sure you keep it in an air-tight container.

Now, how do you fry the spring rolls? Well I’m sure you don’t need me to tell you how to fry stuff. Pour a generous amount of oil into your frying pan (shallow fry if you’re health conscious, deep fry if you don’t care), wait for the oil to become really hot (otherwise it won’t be crispy), then fry your spring rolls until a gorgeous golden brown color, while turning it on both sides constantly!!! How long your frying time takes depends on how big you rolled the spring rolls and how much oil / how hot your oil is. It’s not rocket science, you can figure it out :)

And wait! Just when you thought we were done, we still have the sauce to make!!!

Refer to my “WHAT YOU’LL NEED” list above, and scroll to the Sauce section. Combine all the ingredients, Sam threw in some leftover grated carrot to boost how the sauce looks and popped a whole calamansi into the bowl.

This sauce is DA BOMBDIGGITY. You won’t be “dipping” your spring roll in the sauce, you’ll be dunking it in to say the least, most people leave their spring roll “swimming” in the sauce for a good few seconds, lol!

This is the p.e.r.f.e.c.t.i.o.n you should get if you’ve followed this recipe correctly!!!!!!! ♥_♥

Sooo crispy and such a gorgeous medley of flavors! Prawny and meaty with just the right amount of vegetables to complement all the textures and flavors. Burly men will not scoff at these because they are hearty and filling, despite how they look. I want some now even though I just em yesterday, oh gee.

This is less than 1/4 of what we fried yesterday – this recipe makes A LOT of spring rolls, more than 50!! (remember, they freeze well)

The spring roll pastry packet I bought had 50 sheets of pastry and we ran out of pastry before we could finish using up the filling. I highly recommend these for parties because the ingredients are cheap (estimated cost for today’s recipe is $10 or less and could be the dinner of 4 hungry people) and they’re easy to make in big batches! Or definitely make these if you wanna impress your boyfriend / girlfriend’s family.. I have a feeling it especially appeals to middle-aged Asians (and ang mohs!)

Although I’m sure anyone would love these tasty bites because I’ve offered them to my nearing-80-year-old grandmother and my little neighbor who is less than 10 and everyone who’s ever tried them has thoroughly enjoyed them!

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Happy rolling your spring rolls guys!!!

Let me know how these turned out for you and the responses from people who are going to eat it! I’ll positively chop my head off if you don’t get raves, haha. Sam, and his mama, would be so proud of their family recipe. :)

xoxo,
Jess

xoxo,
Jess

The best Spinach Feta Quiche Evarrr!!

Hi!!!

I’m back to share another recipe :D!! This time it’s savory food and not dessert because some of you requested for dinner recipes instead, however this is still baked in an oven. I love shoving food in the oven, it’s so fuss free.

Today’s recipe is named The best Spinach Feta Quiche Evarrr!!!!… although I haven’t really had a lot of Spinach Quiches outside, so… I’m not sure if it really is THE BESTEST BEST one out there. LOL. But I loved it. And Sam said it’s reallyyy good. So this is definitely worth trying!

I was craving for something creamy, something cheesy and with spinach… VOILA!!!

Idea of spinach quiche came into mind, and in a matter of hours, my idea materialized.


….Isn’t it beautiful?! :’)

Disclaimer: This recipe is SUPER DUPER CHEESY. And crazy sinful. Which is why it’s so good. It’s an explosion of flavors in the mouth!!! Do not attempt this if you’re a mild eater.

I’m a huge cheese fan and I found this super delicious. So if you love cheese, this is an orgasm in the mouth, quite literally. n___n But if you don’t, stay away. It’s so rich and filled to the brim with 2 types of cheese, how can you go wrong?! You mix spinach + cheese + bacon and you get a pretty much fail-proof recipe.

This recipe is quite forgiving, so you don’t have to use exact measurements or ingredients for the filling, you can adjust here and there as you please, and it’ll still turn out fine. You will realize later my recipe quite agar agar one but just HAVE FAITH ok LOL. The ingredients list looks quite long but the actual preparation time takes less than 30 minutes, so do not be intimidated.

Let’s get started!!


YOU WILL NEED:

8″ round baking pan for baking the quiche in

Non-stick cooking spray / baking paper to line the tin

♥ — 3 tablespoons of butter (for frying of the ingredients)
♥ — 3 cloves garlic, diced
♥ — 1 onion, chopped

♥ — A lot of chopped fresh spinach. I don’t know the exact measurements for this (how to measure spinach?!) but you can look at the picture above. Maybe 3-4 cups worth? For me I bought 2 bunches from NTUC Fairprice and used it all.

♥ — 2 cups of chopped mushrooms of your choice. I used portobello mushrooms because I think I am atas. LOL you can use brown mushrooms too, but no shiitake / brown / chinese mushrooms. Angmoh shrooms only.

♥ — 3/4 cup of Feta Cheese. (I went nuts and put in 1 big cup lol so mine was ultimate cheesy)
♥ — 6 slices of Cheddar Cheese
♥ — 4 eggs, beaten
♥ — 3/4 cup milk
♥ — 4 tablespoons of sliced sundried tomatoes pieces (or to taste)
♥ — Half a cup of real bacon bits or fry up some real bacon (If you don’t want this to be a vegetarian meal. I used bacon bits)
♥ — 2 and a half tablespoons of self-raising flour
♥ — Paprika & coriander for garnishing
♥ — Pepper to your own taste (This is a salty recipe from all the cheese, so no salt required)
♥ — Herbs to your own taste. I used 1 teaspoon each of dill weed and parsley.
♥ — Breadcrumbs


—- Optional Part—

♥ — 8 inch unbaked deep dish pie crust (I skipped this part. I don’t actually like pie crusts, but if you like more carbs and crust in your quiche then go ahead and add this.)



Step 1:
Preheat oven to 200 degrees C. Melt the butter in a frying pan, and combine the Spinach, Mushrooms, Onions, and Garlic.

Fry and sautee in medium-high heat until the water oozing out from the spinach and mushrooms have completely dried up.



Step 2:
Turn off the heat, then add in the sundried tomatoes and crumbled feta cheese to the spinach mixture. No need to cook this, just mix well.

My quiche turned out slightly soggier than I would’ve liked because I didn’t fry my spinach and mushrooms for long enough for all the water to be absorbed. It was delish nonetheless, but you don’t wanna make the same mistake I did! I’m sure it would be perfect otherwise.



Step 3:
Line your baking tin with baking paper or spray non-stick cooking spray on the bottom, then pour in and spread out the spinach mixture evenly.



Step 4:
Place bacon bits / fried bacon, cheddar slices and bread crumbs on top of spinach mixture. Save a few slices of cheddar cheese for later. I didn’t actually measure the bread crumbs and it doesn’t matter. I reached into the bag and sprinkled liberally.

I know it doesn’t look so very appetizing right now, but JUST YOU WAIT AND SEE. ^.^



Step 5:
In a bowl, mix the eggs, milk, and flour well. Make sure there are no lumps.



Step 6:
Pour over spinach mixture, then bake at 200 degrees C for 20 minutes, then place remaining cheddar cheese slices on top and sprinkle with more breadcrumbs, then cook for another 15 minutes, or until it’s done.

You know it’s done when your quiche is no longer wobbly and has a nice solid-ish texture. You can poke a toothpick in after about 30 minutes to check on it.

If you’d read my Brownie Recipe Tutorial, you would know all about how baking time can be different for everyone.


WHEN YOU ARE DONE…

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This is all the glory you’ll end up with!!!!!!



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Sprinkle with paprika and garnish with coriander straight after you take your quiche out of the oven to achieve this GORGEOUS color. :D

Allow it to stand and cool in the baking tin for at least 15 minutes before serving. You don’t wanna serve your quiche piping hot, you want to have it only relatively warm because that’s when the flavors are at its best.



POW WOW!!!! It’s ridiculous, I know.

Definitely a lot more photogenic when sliced up than my brownies were. The spinach and mushrooms give the quiche a nice veggie bite and every spoonful of quiche was overflowing with gooey, melty cheese that made me go like this: …..:’)

So rich, so creamy, sooo goood wtffffff. Sam confirm wanna marry me please. If I didn’t have to watch my weight, I’d make this again. And again… Three quarters of my 8″ quiche was GONE in 20 minutes.

My auntie was visiting that day and after 2 generous slices, she said, “I’d finish all the leftovers if I didn’t have to let other people try it.”

….For a first attempt. ;)

If you guys have any questions, feedback on how yours turned out, or requests for future recipe how-to’s, leave me a comment! Hope yours will turn out equally fabulous and good luck!!


ENJOY!!!!!!

xoxo,
Jess

xoxo,
Jess

Baking tutorial:The BEST brownies ever!!!

Hi. I like brownies. ^___^

Brown, chocolatey goodness that feels like it’s melting in your mouth!!! Don’t we all? If you don’t….. what’s wrong with you?!

But the problem I find with most brownies purchased outside is that:

1) It’s wayyyy too sweet

2) It’s too fudgey. More like a chocolate block than a brownie.. I like slightly cakier types.

3) It’s got nuts in it. I hate nuts in my food.

4) It’s hard / stale / dry / just tastes like shit. (Hence why it usually tastes better with ice cream)

So some time last week, I woke up with a MAJOR craving for brownies. I got out of bed and I was like omfggg want to eat brownies omgg must eat or I’ll die… e_e -googles recipes- …..But the recipes found online were not really to my liking, so I decided to come up with my own.

And IT WAS SO GOOD, I decided it was a bigger sin not sharing it with you guys than if I had the whole 8″ sized brownie chunk all to myself. I took one bite out of it when it was freshly baked and I was like “OMFG BEST brownie I am a freaking genius.” Then Janice (my bro’s gf who lives with us) was like, “Oooh smells good can I have some? :)”…. 5 minutes later: “Omggg I don’t even like brownies in the first place. Last time my ex-bf bought me brownies and I scolded him. But this is VERY GOOD!! :o”

SO!!!!

I’m going to show you guys how to make your boyfriend / girlfriend think you’re a gem in the kitchen even if you’re really an idiot in the kitchen. No previous experience required! This will impress ANY chocolate lover. And even people who don’t normally eat chocolate, like me. (I swear by white chocolate and vanilla flavored stuff, but yummeh hot brownies are one true exception)

Honestly. Monkey see monkey do, just follow my recipe exactly and you can’t go wrong. It’s not as difficult or cumbersome as it looks. I even give you permission to lie to whoever you’re baking this for and say you were the genius who came up with this recipe on your own. *cough*


Let’s get started.


YOU WILL NEED:


An 8″ circle baking tin for baking the brownies in

Non-stick cooking spray

♥ — 2 eggs
♥ — 1/2 cup butter (melted, salted. if you do not have salted butter, use 1/2 teaspoon salt)
♥ — 3/4 cup white sugar
♥ — 3/4 cup self-raising flour
♥ — 1/2 cup cocoa powder (unsweetened)
♥ — 1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract
♥ — 3 tablespoons chocolate milk (or only 2 tablespoons if you like it fudgey!)
♥ — 1/2 cup milk chocolate chips

The last part is optional. You can add milk chocolate chips, or dark choc, or white choc, or nuts (yuck!) whatever floats your boat. I chose to use just milk choc chips and they turned out nommilicious. If you use something else and they don’t turn out as good, that’s not my fault. :P


Step 1:
Preheat your oven to 180 degrees C. Spray your non-stick cooking spray over your 8″ baking tin, or if you don’t have cooking spray, grease it lightly with butter.


Step 2:
Combine the vanilla extract, sugar, and butter in a big bowl. Mix well.


Step 3:
Add the eggs in, one by one while mixing thoroughly.

Your mixture should look something like this now!



Step 4:
Carefully combine the cocoa powder and flour to your previous mixture. This will thicken up the batter a lot, so don’t freak out if it’s really dry, we’ll be adding milk in a bit.


Step 5: Pour in 3 tablespoons of chocolate milk and lightly stir in the chocolate chips. It will take a minute or two of constant slow stirring for your batter to absorb the chocolate milk in, but once it does..

You will get the wonderfully rich and gooey batter as seen above! ^.^ If your batter is still too stiff (due to incorrect measurements of previous ingredients?), you can try adding more chocolate milk, bit by bit, till you get a batter consistency you’re truly satisfied with. At this point you can taste-test the sweetness to see how you like it too! You can always adjust or tweak this recipe to your own liking. But don’t do it if you’re a total noob coz then you might screw it up, lul.

♥ Note – If you like heavier, fudgey brownies (which is what is served outside most of the time), 2 tablespoons will do. Or if you want like a block of chocolate, use 1. LOL. I prefer slightly lighter texture so I used 3.



Step 6:
Pour the batter evenly into your greased baking pan and set the timer for 40-50 minutes, or until you insert a toothpick / chopstick and it comes out clean.

….Now THIS is the tricky part, and I advise to read carefully. This is what other baking recipes don’t tell you.

If you use a different shaped or sized pan, cooking time will be different, and I can’t tell you how long it’ll take because I don’t know what size you’ll use. I strongly suggest using an 8″ circle pan like I did. If you use a bigger baking pan and your batter is thinner, reduce cooking time, and vice versa.

Everyone’s oven also works differently, so cooking time for your brownies may differ even if you do use an 8″ pan. My oven is old and battered, from the hundreds of cupcakes and cakes I do on a daily basis, so I don’t think it’s working as well as it used to anymore. Stuff that used to take 20 minutes to bake, now takes about 30.

So my timing of 40-50 minutes is a rough estimate for you guys.. mine actually took almost 50 mins, but your new swanky oven may take only 40. If your oven is even older and in worse condition than mine, perhaps it takes 50+ minutes. I advise to start checking on your brownies when you’re nearing the 40 minute mark. Check back on it every now and then, and poke a toothpick through. Once it comes out clean, you can leave it in for another few minutes for a slightly crispy top if it hasn’t already formed yet!!! :)

Just don’t overcook it, or your brownies will be hard / too crispy / dry instead of moist and gooey / fudgey like it’s supposed to be. Once you’re sure your brownies have cooked perfectly, take it out of the oven, let it cool for awhile and then remove from the pan.

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Hopefully, yours will turn out to look something like….


THIS!!


Ok hahaha I know that doesn’t look quite right sitting there like that because 1) It’s circle shaped, and brownies are meant to be square-ish. That’s not a big deal to me, but if it is to you, feel free to use a square shaped tin of a similar size instead.

And 2) It has a lot of wholes on the top. I used fat chopsticks to poke it instead of toothpicks so they’re kinda obvious.

But other than that, can we please focus on….

HOW GLORIOUSLY CHOCOLATEY AND MOIST IT IS??? ♥ ♥ ♥

And look at the perfectly crispy top!!! :’)

The bottom part sorta melts in your mouth (you’ll never find a softer brownie that is still quite fudgey and rich) while the crispy part gives it a nice bite! It is very dark brown in color because the chocolate explosion in your mouth is like omggg.

Obviously not for diet-watchers haha. YOUR LOSS!!

Sam and I reckon they’re the best brownies we’ve ever had, and we’re crazy dessert lovers. I won’t be surprised if he marries me for culinary skills alone LOL.

Cut into squares / rectangles to serve, and always remember to serve warm!! Now that wasn’t so hard, was it? Told you anyone could do it.

Tastes the best on it’s own so no ice cream required. When you pop them into the mirowave for just a bit, the chocolate bits melt all over again and it tastes like a chocolate lava cake of sorts. :D

….So that’s the end of tummy-growling-inducing pictures!!!! If you do try them, let me know how they turned out for you! I’ll be damned if it’s not fantastic, hurrr.

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Happy
nomming!!!

If you have a request for another type of cooking or baking tutorial, let me know and I’ll see if I can come up with a good one for you :)

xoxo,
Jess

xoxo,
Jess
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