Recipe: Pork and cabbage spring rolls with peanut pineapple dipping sauce

As New Year’s Eve approaches, it is good to have some ideas for snacks to serve if you are going to entertain for the evening.

These can be made in advance and cooked when needed if making crispy spring rolls, or for fresh rolls place a damp paper towel over them, wrap and place in the fridge until needed.

Buying snacks or appetisers for parties is expensive but often the ingredients are cheap, and once you have them in stock they last a long time. This recipe gives you the option of a crispy fried spring roll or a lighter summer roll wrapped in a rice wrapper.

Both are really tasty and so is the dipping sauce. Try it with kebabs or satay skewers, too.


Makes: 18-20 fried rolls or 20-30 rice wrapper rolls

Ready in: 45 minutes plus cooling


⅓ cup dried shiitake mushrooms

1 cup boiling water

1 tsp sesame oil

250g pork mince

1 clove garlic, minced

2 medium-sized carrots, finely sliced or grated (about 1 cup)

1 cup water chestnuts, coarsely chopped

6 cups (about 350g) finely sliced green cabbage

2 Tbsp Shaoxing wine (Chinese rice wine)

3 Tbsp hoisin sauce

¼ cup soy sauce

1 Tbsp oyster sauce

salt and pepper

2 Tbsp cornflour mixed with 2 Tbsp cold water


For fried spring rolls

18-20 square spring roll wrappers, approx. 20cm

canola oil for frying


For summer rolls

1 cup fresh herb leaves — mint or coriander

20-30 rice paper wrappers


Soak the dried mushrooms in the boiling water. Heat the oil in a frying pan and cook the pork mince until browned, breaking it up with a masher to a fine crumbly consistency. Drain the mushrooms, reserving ¼ cup of the liquid, and chop the mushrooms finely.

Stir the mushrooms, garlic, carrots, water chestnuts and cabbage into the mince, then add the Shaoxing wine, sauces and reserved mushroom soaking water. Cook until the liquid has evaporated, and season with salt and pepper. Thicken with half the cornflour mixture. Set aside to cool.

For fried spring rolls: Take a wrapper and with one corner facing you, put a dessertspoon of mixture in a line 5cm from the corner. Roll once to enclose the filling. Fold in the sides, then roll up completely and seal with a dab of the cornflour mixture. Continue till all the filling is used. Heat 5cm-7cm depth of oil in a saucepan and cook the spring rolls a few at a time until golden, about 1-2 minutes. Drain on a kitchen towel-lined plate and keep warm. Serve with sauce.

For summer rolls: Pour hot water into a shallow bowl. Soak a wrapper for 30 seconds or until soft, then place on a clean tea towel. Position a few herb leaves on the wrapper. Top with a spoonful of filling mixture. Roll over once to enclose the filling, then tuck in the sides and continue rolling to form a neat parcel. Repeat until all the filling is used.


Peanut pineapple dipping sauce

Ready in: 5 minutes

Makes: 1 cup


1/2 cup crunchy peanut butter

⅓ cup canned crushed pineapple, including juice

1 Tbsp lemongrass, chopped

1 clove garlic, chopped

½ tsp chilli flakes

1 Tbsp fish sauce

1½ tsp soy sauce


Combine all the ingredients in a processor or blender and process till smooth. Store in the fridge for up to 3 days.


The book
Extracted from Destitute Gourmet by Sophie Gray, published by Random House NZ, RRP $35.00. Text © Sophie Gray, 2021. Photography © Todd Eyre, 2021


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