There isn’t what you might call a “basic” spring roll. Some are fried, some are wrapped in softened rice paper, and the filling varies considerably. Here’s a recipe for a crispy appetizer that’s an unconventional use for venison, but it sure is good. Try it on your friends who long ago decided that they just don’t like the taste of deer. It just might change their minds.
Crispy Venison Spring Rolls
- 1 1/2 cups venison from backstrap tenderloin or hindquarter, trimmed
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon fresh ginger minced
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 2 tablespoons peanut oil
- 1/4 cup dried apricots thinly sliced
- 1 cup cabbage shredded
- 3 tablespoons fresh cilantro leaves minced
- 8 egg roll wrappers
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch mixed with 1 tablespoon cold water
- oil for frying
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon hoisin sauce Asian section of your grocery store. It's there -- really
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar or white wine vinegar
- Whisk together dipping sauce ingredients in a small bowl.
- Slice venison as thinly as possible into 2- to 3-inch strips. Combine sliced venison with next three ingredients, and marinate for 1 hour. Remove meat from marinade and drain. Stir-fry meat in hot peanut oil for 45 to 60 seconds over high heat in a wok or skillet. Transfer to paper towels to cool.
- In a small bowl, combine apricots, cabbage and cilantro. For each spring roll, lay the wrapper on a flat surface, and place about 2 to 3 tablespoons of the cabbage mixture on the lower third of the wrapper, forming an area of about 1 inch tall by 3 inches wide. Arrange cooked meat on top of cabbage. Turn in sides of wrapper to just overlap stuffing. Begin rolling egg roll by starting at the edge nearest you and rolling away from you, like a burrito. When you get to the edge, moisten it with a little of the cornstarch mixture to seal the edges like glue.
- Heat 3 to 4 inches of oil in a heavy pot over medium-high heat. When hot, carefully add spring rolls, one or two at a time, into the oil, and fry until golden brown. Drain fried rolls on paper towels. Arrange on a plate, and serve with dipping sauce on the side.