My sisters and I have wanted to join a cooking class to learn some new cooking techniques and recipes as well as meeting a few new people and having a great time. Although with all the moving that’s going to be happening with my family, we don’t have much extra time or flexibility with a course.
So K. came up with a great idea, we each choose a dish we’ve never made before and would like to make, buy the food, then everyone comes around and helps make it together. This way we each get to help make something new and try a whole range of new foods as well as have a bit of fun!
K. was first up and chose a Chinese-themed night: Baked Spring Rolls and Honey Chicken with stir-fry vegetables. We were each allocated a separate job with preparing the vegetables for the spring rolls, cooking the filling and rolling them, as well as cutting the chicken, making the batter and sauce and cooking it in hot oil.
The recipe for the honey chicken was a bit lacking in some quantities, leaving some trouble-shooting for the batter, which included at least 10 minutes of people jamming a fork into the non-Newtonian fluid (where the fluid behaves like a solid rather than a liquid) we made from the cornflour and water (check out a video of people running on pool filled with it here:
After more water was added the mixture started acting a bit more like batter is supposed to. Although once cooked, the crispy chicken was coated in a lovely honey syrup and tasted great!
With all that oil, batter and honey, we were lucky that my sister had chosen baked spring roll recipe rather than another deep-fried recipe. These spring rolls are extra tasty and I’m sure they’d be quite healthy too and can certainly be adapted to make Vegetarian spring rolls by omitting the chicken and ham.
Oven Baked Spring Rolls
Recipe from Nutrition Australia  website
1 teaspoon oil for trays
2 teaspoons oil
1 medium onion, diced
½ teaspoon finely chopped ginger or ½ teaspoon ground ginger
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 stick celery, finely chopped
5 mushrooms, finely diced
½ capsicum, finely diced
2 cups finely chopped cabbage
½ – 1 cup finely diced cooked lean ham or chicken
½ cup bean sprouts, e.g. mung beans
1 tablespoon cornflour
1 teaspoon sweet chilli sauce
1 tablespoon salt-reduced soy sauce
2 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs (choose one or a combination of: parsley, coriander, basil)
250g packet frozen spring roll pastry, thawed
Preheat oven to 200 C. Brush an oven tray with oil/ or lightly spray with oil.
Heat the oil in a wok or frying pan over medium to high heat. Add the onion, ginger and garlic stir-fry for 1 minute.
Add celery, mushrooms, capsicum and cabbage and stir-fry for about 3 minutes. Add ham/ chicken and sprouts. Put on the lid and let vegetables cook for another minute.
Meanwhile combine the cornflour, sweet chilli sauce, soy, and herbs. Add the mixed sauces to the spring roll filling, heat until mixture boils and thickens. Remove saucepan from the heat and allow mixture to cool.
Place 1-2 tablespoons of the mixture on the bottom corner of one spring roll sheet. Fold edges of sheet in and roll up. Continue until all the mixture is used.
Bake in a hot oven for 15-20 minutes or until the spring rolls are golden brown. Serve with a dipping sauce as a snack or with rice for a main meal.
Chinese Honey Chicken
Recipe from Geocities 
500g skinless chicken breast
¾ cup honey
1 cup cornflour
½ teaspoon baking powder
2 egg whites
cold water (we used around ½ cup)
oil for deep-frying
extra cornflour (for dusting chicken)
1½ teaspoons sweet chilli sauce
garnish: spring onion (chopped) or sesame seeds
Cut chicken breasts into bite-sized pieces.
Make the batter: mix together cornflour, baking powder, beaten egg whites and cold water.
Dust chicken with cornflour then dip it into the batter. Deep-fry chicken pieces for 1 min or till crisp on the outside and cooked through.
In another pan, add honey and chilli sauce and heat over medium heat. Pour hot sauce over chicken. Garnish with chopped spring onions and serve immediately.
The first cooking class is finished, next is Nick’s turn…