Spring rolls are something I associate with a take away or a trip out to eat. I would never consider making them at home unless they were from a pack of frozen food, which doesn't exactly count. This is not because I'm adverse to cooking, I think I just always assumed they were quite tricky to perfect. And after my attempt with an air fryer, I was proven right.

I was sent a recipe from Malaysian food blogger Ruiz (Honest Food Talks) and after noting the apparent simplicity of the instructions thought I'd give it a whirl. All I needed was some vegetables to fill each roll with, some spring roll wrapper and my Ninja air fryer. I already had the majority at home.

My first mistake was the filling. I was hubristic in my endeavour and didn't follow the measurements for ingredients, deciding this was the perfect opportunity to empty out some of the older veg in the fridge. I already had carrots, onion, garlic and ginger at home, along with soy sauce and rice wine for the seasoning. I'd been advised to include cabbage and bean sprouts if I was opting for a vegetarian dish. So I headed out to hunt down my remaining vegetables and spring roll wrapper.

READ MORE: Phillips air fryer so good people have 'stopped using their ovens' and it's about £60 cheaper than Ninja

I spent over an hour rummaging through the shelves of my local supermarkets, sometimes doubling back to secure the goods. I couldn't bring myself to purchase an entire cabbage for a minimal serving of rolls knowing it would be left to wither and die in the fridge when I was done. So I thought I'd bulk out the filling with extra of the vegetables I already had.

After searching high and low for spring roll wrappers I had to accept failure and purchase rice paper instead. Google assured me this would work - I'll tell you now that Google lied.

Rushing home with my precious ingredients, I got to work chopping and slicing garlic, onion, carrots and ginger. In my excitement I managed to slice my own finger - a true sign of my dedication to the craft.

Dumping the chopped veg in a bowl and throwing in my bean sprouts I got a pan on to heat. I cooked down my veg so it was softened and seasoned with a splash of soy sauce and rice wine as well as some pepper.

Removing the food from the heat after a few minutes I set up my wrapping station. The packet told me to soften each sheet of paper with some warm water. I experimented with portion control and decided one table spoon of filling was the perfect quantity for each roll. Several wasted sheets of rice paper later and I had six, imperfect, spring rolls ready to be thrown into the trusty air fryer.

I lay down some baking parchment in each tray and carefully placed the rolls next to each other with roughly a five centimetre gap between each for fear of them exploding onto each other. Setting my dial to 240C I put a timer on for five minutes so I could turn over, what I expected to be, their perfectly crisp and golden little cylinder bodies to cook evenly. But oh how wrong I was.

Five minutes later I open my trays, thrilled to see little rolls crisping up beautifully. Tongs in hand I begin to turn each one over, but immediately my fears are confirmed. Mary Berry would have been appalled by their soggy bottoms that were sticking to the parchment. As if this wasn't bad enough, the rice paper ripped spewing out their vegetable insides like vegan intestines. The horror was too much to bare.

I worked quickly turning each roll and slamming the drawer shut, hoping that the furnace would crisp their little vegetable organs enough to hide their fate. Five minutes later and I open the trays again, to find the vegetables have been incarcerated inside rolls that are one side, golden and crisp, the other a burnt mess.

I present them in a bowl that hides the ugly truth and hope a generous serving of sriracha will hide my mistakes. I'm sorely mistaken, unable to even finish a single mouthful as I bite into the carcinogenic result of my cooking. I will vow never again attempt to make my own spring rolls.

Have an air fryer recipe we should try? Email [email protected].

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2023-03-29T13:34:57Z dg43tfdfdgfd