Enjoy golden spring rolls from the air fryer, without needing to deep-fry in oil. This fresh salad is perfect for weeknights.
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Cut the spring rolls in half and arrange over the noodle mixture. Drizzle with dressing and sprinkle with chilli, if using.
For golden crunchy spring rolls without deep-frying in oil, enlist the help of your air fryer. Air fryers are easy-to-use appliances that work like mini fan-forced ovens, blowing hot air over the food and cooking it faster than a standard oven. They offer a convenient way of cooking spring rolls and cuts down on the amount of oil used, giving them a healthier twist.
While you can pretty much fill spring rolls with anything you like - meat and veggies, or just veggies - just be sure your veggies are finely chopped or sliced so they cook quickly. And seasoning is very important - no one wants a bland spring roll.
When it comes to Vietnamese spring rolls, there are 2 types: goi cuon, otherwise known as rice paper rolls, and cha gio, or fried spring rolls which are served as an appetiser or as part of the beloved bun cha, or Vietnamese spring roll noodle salad. The spring rolls in this bun cha-style salad are filled with vermicelli noodles, mince, garlic and lemongrass, ginger, carrot and spring onion, and are cooked in the air fryer to crispy golden perfection.
For the spring rolls, you’ll need 10 sheets of spring roll pastry. You’ll find these in the frozen food section, so be sure you allow time for the sheets to thaw. You’ll also need 340g of rice vermicelli noodles, some of which will be used in the salad and some will be used in the filling. The rest of the filling ingredients include 250g of pork mince and 1 crushed garlic clove; 2 tsp of finely grated ginger and 1 tsp of lemongrass paste, which give the filling a lovely warmth and fragrance; 2 tsp fish sauce (you can use soy sauce or hoisin if you prefer), 1 carrot that’s peeled into long matchsticks, and some spring onions that have been cut lengthways.
The salad has some of the vermicelli noodles; bean sprouts, which give freshness and crunch; mint and coriander, which are the perfect contrast to the warm, savoury spring rolls. If you want to add a little kick to the salad, 1 thinly sliced long red chilli will do the trick. And for an easy dressing, use a Vietnamese-style salad dressing, which you’ll find in the Asian food aisle.
The first step is to make the filling. To do this, you’ll need to cook the noodles in a saucepan of boiling water for 4 minutes or until they’re tender then refresh in cold water. Be sure to drain the noodles well to avoid a watery filling. Then take 1 cup of the noodles and cut them into shorter lengths so they’re easier to work with in the filling. Combine the cut noodles with the mince, garlic, ginger, lemongrass, fish sauce, some of the carrot and some of the spring onion. Now to fill the spring roll pastry - place 1 sheet on a clean work surface and place 2 tbs of the mince mixture diagonally across 1 corner. Then brush the opposite corner with a little water - this will help to seal the filling in the pastry. Fold in the sides of the pastry and roll up to enclose. Repeat this process with the remaining mince mixture and spring roll pastry sheets.
Preheat your air fryer to 200°C and spray the spring rolls with a little olive oil spray. Place them in the basket of the air fryer and cook, turning them halfway through the cooking time, for 15 minutes or until the spring rolls are golden and cooked through.
Divide the remaining cooked noodles among serving bowls and top with some bean sprouts, mint and coriander, as well as some more carrot and spring onion. Cut the spring rolls in half and arrange them over the noodle salad. If you’re using chilli, you can scatter them over the salad. Drizzle with the dressing to serve.
Give your air fryer a workout with fantastic air-fryer friendly dishes such as these curry beef kebabs, ready in just 10 minutes. Want a perfectly golden chook with salad for lunch? Try this air-fryer chicken with quinoa salad, and dinner is sorted, thanks to these turkey meatballs with fennel salad. Veggies also benefit from this convenient way of cooking. Try our dukkah-spiced air-fryer asparagus for a speedy side and these corn ribs with blue cheese are perfect for a tasty snack.