Recipe: Spring Rolls, Moroccan Salad and Meatballs

The Asian Food Anyone Can Cook, if that’s all Mariah’s latest cookbook is all about. In Asian Food, she shows how you can easily bring out the original flavors of the Asian pantry and serve up dishes from Thailand, Vietnam, Japan, Indonesia and China, based on Swedish ingredients. You can now participate in the book competition by answering the following questions:

  1. What is umami?
  2. What is your favorite Asian dish?

Send your answers to [email protected] No later than 9/22, the three winners will be notified by email.

Vietnamese spring rolls with fresh herbs and hot seasoning. Photo: Stefan Idetoft

Vietnamese spring rolls with chili sauce

4 servings, about 25 small spring rolls

Spring rolls are an ideal food to prepare and eat with family and friends, while preparing the conversation can flow freely. I use dried leaves of rice paper that are available in well stocked grocery stores or Asian stores, but you can also use frozen and thawed leaves, Roll dough.

50g thin glass noodles

6 crab claws

400 grams shrimp

1 medium carrot

1 pc white cabbage, about 200g

1/2 white leek

2 cloves garlic

75 g of bean sprouts

1/2 tablespoon dark syrup

Salt and freshly ground white pepper

25 spring roll dried rice paper for frying

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1 tablespoon water

Chili dip:

1 clove finely minced garlic

1 red Thai chili, finely grated

2 lemons, squeezed juice

1/2 cup fish sauce

Half a deciliter of boiling water

2 tablespoons Japanese light soybean

2 tablespoons of sugar

1 tablespoon light liquid honey

For frying:

1 liter frying oil

To apply:

1 head of lettuce, such as crunchy lettuce

Fresh cut herbs, such as fresh coriander and mint

Soak the pasta in a bowl of cold water for ten minutes, drain the water and cut the pasta into smaller pieces.

Break up the crab claws, peel the meat and cut it into smaller pieces. Peel the shrimp and roughly chop. Peel the carrots and grate it coarsely. Cut the shallots into thin slices and chop finely. Peel the garlic and chop finely. Pour the pasta into a bowl, add the oysters, shredded carrots, chopped shallots, garlic, sprouts, and syrup. Season with a little salt and pepper and mix well. Place one sheet of spring roll at a time in a bowl of cold water for a minute to soften the texture a little. Transfer to the cutting board.

Mix cornstarch with water in a bowl.

Spread about 2 tablespoons of the filling in the center of the spring roll, bottom facing you. Fold the bottom edge and press together to make it snug. Fold the edges in half and brush the top edge with the cornstarch mixture to stick and keep tight. Roll up into a tight roll and place on a plate with the seam facing down. Repeat the step until you have 25 turns.

Mix all the hot pepper ingredients and pour into a bowl.

Heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed frying pan to 160 degrees. Fry the spring rolls in batches for a few minutes until crispy. Be careful not to dispose of too much at once. Place the rolls on a plate lined with paper towels to drain the excess fat. Serve with fresh lettuce leaves to wrap around spring rolls and top with herbs. Served with chili sauce.

Moroccan meatballs with fresh tomato sauce.  Photo: Stefan Idetoft

Moroccan meatballs with fresh tomato sauce. Photo: Stefan Idetoft

Moroccan meatballs with fresh tomato sauce

4 servings

On my delicious expedition to Morocco, my father’s home, this dish was a real hit. Light and aromatic herbs meet tender lamb meatballs cooked with fresh tomatoes. Fill up on a fresh baguette or have bread with your meal.

500 gm minced lamb

1 yellow onion

2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley leaves

1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh coriander

1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh mint

1 teaspoon paprika powder

1 teaspoon cumin

Pinch of chili powder or chili flakes

Salt and black pepper

tomato sauce:

2 cloves garlic

1 kilo ripe tomatoes

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh coriander

Pinch of chili flakes

Salt and black pepper

To apply:

1 dl green olives

1-2 tablespoons chopped parsley or cilantro

Fresh bread, eg baguette or light sourdough bread

Put the minced meat in a bowl. Peel and grate the onions. Add the chopped herbs, paprika powder, cumin, and cayenne pepper, and season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Mix them together and roll them into small meatballs.

Peel the garlic and chop finely. Cut the tomatoes in half and remove the seeds. Grate the tomato pulp with the coarse side of the grater into a bowl. Heat the oil in a frying pan with a high edge, add the minced garlic and sauté for a minute, add the grated tomatoes, chopped coriander and chili pepper and season with a little salt and pepper. Let the sauce simmer for ten minutes, uncovered, and add the meatballs. Cook until meatballs are soft, stirring several times in the sauce.

Top with green olives and chopped herbs. Serve with fresh bread like baguette or light sourdough bread.

A modern North African salad with roasted squash and date syrup.  Photo: Stefan Idetoft

A modern North African salad with roasted squash and date syrup. Photo: Stefan Idetoft

Modern North African salad with roasted squash and date syrup

4 servings

I ate this dish last summer in a small restaurant in Marrakesh. Roast Swedish squash, replacing fresh figs with juicy pears and tossing with a nutty dressing on a tangy sesame-lemon paste. Then we finish by sprinkling date syrup or pomegranate syrup.

2 deciliters of durum wheat

1 teaspoon turmeric

Salt and black pepper

2 medium sized squash

2 tablespoons olive oil

Salt and black pepper

1 ripe pear

50 grams hazelnut


1 tablespoon tahini

2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 tablespoon liquid honey

4 tablespoons olive oil

flake salt

To topping:

1-2 tablespoons of date syrup

1 dl thick yogurt

2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley leaves

1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh mint

Boil 8 dL of water and add wheat, turmeric, a pinch of salt and pepper. Simmer on low heat for about ten minutes, until the wheat is soft but has good chewing resistance. Pour off the excess water and let it cool.

Cut the squash into smaller pieces and heat a large frying pan, keep it very hot and add the olive oil. Roast the squash for a few minutes until well-colored. Season with salt and pepper. Peel the pears and cut them into smaller pieces, add them to the pan, mix and remove from the heat. Chop the nuts into coarse pieces and toast them golden brown in a fat-free skillet. Alternate grits with roasted pumpkin and pear on a plate.

Mix all dressing ingredients in a bowl and sprinkle over the salad. Put on it the date syrup, yogurt, herbs and roasted hazelnuts.

More recipes by Maria Zihamo:

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