A Bit of the Asian Persuasion

Spring rolls...before baking!
Spring rolls...before baking!
Orange aubergines ready for the oven.
Orangey aubergines ready for the oven.

There are two things that we love about potluck dinners: (1) you’re not in charge of cooking the entire smorgasbord and (2) you can try out new dishes on your friends. Actually, we’ve heard it said that you should never do a new dish for a potluck. It should always be one of your tried and true concoctions that is sure to bring on nothing but raucous raves from your greedy friends. We threw caution to the wind and searched through our recipe rolodex for a couple of platters for a Japanese themed dinner. There are so many recipes that come to mind when you think Japanese, but we’re also trying to watch our waistlines after November and December’s gorge fests. That meant none of the heavier dishes that we would’ve preferred to pull together; no, it had to be something delicious bordering on diet.  We were teetering in dangerous territory, but who doesn’t love a challenge.

Finger foods are great for potluck type dinners.  People can pick up and go or pile a couple of each item on their plates.  These spring rolls may not be 100% Japanese, but hey, we were going for a roundabout option.  The eggplant is definitely one of our favorites.  We’ve seen recipes that call for broiling the eggplant, but if your broiler only ranges from off to ‘911, we have an emergency’ flames, we suggest baking.

Hoisin Shrimp & Vegetable Rolls

Hoisin Shrimp & Veggie Spring Rolls – Approximately 3 dozen
16 ounces shredded cole slaw mix (cabbage & carrots)
1/2 pound cooked shrimp, peeled & deveined and chopped
2 tablespoons ginger, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons hoisin
2 teaspoons hot chili sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
Wonton wrappers
Kosher salt
Vegetable oil

1.  Heat sesame oil, vegetable oil and garlic over medium heat.  Add cole slaw mix, ginger, hoisin and hot chili sauce.  Stir well.

2.  Once cabbage has cooked a bit, approximately 2-3 minutes, add cooked shrimp until incorporated.   Sprinkle with salt if desired.

3.  Place wonton wrapper on a flat surface, so it makes a diamond shape (top should be one of the corners, not a flat edge).  Dollop the upper porrion with cabbage mixture, approximately 1 1/2 tablespoons each.

4.  Fold left and right corners in first and then roll from top to bottom.  Make sure wonton is sealed.*

5.  Brush very lightly with a bit of vegetable oil.  Bake at 350 degrees until golden brown, 25-30 minutes.

*You can also make these into triangular shapes as well.  Like a true wonton!

Orange Miso Eggplant

Orange Miso Eggplant – Serves 4

4 Japanese eggplants, sliced lengthwise into 1/2 inch pieces
1/4 cup mirin
3 tablespoons miso*
1 orange, juice and zest
1 tablespoon ginger, minced
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon hot chili sauce
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted
2 scallions, chopped

1.  In a bowl, whisk mirin, miso, orange juice and zest, ginger, sesame oil, garlic and hot chili sauce.

2.  Dunk eggplant slices into mirin mixture (both sides) and spread evenly on a baking pan coated with cooking spray.  Pour any remaining marinade over eggplant slices.

3.  Bake at 375 for 20-25 minutes or until eggplant is soft but not too mushy. Remove from oven and sprinkle with sesame seeds and green onions before serving.

*We used red miso, although any variation is perfect for this recipe.

Click HERE for printable recipes.


35 thoughts on “A Bit of the Asian Persuasion

  1. i love trying new recipes, even for pot lucks, but i guess it helps that I get them from blogs so they have already been road tested by a trusted source. The spring rolls look delish!

  2. These are going on my list to make…unfortunately I cannot have anything ‘fried’ now in my list…but I can look at your wonderful pics and reminisce!

  3. Cannot wait to try the Orange Miso Eggplant, it looks great! It looks like it would travel well for lunch on the go too!

  4. Genius idea using using coleslaw mix for the spring rolls – I love it! I might add a bit of chopped coriander too ( I think you guys call it something else – cilantro?) Love the blog 🙂

  5. Funny, I have to bring a dish tomorrow and not only is it an untried recipe, it’s a made up baked good. (white choc bread). Crossing my fingers. I have to say the eggplant looks great, but I’ve had a CRAVING for spring rolls. You made me hungry.

  6. I just saw on Running with Food that you guys had a raclette dinner. Where? My boyfriend has a raclette machine (well, at least they call it that here in the States) and we’re making raclette Saturday night. I wish I had known that you had it – I would have asked you about LEGITIMATE RACLETTE!!!!! Do tell!

  7. I love spring rolls! The fun thing about potlucks is if it’s big enough, you get to experiment. If people really like it they’re all asking who made it and wanting the recipe to which you can casually say, “well I just threw it together, I’ve never made it before”. If it’s not so popular you can just sneak your dish out before everyone else starts gathering theirs 🙂

  8. Love spring rolls… just learning to like eggplant.. my daughter is a chef and has been showing me new ways to enjoy it other than the boring way I was doing it. Great job!!

  9. Those spring rolls look uber yummy. Mm. I saw you guys live in LA, LA and California have the BEST food in the whole US! Eating in Cali is one treat. And, thanks for always leaving me comments on my blog…figured I should leave you guys them too!

  10. My brother’s girlfriend just told me she hates eggplants. I wanted to say, “Woman?! What is wrong with you??” But I refrained, and just said, “Oh, that’s too bad.”
    I LOVE eggplants, especially how they get all wonderfully soft when roasted or stewed. I also love them grilled with plenty of olive oil and a touch of sea salt. Miso and orange are definitely a great duo (pun intended) for eggplant, too.

  11. Both dishes look spectacular! Love that you’ve baked the spring rolls and I also love the inclusion of the hot chili sauce. Yum!

    I also agree with Kim, you have a marvelous way of presenting your recipes. So glad I found your delicious blog! 🙂

  12. The orange aubergine is really tempting and baked springrolls is a new one to me. Good job they’re diet food because I’m starving (read on a diet).

  13. That eggplant recipe looks especially interesting. And I’m afraid you’ll have to either cook up your own pozole or visit me in person.

  14. LOVE eggplant! I used to hate it, but now that I have grown up, they are my favorite vegetable. Interesting combination with the orange. I could imagine the bright flavor with the earthy eggplant. Looks like a winner!

  15. Both dishes look really good. I think I am going to prepare the eggplant I have in the fridge like this for Saturday’s party. You guys wanna join? hehe

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