Culture Cooking: Spring Rolls

Throughout the year the Museum & Theatre celebrates holidays and traditions, like the Lunar New Year, by partnering with community members from the cultural tradition celebrated. Individual stories and memories shape the content of the programs. We recognize that the more we know about ourselves and each other the more we grow together as a community. This year the Lunar New Year fell on February 5th. Neighbors from China, Korea, Vietnam and from other Asian countries celebrated in their own unique way; however, one thing will be the same–everyone will have delicious food!

Today special culture kitchen guest, Stalla Austin, taught me and a group of Museum & Theatre visitors how to make a traditional Chinese spring roll in honor of the Chinese New Year. Stella is an experienced cook who grew up celebrating the Chinese New Year, which is traditionally filled with family, red lanterns, traditions of good luck and of course food! These spring rolls are the most delicious spring roll ever.

The cooking adventure begins gathering flavorful ingredients you may or may not have in your house. Note: the flour wrappers will be found in the freezer aisle and the five spice bean curd tofu will be found in the refrigerator aisle. Stella’s recipe measures by weight, below I include the approximate measurements by volume that we used when cooking. Take the…

  • 1 package of flour wrappers 

out of the freezer an hour before making, or place in warm water to thaw quickly. To ready the remaining spring roll fillings, bring a large pot of water to boil and blanch… 

  • 3 cups shredded carrots
  • 3 cup mung bean sprouts
  • 2 cups of Enoki mushrooms (with ends trimmed off)

After about 3 minutes remove the vegetables, which should still be firm. Run under cold water and then drain thoroughly (pat with towel if needed).  Now slice…

  • 1 package of five spice tofus

Stand slices of tofu up on their long narrow end and make three slices, then stack the slices on top of each other and slice thinly, making long thin strips of tofu that resemble the size of the julienned scallions and Enoki mushrooms. Now gather…

  • 3 scallions julienned
  • ½ cup cilantro chopped (we just tore the leaves from the stems, chatting about plant parts as we did so)

Congratulations! You have all the ingredients ready for assembly time. Set up a plate for everyone participating (the more the merrier!). Place a flour wrapper on each plate with one corner facing away from and one corner facing toward the person wrapping (like a diamond). Then in the middle place a handful of blanched vegetables topped with tofu strips, scallions and cilantro. Then fold the wrapper on a diagonal by picking up the corner closet to you and pulling it over the filling to reach the opposite corner. Using strong hands, scootch the filling under the top wrapper to the side of the wrapper closest to you, fold in outside corners and seal the wrap shut by dipping your finger in a cup of water and running it along the edge of the top corner. This last step is very important, it’s the lucky one! Heat…

  • 3 Tablespoons oil 

in a pan on the stove and fry. Stella said that fried spring rolls are common on Chinese New Years, because their golden color is a symbol of good wealth for the coming year. Flip on both sides until rolls reach a pretty golden-brown. Then mix up your dipping sauce with…

  • 1 cup sesame paste (tahini)
  • 2 Tablespoon sesame oil
  • 3 Tablespoon soy sauce
  • 2 Tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoon sugar

We hope you enjoy this Chinese tradition and it brings you joy in the New Year of the Pig!

Special culture kitchen guest, Stalla Austin, chops ingredients

Cooking Healthy: Potato Snowballs

It’s definitely worth enjoying the cold snowy days while they are here, however; also worthwhile is a warm, cheesy comfort food inspired by the need for something to warm the insides on cold days. If you are snowed in, this can be the perfect way to get a little messy, practice fine motor skills and eat some nutrient rich greens.

Potato Snowballs

Do you have leftover mashed potatoes? Gather the family around to make a delightful and nutrient packed potato popper. This can be a fearless a kitchen exploration, because there is no way these ingredients could be combined that wouldn’t taste good.

First, gather your bowl, aprons, mixing spoon, baking tray and preheat the oven (375). Use the microwave or the stove top to thaw…

1/2 cup frozen spinach

and then mix with …  

2 cups mashed potato.

Now you have a nice potato spinach dough that can be rolled into balls. Get a little messy! Can you roll potato balls that are big, small, the size of a cherry? Once a variety of potato balls have been made (all the better if they are different sizes and shapes) place a cranberry sized chunk of…

cubed cheddar cheese (½ cup in total)

in each ball. Finish each potato ball off by rolling in…

breadcrumbs (½ cup total)

I used Panko, but any crumbs would be fine. Finally, bake in the oven at 375 degrees for 15-20 minutes.
Enjoy now or freeze for later!

Brittany Liscord,Educator & Community Engagement Coordinator

Brittany measures and mixes up ingredients with Museum & Theatre visitors.


Eating Healthy: Carrot Oatmeal Cookies

Hi, everyone! Did you catch our Eating Healthy workshop this morning? Even if you missed it, we’re excited to share today’s recipe with you. Make delicious, nutritious goodies at home, any time!

Today’s recipe:

Carrot Oatmeal Cookies!

Eating Healthy is a monthly cooking program sponsored by the WalMart Falmouth store and is free with admission. Hope to see you next month!

Cooking Healthy: Homemade Applesauce

Hi, everyone! Did you catch our Cooking Healthy workshop this morning? Even if you missed it, we’re excited to share today’s recipe with you. Make delicious, nutritious goodies at home, any time!

Today’s recipe:

Homemade Applesauce!

Cooking Healthy is a monthly cooking program sponsored by Northeast Delta Dental and is free with admission. Hope to see you next month!

Cooking Healthy: Cheesy Cheddar Scallion Muffins

Hi, everyone! Did you catch our Cooking Healthy workshop this morning? Even if you missed it, we’re excited to share today’s recipe with you. Make delicious, nutritious goodies at home, any time!

Today’s recipe:

Cheesy Cheddar Scallion Muffins!

Cooking Healthy is a monthly cooking program sponsored by Northeast Delta Dental and is free with admission. Hope to see you next month!

Cooking Healthy: Berries and Cream

Hi, everyone! Did you catch our Cooking Healthy workshop this morning? Even if you missed it, we’re excited to share today’s recipe with you. Make delicious, nutritious goodies at home, any time!

Today’s recipe:

Summer Berries and Cream!

Cooking Healthy is a monthly cooking program sponsored by Northeast Delta Dental and is free with admission. Hope to see you next month!

Cooking Healthy: Quick Pickles

Hi, everyone! Did you catch our Cooking Healthy workshop this morning? Even if you missed it, we’re excited to share today’s recipe with you. Make delicious, nutritious goodies at home, any time!

Today’s recipe:

Quick Refrigerator Dill Pickles!

Cooking Healthy is a monthly cooking program sponsored by Northeast Delta Dental and is free with admission. Hope to see you next month!

Eating Healthy: Frozen Strawberry Snacks

Hi, everyone! Did you catch our Eating Healthy workshop this morning? Even if you missed it, we’re excited to share today’s recipe with you. Make delicious, nutritious goodies at home, any time!

Today’s recipe:

Homemade Strawberry Blueberry Fruit Leather!

Eating Healthy is a monthly cooking program sponsored by the WalMart Falmouth store and is free with admission. Hope to see you next month!