The trick with making any Chinese food and it’s guaranteed success is to prepare everything before hand. You need to get all your ingredients together, chopped, diced, marinated, sauces prepared in little bowls, absolutely everything that belongs in a recipe must be at hand before you turn on the heat!
There are many variations to Spring Rolls throughout the Far East, with differing wraps, some made from rice paper, as in the Vietnamese types, and gives a transparent appearance, or egg based wraps, similar to that of filo pastry. It goes with out saying, the fillings will also vary from region to region.
The Spring Rolls we are going to make today are often found in Chinese restaurants in Hong Kong, particularly in the Dim Sum eateries, and is often served with a dipping Worcestershire Sauce and or sweet chili sauce. The beauty of these spring rolls is that you can make them with whatever filling you desire. These are great for making if you have left overs too! Just remember to keep the filling ingredients chopped small so it all fits in the roll. I will list the common ingredients used, and you can adapt to your taste. So come along to the Far East and lets make some Spring Rolls!
7 Spring roll pastry sheets, each measuring 8 in x 8 in ( 20 cm x 20 cm)
For the Filling
2 mushrooms, chopped small
1 Spring Onion / Scallion
5-6 stalks of coriander / cilantro
1/4 inch or 1 cm thick piece fresh ginger
1 clove garlic
1 cup or 70 g beansprouts
4 fresh Prawns (optional)
6 oz or 170 g pork or chicken fillet
Vegetable oil for deep frying. (use a small pan)
1 Teaspoon cornflour / cornstarch
1 Teaspoon sugar
1 Teaspoon Chinese rice Wine
1 Teaspoon Sesame Oil
1 Teaspoon Chicken stock powder
1 teaspoon Soy Sauce
1 teaspoon Oyster Sauce
2 teaspoon cold water
TIP: You can buy Spring Roll Pastry from Asian shops, if you have some left over, put in a zip lock bag and freeze. Once the pastry comes into contact with air, it will dry quickly so have a damp cloth to place over the pastry whilst you are preparing the rolls.
The main thing we need to do is get everything ready before we start cooking. Please be aware, that your Spring Roll Pastry will dry out as soon as it makes contact with the air so please use a damp tea towel to cover it whilst you are preparing everything. These Spring Rolls will be made roughly the length of your finger. You can make them bigger if you wish, adjust amount of filling accordingly.
Prepare the Vegetables
First we will prepare all the vegetable items and place on a plate.
1. Chop mushrooms (1/2 cm sized pieces)
2. Chop cilantro/ coriander, and Spring Onion / scallion shred (see picture) Cut it across into 1 inch lengths and then shred.
3. Finely chop ginger and garlic.
4. Place beansprouts on plate (no need to chop)
Prepare the meat
Now to prepare the meat. You need to cut it very fine like matchsticks. Watch the photos to get the idea.
1. Cut meat finely. Start by cutting your fillet in half horizontally then vertically slice down to make matchstick sizes (step 1 & 2 photos)
2. Place in a bowl and add the wine,cornstarch,chicken stock,water,sesame oil.
3. Stir very well to get everything combined.
4. Slice prawns horizontally in half then cut into 1cm pieces. Place in a separate bowl
Cook the meat & mushrooms
1. Add 1 teaspoon Vegetable oil to a pan. Add mushrooms, ginger & garlic. fry until all soft.
2. Add the pork. Stir fry until cooked. Transfer to your mixing bowl and allow to cool.
Once the meat has cooled, add all the other ingredients together with the oyster sauce and combine very well.
Making the wraps.
These wraps are a standard size so we need to cut them into quarters otherwise your spring rolls will be huge! Follow the pictures step by step and you will get the idea. You will need a little bowl of water to wet the sides so they stick.
Make ahead tip : Once you have made the wraps, it is at this point you can freeze them and simply take out as many as you wish and cook as the instructions below.
TIP: Work with 2 or 3 squares at a time. cover the rest with a damp tea towel.
Put enough vegetable oil in a sauce pan, I prefer to fry 4-5 rolls at a time. When hot enough, add the rolls and cook until golden.
(The first roll on the left of the photo I had the oil too hot. If yours go brown too fast, turn the heat down a little. The second roll from the left is the correct colour!)
And there you have my Chinese Spring Rolls. these are always popular anytime, and great if you want to make ahead and store (uncooked) in the freezer. You can just get a few out and cook, from frozen and they will still be delicious. Please enjoy!
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