May 12, 2021

Spring Rolls 春捲

Spring Rolls,chinese,春捲,traditional,chicken,deep fried,炸春捲,recipe,egg rolls,pork,

I love, love, love spring rolls!  There's just something about getting to bite through all that lovely golden crunchiness into a juicy and yummilicious meat and veg filling that is soooo divine.  Whenever we go to have dim sum I always have to get a plate or two of the spring rolls and indulge myself, oh yeah, it's spring roll heaven time baby!  It's so hard to stop myself from being a pig and eating all the spring rolls...so, in the spirit of spring roll fever, I thought why not make spring rolls at home, lots of them, hot and delicious, so that all of us could pig out (instead of just me :).  These shatteringly crispy crunchy on the outside, juicy and deliciously savory meat and veg stuffed on the inside Chinese Spring Rolls 春捲 are super easy to make at home.  That way everyone can crunch their way through as many yummilicious spring rolls as their heart desires!

Spring Rolls,chinese,春捲,traditional,chicken,deep fried,炸春捲,recipe,egg rolls,pork,

These fabulous wheat flour spring roll wrappers are available pretty much in asian groceries everywhere in the freezer sections.  These are fantastic little wrappers, easy to use and they fry up oh so light and crunchy!  Just keep them in the freezer until you need them, giving them a half hour or so to defrost.  They come in small and large sizes.  We used the small 6 inch ones here. 

Tip:  These Chinese spring rolls use wheat flour based wrappers.  If you use rice flour based wrappers then the spring rolls will be more in the style of Vietnamese Spring Rolls (see our recipe for Deep Fry Vietnamese Spring Roll Cah Gio here).

Spring Rolls,chinese,春捲,traditional,chicken,deep fried,炸春捲,recipe,egg rolls,pork,

For our spring rolls we chose chicken, though pork is the usual meat filling.  To make it easier we used minced meat though one could certainly buy a portion of meat and shred it.  You could even go completely vegetarian by using only veggies or by using veggies with plant based mock meats.

We also decided on these traditional complementary ingredients: dried shitake mushrooms 冬菇, beans sprouts 大豆芽 and bamboo shoots 竹筍 (available canned).  Other ingredients that are great to add to the traditional spring roll are carrots, cloud ear fungus 木耳, glass noodles 粉絲 and cabbage.  The idea is to choose ingredients with different textures, some soft, some chewy, some crunchy and some slippery.  You can find all these ingredients at your local Chinese or asian grocery store.

If, however, you are one who likes to improvise, that's fine too.  The philosophy for the filling of spring rolls is a bit like that for Chinese fried rice, just throw in whatever tasty tidbits are found in your fridge while keeping in mind the concept of complementary textures. 

Spring Rolls,chinese,春捲,traditional,chicken,deep fried,炸春捲,recipe,egg rolls,pork,

The prep work for the filling of the spring roll is pretty straightforward.  If using shredded meat the meat is marinated.  If using minced meat the seasoning are added during cooking.  All other ingredients are shredded to matchsticks so that there's a bit of everything in each delicious bite.

Spring Rolls,chinese,春捲,traditional,chicken,deep fried,炸春捲,recipe,egg rolls,pork,

The meat goes in the wok first and is stir fried until mostly cooked before being removed.  The other ingredients are stir fried next until cooked and the veggies are limp whereupon the meat is added back in along with seasoning for a final stir.  The yummy filling is done and it's time to wrap these rolls!

Spring Rolls,chinese,春捲,traditional,chicken,deep fried,炸春捲,recipe,egg rolls,pork,

Spring Rolls,chinese,春捲,traditional,chicken,deep fried,炸春捲,recipe,egg rolls,pork,

Spring rolls are super easy to wrap.  The main point to remember is that you've got to get all the bits to stick together so that the wrapped roll stays tight and intact through out the frying.  The key to that is a simple glue that you apply while wrapping.  We used a glue made of egg white and a bit of water but you can also use a paste of water and cornstarch (1/2 tbsp of cornstarch and 1 1/2 tbsp water) or even a paste of flour and water (1 tbsp flour and 1 tbsp water).

To wrap place a good scoop of filling on a wrapper, a bit towards the bottom of the diamond.  Fold bottom corner of wrapper over the filling and use fingers to tuck the filling in nice and tight at the top and sides.

Spring Rolls,chinese,春捲,traditional,chicken,deep fried,炸春捲,recipe,egg rolls,pork

Spring Rolls,chinese,春捲,traditional,chicken,deep fried,炸春捲,recipe,egg rolls,pork

Adding glue as you go, fold one side and then the other over.  Again adding glue as you go, roll upwards one time, being sure to tuck and pull to ensure a snuggly wrapped spring roll.

Spring Rolls,chinese,春捲,traditional,chicken,deep fried,炸春捲,recipe,egg rolls,pork,

Again apply glue then roll up and the spring roll is all wrapped.  Isn't that a handy dandy morsel of finger food just ready to be cooked?

Spring Rolls,chinese,春捲,traditional,chicken,deep fried,炸春捲,recipe,egg rolls,pork,

By cooking we mean deep fried of course cuz that's the magic of spring rolls, that golden brown crunchy crispy exterior that crackles and shatters when you bite into it.  OMG sooo good!  And don't worry about these spring rolls being oily!  By using these wheat flour wraps and the gluing technique the oil stays completely out of the filling, only cooking the outer shell to golden crunchy perfection. I like to deep fry in a small deep pot, frying 2 spring rolls at a time.  It's takes longer but ends up using less oil overall which I like.  If you want them all done at the same time use a bigger pot.

It's surprising easy to deep fry these babies, just slip them in and keep an eye on them, flipping them over and over until both sides are golden brown.  The filling is cooked already so it's really just a matter of crisping up the outer shell. 


Now guys and girls...drumroll please...it's time to start the spring roll buffet!  Look at all those lovely spring rolls just waiting to be eaten!  Shatter your way through the wonderfully crisp crunchy crust to reach that moist and deliciously delightful mix of tastes and textures inside.   OMG I love spring rolls, nom nom nom, sooo good!  Try 'em out and see if you don't have as much fun with spring rolls as we did!

Spring Rolls,chinese,春捲,traditional,chicken,deep fried,炸春捲,recipe,egg rolls,pork,

Spring Rolls Recipe
(makes 15)  Prep time: 15 mins  Cook time: 10 mins if cooked in two batches

15 nos 6 inch spring roll wrappers
1/2 lb minced chicken, 230g  (or minced pork)
2 tsp soy sauce
1/2 cup finely shredded bamboo shoots
1 cup bean sprouts
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp cornstarch dissolved in 1 tbsp water

Spring Roll Glue
1 egg white
1 tbsp water 

Soak dried shitake mushrooms in hot water to cover for an hour or so until soft enough to slice.

Remove the spring rolls wrapper from freezer to defrost for at least 30 mins before using.

When softened enough shred mushrooms to matchsticks.  Shred bamboo shoots to matchsticks.  Wash bean sprouts and pluck off the root portion of each stalk.

Heat wok over med heat.  When hot add 1-2 tbsp oil and then minced chicken (or pork).  Stir and flip for 2 mins, using the spatula to separate the meat as much as possible.  Add in 1 tsp soy sauce and 1 tbsp oyster sauce, stir well and remove from wok.

Heat wok over med heat.  When hot add 1-2 tbsp oil.  Then add in mushrooms and bamboo shoots and stir fry 2 mins.  Add in bean sprouts, cover pot, turn heat low and cook another 2 mins, stirring occasionally, until bean sprouts limp.  Add meat back in, add salt, sugar, 1 tsp soy sauce, 1 tbsp oyster sauce and sesame oil and stir well.  Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.  Give the cornstarch and water a good stir and pour into wok, quickly stirring until the liquid in wok thickens and clings to the filling.  Shut heat off immediately and scoop into a dish.

To make the glue for gluing the wrapper together, mix egg white and water until egg white is broken and loose.  

Peel off one spring roll wrapper and cover the rest with a moist towel.  Lay wrapper on table in diamond shape.  Scoop around 2 heaping tbsp of filling and place on to spring roll a bit towards bottom of the diamond.  Fold bottom of wrapper over filling, using fingers to tuck filling in tighter on top and sides.  Smear a bit of glue on wrapper before folding left side over filling then repeat on right side.  Again smear a bit of glue on wrapper, then use fingers to pull the filling in snuggly before rolling roll up once.  Add more glue and roll all the way up.  Wrapping is done and ready for deep fry.  Repeat for all spring rolls.

Heat 2 inches of oil in pot.  To test oil readiness stick a dry chopstick in oil.  If the oil bubbles vigorously up around the chopstick the oil is ready.  Add in spring rolls, remembering to not overcrowd the pot.  Flip the spring rolls constantly until a deep golden brown.  Remove to a kitchen paper lined plate to drain.  Repeat until all spring rolls are done.  

Best eaten when hot, of course, but these spring rolls stay crunchy for a ridiculously long time.  Serve with worcestershire sauce as dip.  Enjoy spring roll fever!

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