Difficulty level Moderate

YIELD 10 spring rolls

This is part of a series about making your own takeout food.

I've given you a couple of dishes to make for a Chinese banquet for the Lunar New Year, and I thought I'd add the very popular takeout spring roll. I'm going to give you a recipe for vegetarian spring rolls, but if you want you could add a bit of cooked chopped pork, chicken, or shrimp.

Yesterday I heard a local caterer of Chinese descent talking on the radio about her New Year banquet, and she said you have to cook enough to have leftovers to symbolize a prosperous coming year. With that in mind, you can always serve this wonderful General Tso's Chicken, in addition to the noodles and bean curd that I've already talked about.Don't let making spring rolls intimidate you, they really aren't that hard. You can buy packages of spring roll wrappers in most grocery stores now. Once you've opened the package, keep a damp cloth over them, otherwise they will dry out and you won't be able to wrap them. Any wrappers you have left over can be frozen. I also use them to make stuffed Chinese dumplings or ravioli.

Make the filling earlier in the day to give yourself some time to let it sit. If the filling is too wet, the spring rolls will burst in the oil. Once you are ready to fry them, heat the oil to a moderate heat. Too much heat, and the the surface of the wrapper will bubble. If you want to you can give them a light frying, then drain them and fry them again just before you are ready to serve them.

INGREDIENTS

10 spring roll wrappers
Oil for frying
1 egg, beaten
For filling
1 cup bean sprouts
1/4 cup chopped mushrooms
1/4 finely shredded celery
1/2 cup finely shredded carrot
1/2 cup shredded spring onions
1 oz cellophane noodles, soaked for 30 minutes , drained and cut into 4" lengths
For seasoning
1/2 tsp salt
Pepper to taste
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp sesame oil
2 tsp light soy sauce
1 tsp oyster sauce
1 tbsp cornstarch mixed with 2 tbsp water
not the won ton wrappers which are small(optional)

PREPARATION:

  1. Heat wok and add il and when smoking stir fry all of the filling ingredients for a couple of minutes.
  2. Stir in the seasoning ingredients and continue to cook until mixture is thickened. Remove to a bowl and allow to cool for at least 4 hours before wrapping.
  3. To make the spring rolls place a wrapper on a work surface with a corner facing you. Place about 1 1/2 tbsp of filling across the centre. Wrap the corner firmly over the filling, then tuck in the two side pieces to close the ends, and then continue to wrap. Seal the edge with a bit of the beaten egg. Don't overfill them or they will come open in the frying. Repeat until all of the wrappers are filled.
  4. Deep fry in moderately hot oil for 2-3 minutes until golden brown and crisp. Drain well and serve hot.

    From Tiny Delights: Cooking Dim Sum and Simple Chinese Dishes by Elizabeth Chong (1997, Macmillan)

This recipe appears in: Asian

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