Friday, March 1, 2024

Recipe: Spring Rolls

New Year: on a roll!

Many of us may have felt like rats in a maze in 2020; 2021 was a stubborn old ox of a year; and 2022 revealed that a certain tiger still had claws. Hopefully, 2023 (the Year of the Rabbit) will prove to be hopping good!

The Chinese New Year is all about starting fresh with hopes for prosperity, it’s time to spring forth and tuck into spring rolls. These little golden-brown fingers of goodness symbolise wealth, with their shape thought to be similar to that of gold bars.

Spring Rolls

  • 50 sheets spring roll pastry
  • 500g pork/chicken mince
  • Approx 250g cabbage, finely shredded
  • 2 small carrots, julienned
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 4 shitake mushrooms, sliced into strips
  • 1 stalk green onion, chopped
  • 2 tbsp cooking oil
  • 2 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 1 tbsp cornflour
  • White pepper
  • 60ml water
  • Meat marinade
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • A dash of rice wine
  • Ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp cornflour

Combine mince in a large bowl with meat marinade ingredients, stir well to coat meat then cover and refrigerate for at least 10 minutes, preferably overnight.

Heat a wok over to a high temperature and swirl in 1 tbsp of cooking oil. Fry meat until browned, then set aside. Reduce heat to a medium setting and add the second tablespoon of cooking oil into the wok. When the oil begins to sizzle, add green onion and garlic, and fry quickly for a few seconds, taking care not to burn the garlic.

Increase heat to medium-high and fry carrots and cabbage for a few minutes, or until carrots soften. Return mince to the wok, add oyster sauce and toss well for a few minutes. When all ingredients are combined, transfer the mixture to a large plate, leaving the juices behind in the wok, and set aside.

Separate pastry sheets carefully so they do not tear, place on a clean plate and cover with a clean, damp towel. Whisk cornflour and water in a small bowl – this will be used to seal the rolls.

After the filling has been left to cool for a few minutes, spoon 1 tablespoon of the mixture in a corner of a pastry sheet and gently roll over a few times before folding in the sides – it should resemble an envelope.

Continue to roll until a small triangle shaped piece of pastry remains, then dab the cornflour mixture onto the end with fingers or a spoon and complete rolling.

Heat oil to a high temperature in a deep wok and gently slide in the spring rolls a few at a time. Fry for a few minutes, or until golden brown, turning to ensure even colouring. A deep fryer can be used instead of a wok.

Leave cooked spring rolls to cool on a paper towel and serve with sweet chilli sauce, Sriracha Thai chilli sauce or plum sauce – or maybe even serve up all three to give guests options and make this New Year treat complete!

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