Chinese new year celebrates Spring, so it’s no wonder that spring rolls (also known as egg rolls/春卷) are popularly served on the reunion dinner table. I love spring rolls any time of the year. I made extras to keep in the freezer, so that I can deep fry them whenever needed.
It’s great to make your own spring rolls because the oil is clean (we don’t re-use oil until it has turned dark), and you can use any filling you like (I dislike bean sprouts so I made a special batch without bean sprouts, just for me). Even though my version do not come with meat, you can add minced meat or chopped shrimp in the filling. The possibilities are endless. The ingredients are very accessible and cheap too.
Before you check out the recipe on the next page, here’s a step-by-step on how to fold the spring rolls.
At the start of preparing the spring rolls, take out the frozen wrappers and allow to thaw at room temperature. Alternatively, transfer from freezer to fridge the night before. While folding the spring rolls, cover the wrappers with a damp cloth to prevent them from drying out and hardening.
Serves:25 spring rolls
Prep Time:40 mins
Cook Time:20 mins
20g dried shrimp soaked in 50ml hot water until softened, soaking water reserved
2 tbsp cooking oil
5 cloves garlic minced
8 dried Chinese shiitake mushrooms soaked in 200ml hot water until softened; squeeze out excess liquid from caps, discard stalks and slice mushroom cap thinly; soaking water reserved
1/2 turnip (known locally as jicama or "mang kwang", NOT daikon/white radish) (roughly 300 grams) peeled and sliced to thin matchsticks
200 grams cabbage (roughly 1/4 head cabbage) finely shredded
1 carrot (roughly 80 grams) peeled and finely julienned using a zig zag peeler
Pat dry dried shrimps on paper towel. Chop finely.
Heat oil in wok, stir fry dried shrimps for a minute or two, until aromatic. Add garlic and stir fry for 30 seconds.
Add mushrooms, turnips and half of the soaking liquid. Stir fry until the turnip have just softened and turned translucent.
Add cabbage, carrots, remaining soaking liquid and seasoning (A). Stir fry until the vegetables are soft and cooked. Add bean sprouts and briefly stir fry until they are just wilted.
Transfer contents of the wok to 2 large plates and allow to cool completely at room temperature before folding the spring rolls.
To wrap the spring rolls, peel a piece of wrapper and place it diagonally (diamond shape) facing you on the work surface. Place one heaped tablespoon of filling at the bottom edge and start rolling. Fold in the two sides and continue rolling. Finish the spring roll by securing the top edge with egg white. Repeat wrapping until all the filling is used up.
Heat vegetable oil in a wok or pot to 180°C (356°F). Deep fry spring rolls, in batches (do not overcrowd the wok) until lightly golden on both sides. Drain on paper towels before serving.
Noob Cook Tip
Wrap spring rolls separated individually using cling wrap or parchment paper, then seal them in a ziplock bag. To cook, thaw at room temperature for 20-30 minutes (not too long) and deep fry as usual.