Spring Rolls

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This is a perennially popular snack item sold at many food stalls and dim sum restaurants. Controlling the heat during deep-frying is important to ensure that the spring rolls are fried to an even golden brown colour. The spring rolls will darken slightly as they cool, so do not over-fry them. Spring rolls are best enjoyed freshly deep-fried, while still hot and crispy.

Ingredients

  • Pork 175 g ( oz), sliced into thin shreds
  • Light soy sauce 2 tsp
  • Shaoxing rice wine 2 tsp
  • Sugar ½ tsp
  • Dried shiitake mushrooms 4
  • Cornflour (cornstarch) 1 Tbsp
  • Cooking oil as needed for frying and deep-frying
  • Minced ginger 2 tsp
  • Minced garlic 2 tsp
  • Yam bean 150 g (5⅓ oz), peeled and finely shredded
  • Carrot 150 g (5⅓ oz), peeled and finely shredded
  • Cooked bamboo shoots 100 g ( oz), finely shredded
  • Bean sprouts 55 g (2 oz), tails trimmed, rinsed with boiling water and drained
  • Sesame oil 1 tsp
  • Salt to taste
  • Ground white pepper to taste
  • Large square spring roll skins, about 20-cm (8-in) wide 12–14 skins
  • Plain (all-purpose) flour 1 Tbsp, dissolved in 1 Tbsp water

Method

  1. Combine pork with soy sauce, rice wine and sugar. Mix well, cover and set aside.
  2. Soak dried mushrooms in warm water until softened, then drain, reserving soaking water. Remove mushroom stems and slice caps very thinly.
  3. Mix 3 Tbsp soaking water with cornflour and set aside.
  4. Heat 1 Tbsp oil in a wok over medium-high heat. Add ginger and garlic and stir-fry for 30 seconds, then add marinated pork. Fry for 30 seconds, then add mushrooms and yam bean and fry for 2 minutes.
  5. Add carrot and bamboo shoots and stir-fry for 1 minute, then stir in cornflour slurry and stir-fry for 15 seconds. Add bean sprouts and sesame oil and stir-fry for 45 seconds until bean sprouts are barely wilted. Transfer filling to a tray, spread it out and let it cool completely. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper as necessary.
  6. Lay a spring roll wrapper on a flat surface, one corner pointing towards you. Place about 2 tablespoons of filling on the lower half of the wrapper, shaping it into a neat log. Roll it up one turn, starting from the nearest corner, then fold the left and right corners in. Smear some flour slurry on the far corner, then roll all the way up, pressing to seal. Do not wrap the spring roll too tightly, or it may burst during frying. Make all spring rolls likewise.
  7. Place spring rolls on a tray and chill in the freezer for 20–30 minutes. This will help them to retain their shape during frying.
  8. Heat oil for deep-frying in a wok over medium-high heat until a light haze forms above it (about 165°C–170°C / 330°F–340°F). Gently lower the spring rolls one by one into the oil. They should start to bubble immediately, sinking at first and then rising to the surface after about 1 minute. Fry for 3–4 minutes per batch, until golden brown. Drain well on paper towels. Serve hot.