The ubiquitous spring rolls (known in the US as egg rolls because the wrappers are made with eggs) Westerners know as Chinese food have little to do with eggs and even less with the original Chinese dish. Instead of the leaden Westernized Chinese versions, the spring rolls of China are light, delicate and delectable crispy morsels. In China, very little meat is used in the filling, which consists mostly of stir-fried, fresh, seasonal vegetables evoking the theme of spring – hence their name. The most famous spring rolls are from Shanghai, but equally good are the ones from southern China. In the West, unskilled cooks made a parody of this popular delicacy. Here I offer the two versions: the first, based on the Westernized version but drastically updated; the other, the genuine version from China. Both are delicious served with Sweet-and-sour Dipping Sauce.
© 1998 Ken Hom. All rights reserved.