The sweet and sour sauce can he made a day in advance, chilled and brought to room temperature before serving. Wrappers are now widely available, making this treat even easier to prepare. There are two types of wrappers. The Cantonese-style uses a smooth noodle-type dough and results in a heavier wrapper, while the Shanghai-style, which I prefer, is more like rice paper, translucent and lighter.
If frozen, thaw the spring roll skins thoroughly. Soak the fungus or mushrooms in warm water for 20 minutes. If using the fungus, finely shred, cutting off and discarding any hard ends. If using the Chinese mushrooms, squeeze out the excess liquid. Remove and discard the stems and finely chop the caps. Soak the noodles in a large bowl of warm water for 15 minutes. When soft, drain and discard the water. Cut into
Put the prawns and pork in a large bowl, add salt and pepper and mix well. Then add the rest of the ingredients, noodles and fungus or mushrooms and stir them well into the prawn and pork mixture. Wrap the bowl with cling film and chill it for at least 20 minutes.
Place all the ingredients for the sweet and sour sauce, except the cornflour mixture and chilli in a pan. Bring to the boil, stir in the cornflour mixture and cook for 1 minute. Stir in the chilli flakes. Allow to cool and set aside.
When you are ready to stuff the wontons, put
Heat a wok over high heat. Add the oil and, when it is moderately hot, add a handful of dumplings and deep-fry for 3 minutes until golden and crispy. If the oil get too hot, turn it down slightly. Drain on kitchen paper and fry the remaining dumplings. Serve immediately with the sweet and sour sauce.
© 1996 Ken Hom. All rights reserved.