An essential dish on any Chinese New Year table, fried spring rolls resemble gold bars, and so it is said that eating them during the Lunar New Year festivities will bless you with wealth and prosperity for the year to come.
Crunchy spring rolls aren’t just reserved for the New Year’s feast, however. We can’t resist ordering a plate at yum cha, as part of a Chinese banquet, or even at our local Thai or Vietnamese restaurant. While the fillings may differ between cuisines and families, the method remains the same.
1. Cook your chosen filling and allow to cool.
2. Allow your frozen spring roll wrappers to thaw. Keep the wrappers covered with a tea towel while you work.
3. Place one wrapper on the bench with a corner facing you.
4. Place 2 tablespoons filling at the bottom end of the wrapper, just above the corner. Bring the corner up and over the filling to cover.
5. Roll up firmly to enclose the filling, folding in the sides as you go.
6. Brush the top corner with cold water, then press firmly to seal.
7. Cover while you repeat with the remaining ingredients, then deep-fry for 3-4 minutes, following the tips below.
1. Heat sunflower oil in a heavy-based saucepan or wok over medium-high heat.
2. Bring the oil to 180°C – you can test this on a kitchen thermometer, or use a cube of bread: the bread will turn golden in 30 seconds when the oil is hot enough.
3. Use a slotted spoon or metal strainer to lower the foods into the oil, taking care as ingredients with a lot of moisture in them may spit.
4. Carefully turn halfway through the cooking time to ensure the food is cooked through evenly and golden on all sides.
5. Remove with the slotted spoon or strainer and drain on paper towel.
Start with a base of stir-fried cabbage, carrot, ginger and garlic, then add softened vermicelli noodles, tofu and beansprouts for texture, and oyster sauce for flavour. If desired, add pork or chicken mince when stir-frying the vegetables.
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