Kitchen Tips

On a Roll: Fresh Ideas for Chinese Spring Rolls

A must-order at yum cha and your local Chinese restaurant, spring rolls have been part of the Australian dining landscape for decades. The ultimate crowd-pleaser, deep-fried Chinese spring rolls may not be sophisticated, but they sure hit the spot.

Enjoyed during the Spring Festival in China, spring rolls are said to resemble gold bars, symbolising wealth for the New Year. While we can’t promise these spring rolls will make you rich, we can guarantee they will satisfy you and your family. To celebrate spring, we’re giving the good old spring roll a bit of a spring clean, with ideas for both authentic and inventive fillings. Ready, set, roll.

The classic spring roll

As any dim sum devotee can attest, the filling combinations in your classic spring roll are almost limitless. Tried-and- tested combinations include pork, prawn or chicken with vegetables; a vegetarian version with meaty mushrooms, carrot, cabbage and the crunch of water chestnuts; and indulgent options such as shredded duck spring rolls with plum sauce.

The light idea

While the classic spring roll is generally deep-fried, there are healthier options. This Chinese Fusion recipe for chicken and char siu rolls uses flaky filo pastry and bakes the spring rolls in the oven for a flavour-packed snack or finger food. Serve with minted yoghurt or the classic plum sauce.

chicken and charsiu rolls recipe

The Thai twist

For a Thai take on the classic Chinese spring roll, why not try these golden prawn rolls. Filled with chicken and prawns and wrapped in spring roll wrappers, these slender spring rolls make a great canape, served with sweet chilli sauce for dipping.

Tips for deep-frying

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.

For more spring recipe ideas, find light meal ideas for spring, or read our spring seasonal produce guide.

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