No person in the world has more courage than the person who can stop after eating one spring roll.
A spring roll is a traditional Chinese snack, made with a round, thin dough sheet with fillings rolled inside and deep fried in oil. Spring rolls have a long history in China. It is said that the pastry appeared way back in the Eastern Jin Dynasty, when people would make thin cakes with flour and eat them with vegetables on the day of Beginning of Spring.
The cakes were called “spring dish” at that time. In the Tang and Song Dynasties, the cakes were all the rage. And the custom was even featured in the poems by the great poets Du Fu and Lu You. In the Tang Dynasty, Spring Dish was also known as “the Five-Spice Dish”, because five hot and spicy ingredients like spring onion and garlic were added in the fillings.
Spring rolls are usually eaten during the Spring Festival in China, hence the name. Later, Spring Dishes and Five-Spice Dishes evolved into spring cakes. In the Ming and Qing Dynasties, there was a custom of “biting spring”, which means welcoming spring by eating spring cakes.
The practice was believed to ward off disaster and evil. Along with ever improving cooking skills, spring cakes evolved into spring rolls, which were smaller in size. Spring rolls were included in imperial court snacks. Today, the making of spring rolls usually involves four steps: dough sheet making, fillings preparing, wrapping and deep frying.
There are numerous types of fillings, including shredded pork with chives, shepherd's purses and sweetened bean paste etc. Spring rolls are ready when they are golden in color and come on top of the oil after being fried. When served, the rolls taste better if dipped in sauces. The snacks are crisp outside and fresh inside, really delicious.
Spring rolls vary slightly from places to places, with well known types being Shanghai Spring Roll and Fuzhou Spring Rolls.
Home made spring roll wraps
To make spring roll wrapper.
1/ Mix 500gm plain flour with 1 tbsp tapioca flour, 1 tsp salt and 2 1/4 cup water in a mixing bowl to form into lumpy batter.
2/ Then use your hand to lift up the batter and slam it several times, roughly about 5 mins until it hold together in robe.
3/ Cover with cling wrap and keep in the fridge over night or minimum 6 to 8 hours.
4/ Remove from fridge and beat the batter with food processor or mixer using dough hook for 3 to 4 mins.
5/ The fun part of cooking the wrap........it's tedious but fun.
6/ Use an 8 inch non stick pan, heat up the pan using low medium heat. Put a drop of oil and brush it round the pan. Reduce the heat to low.
7/ Let's play with the dough. Use your hand lift up a lump of dough and bounce it a little. The dough is very soft. Keep the dough cold for easier handling.
8/ Drop the lump of dough in the middle of the pan and smear it quickly clockwise or anticlockwise depending whether you're right or left handed. Smear as thin as possible. Pull up the balance dough quickly.
Be careful, don't burn your hand while smearing the dough.
9/ The spring roll wrap cook fairly fast, when you see the edge of the crepe start to curl up, lift up the crepe with your other hand. Made 16 to 20 pieces depend on thickness of the wrap.
10/ Cover the wraps with a damp tea towel.
Note: To make paper thin spring roll wrap require skill and practicing. For this batch the wraps is still not to my expectation, will give it a try again to get a thinner wrap.
Let's prepare the spring roll filling.
1 medium size turnip
1 small carrot - cut julienne
50gm french beans - dice
2 tbsp dried prawns
1 tbsp cooking oil
3 cloves garlic - chop
1 tbsp oyster sauce
1/4 tsp black sauce ( optional )
1 tbsp sugar or to taste
Salt and pepper to taste
Enough water to cook the turnip
1/ Peel off the turnip skin, wash and pat dry. Slice thinly and cut julienne.
2/ Wash the dried prawn and soak for 15 mins. Rinse and drain dry.
3/ Heat up the wok, add oil and stir fry garlic until fragrant and slightly brown. Add the dried prawn and stir fry for 1 min.
4/ Add carrot, french beans and turnip, stir fry for 2 mins. Add about 1/2 bowl of water and let it boil.
5/ Add oyster sauce, black sauce, sugar, salt and pepper to taste. Shake a generous amount of pepper of enhance the turnip taste.
6/ Cook for about 20 to 25 mins.
7/ Keep aside till ready to use.
1 tsp sugar
2 tsp soya sauce
1/4 tsp pepper
few drop of sesame oil
1/4 tsp corn flour
1 clove garlic
1/2 tbsp oil
1/ Peel the shrimp shell, rinse and drain dry.
2/ Season with sugar, soya sauce, pepper, sesame oil, corn flour and pepper.
3/ Heat up the wok, add cooking oil and stir fry the garlic until fragrant.
4/ Add shrimp and stir fry until cook. Dish up and keep aside.
Beat 2 chicken eggs, add 1/2 tsp salt, a dash of pepper and sesame oil. Fry into thin egg omelet. Cut into thin strips.
Dice 2 pieces of bean curds and deep fry until golden brown.
Peel the cucumber skin and remove the seed. Cut julienne.
Remove the bean sprout tail and rinse, you need approximate 100gm. Bring 1/2 pot of water to boil, put in the bean sprout and remove from heat. Give a quick stir and drain off the hot water. Do not over cook the bean sprout or else it turn soggy.
1 bunch of lettuce and coriander leaves. Rinse and drain dry.
Sweet sauce. Mix 1 tbsp hoisin sauce with 1/2 tbsp hot water. Mix well.
1/ Blend 100gm red chilli with 5 clove of garlic, 1/2 tsp salt and 1/2 cup water. Bring to simmering boil.
2/ Mix corn flour with water, pour into the chilli sauce and mix well. Adjust the chilli sauce consistency according to your preference. Remove from heat.
Stir fry 100gm peanuts in non stick pan until cook, remove the husks and pound coarsely.
Now let's start the rolling.......
1/ Lay one piece of spring roll pastry on the plate and brush 1/2 tsp sweet sauce and chilli sauce.
Note: This spring roll wrap tear easily.
2/ Put one leave of lettuce and top with 2 tsp of cooked turnip starting at 1/3 of the wrap.
3/ Add a small amount of bean sprout.
4/ Top with few strips of egg omelet.
5/ Top with 3 pieces of shrimp.
6/ Sprinkle fried shallots and 1 tsp of crushed peanuts.
7/ Fold the bottom of the wrap up over the filling to encase the filling together..
8/ Tuck in both sides and roll through making sure that you keep all filling together and tight.
9/ Tuck and roll neatly.
10/ Do not over stuff your spring rolls or else, the wrap will burst.
The first roll is always extremely huge cos you tend to over stuff it upon looking at all the laid out ingredients.
There are various type of wraps to make spring rolls.
120gm plain flour
1 1/2 cup water
1 tsp salt
1/ Beat the eggs lightly and mix with salt and water.
2/ Stir in the flour and mix well until smooth.
3/ Grease a 8in non stick pan lightly with a drop of cooking oil.
4/ Scoop approximate 3 tbsp of batter and cook the pastry for 2 to 3 mins.
No need to flip over the pastry.
5/ Remove from heat and cover the egg wrap with tea towel till ready to use.
While waiting for your turn to wrap the spring roll, try this finger licking good Coconut Glazed Chicken Wings.
6 chicken wings
3/4 cup thick coconut milk
1 tbsp soya sauce
2 tsp salt
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp pepper
1 tbsp lemon juice
1/ Marinate the chicken wings with coconut milk, soya sauce, salt, brown sugar, pepper and lemon juice for 4 to 6 hours.
2/ Grill the chicken wings using open fire or hot coals for 6 to 8 minutes, flipping and basting the wings with the remaining marinate sauce several times until the chicken wings is cook.
Be a hit among your relatives and friends...be different from the usual BBQ parties, throw a 'spring roll party' at home, in your garden...where the ingredients are laid out and guests make their own proportions to their own personal liking. It'll be fun.
Have a nice week ahead.