On Wednesday Nicole and a few students celebrated Chinese New year in the kitchen and made a traditional dish: Spring rolls
Everyone loves the cooking activities and many students signed up for this one.
We used a recipe from the webpage RecipeTinEats.
What are Spring rolls?
Spring rolls, also named ‘spring pancakes’ or ‘thin pancakes’, are a traditional Chinese Chinese New Year food. They are popular around the world, but especially in regions south of the Yangtze River.
They are usually eaten during the Spring Festival in China, hence the name. Eating spring rolls is a way to welcome the arrival of spring. The golden cylindrical-shaped rolls represent gold bars — which symbolize wealth.
According to records, before the Tang Dynasty (618 – 907), everyone made a kind of thin pancake with flour on the day of ‘the Beginning of Spring’. People put them in a dish and added special vegetables and fruits. This was called the ‘spring dish’. It was sent to relatives and friends as a spring present and blessing.
Spring Rolls Filling
There’s really no definitive rules about what goes inside Spring Rolls. But typically, you’ll find a mix of some kind of meat (usually ground pork / mince) with finely chopped or shredded vegetables, plus seasoning.
If you add some mushrooms to the mix it adds some extra umami (savoury flavour)
- 1 tbsp oil
- 2 garlic cloves , finely chopped or minced
- 400 g / 13 oz pork mince (ground pork), or chicken or turkey
- 6 dried shiitake mushrooms soaked in boiling water OR 8 fresh (Note 1)
- 1 1/2 cups shredded carrot (1 large or 2 small)
- 1 1/2 cups (heaped) bean sprouts
- 1 1/2 cups (packed) shredded green cabbage (any type is fine)
- 1 tsp cornflour / cornstarch
- 1 1/2 tbsp Oyster Sauce
- 2 tsp soy sauce (light or all purpose is best, dark is also ok)
- 15 – 20 spring roll wrappers, defrosted (21.5 cm / 8” squares) OR 35 – 40 small spring roll wrappers (Note 2), or Egg Roll wrappers to make Egg Rolls (Note 6)
- 2 tsp cornflour (for sealing rolls
- 1 tbsp water (for sealing rolls)
- Oil for frying (I use vegetable) OR oil spray for baking
SWEET AND SOUR SAUCE (MAKES ~ 2/3 CUP):
- 2 tsp cornflour/ cornstarch
- 2 tbsp water
- ½ cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/3 cup brown sugar (adjust to taste)
- 2 tbsp tomato ketchup
- 2 tsp soy sauce
How to make them:
Heat oil in a skillet or wok over high heat. Add garlic, stir quickly, then add pork. Cook, breaking it up as you go, until it turns white.
Add carrot, bean sprouts, cabbage and mushrooms. Cook for 3 minutes or until vegetables are wilted. Add cornflour, soy sauce and Oyster sauce, cook for 1 minute until the liquid is gone. The Filling should not be watery, it should be kind of sticky (watery filling = soggy spring rolls = ? ).
Cool Filling (super speedy: spread on tray, refrigerate 5 minutes). (Hot filling = spring rolls burst open = ? )
Mix corn flour and water in a small bowl (for sealing the rolls).
Carefully peel off one spring roll wrapper, keep the others covered under a damp tea towel.
Place the wrapper in a diamond position. Place a very heaped dessert spoon of filling on the bottom. Roll up halfway, fold sides in, then finish rolling. Use cornflour sludge to seal. .
Pour enough oil in a wok or large saucepan so it is double the height of the spring rolls. Heat on medium high until hot – stick a bamboo chopstick or wooden spoon handle in, if rapid bubbles appear, then it’s hot enough.
Carefully place spring rolls in the oil (about 4 – 5 at a time) and cook, turning occasionally, until deep golden – around 1 1/2 – 2 minutes. Transfer to paper towels to drain.
Repeat with remaining spring rolls. Serve while hot with Sweet and Sour Sauce!
SWEET AND SOUR SAUCE:
Combine ingredients in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to simmer, stirring regularly, then simmer until it thickens to taste (about 3 – 5 minutes).
The students had fun and the Spring rolls very yummy 🙂
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