NON-HALAL: The crispiest and most delicious spring rolls are those filled with vegetables and deep-fried to golden perfection. This recipe is easy, authentic and 100% homemade.
There are many recipes and almost every country in Asia has its own version of this iconic appetiser.
In the Philippines, they are called lumpia and come in smaller packages. Vietnamese spring rolls are called Cha Gio. They are made with rice paper and filled with ground pork and cellophane noodles.
There are also fresh spring rolls with no deep-frying involved, for example: Popiah in Malaysia and Summer Rolls.
There are two types of wrappers in the market: thin wrapper and thick wrapper.
The thin wrappers are made of wheat flour, water, oil and salt. They are packaged and frozen. This wrapper produces crispy results after deep-frying.
The thick wrappers are pale yellow in colour. They are specifically made for egg rolls, which are thicker rolls popular in Chinese-American restaurants.
Here’s a guide to get the best “Chinese restaurant-quality” results:
- Use a vegetable with lower moisture content, for example cabbage. This will ensure that the filling is not soggy.
- Use thin wrappers to make crispy rolls. Avoid egg roll wrappers at all cost.
- For the best flavours, use pork and shrimp with shredded cabbage for the filling.
- 170 g pork butt, cut into thin strips
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 170 g cabbage, sliced thinly
- 2 tablespoons Chopped scallions
- 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1/4 teaspoon sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt or to taste
- 3 dashes ground white pepper
- 1 packet frozen spring roll wrappers, thaw to room temperature
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- To make the filling, heat the oil in a skillet over high heat.
- Add the pork and stir-fry until the surface turns white.
- Add the cabbage, stir a few times before adding all the “seasoning” ingredients.
- The filling is ready when the cabbage becomes somewhat dry and not wet. A wet filling will make the spring rolls soggy and not crispy.
- Transfer the filling to a big bowl, let cool.
How to wrap spring rolls:
- To wrap a spring roll, place a piece of spring roll wrapper on a flat surface.
- Spread about two tablespoons of the filling lengthwise onto the centre of the wrapper.
- DO NOT OVERFILL.
- Using a small brush or your index finger, dab the beaten egg around the outer edges of the wrapper.
- Fold the bottom part of the wrapper over the filling.
- Fold the left and right sides of the wrapper over the filling.
- Make sure the filling is packed tightly. Roll the spring roll over until it reaches the other end of the wrapper.
- Make sure the spring roll is sealed tight and there is no leakage. Repeat the steps until all the filling is used up.
- Heat 5-7 cm of oil in a wok or a small saucepan to 180°C for deep-frying.
- Gently drop the spring rolls into the oil and deep-fry in batches.
- Deep-fry until golden brown.
- Remove the spring rolls using a strainer or a slotted spoon, draining excess oil on a plate lined with paper towels. Serve immediately.
- Serve with a mild chilli sauce or sweet chilli sauce as a dipping.
This article first appeared in Rasa Malaysia.
Low Bee Yinn is a food blogger and cookbook author.