Kung Hei Fat Choi! 🧧 Happy Lunar New Year!
I have always loved Chinese food, and have been fortunate to live in Hong Kong where we enjoyed the traditions and all of the special food surrounding the Chinese New Year celebrations. This year Chinese New Year begins on February 1st. The first three days have important traditions of family gatherings and gift-giving, with some people celebrating with the culmination of the Lantern Festival on Feb 15, 2022. It is fun to learn the culture surrounding these traditions.
Spring Rolls are a favorite dish, traditionally served on the first day of Chinese New Year, and year-round at yum cha/dim sum. Generally the shape and color remind us of gold bars, which are believed to bring wealth and prosperity to your home and business. I enjoyed reading Amanda Xi’s explanation of the culture surrounding the spring roll. There is a detailed comparison of the wide variety of fillings and sizes of spring rolls written by Cindy on China Highlights.
In the US the more commonly found variation is the larger egg roll, which we loved for years, and still enjoy. Spring roll wrappers are flexible in texture and self-seal, whereas egg roll wrappers are more like pasta dough, need an egg wash to seal the edges, and can hold filling that has more texture and volume. Over the years I have melded many recipes together for my fillings, and our family prefers the smaller spring roll size. Spring rolls can easily be made vegan by adding mushrooms and omitting the pork. Many recipes call for additional ingredients such as shrimp.
Sheri’s Spring Rolls
7” Santoku Knife with Sheath
Set of 3 Stainless Steel Bowls (useful to cool hot food)
Stainless Steel Measuring Spoons
Stainless Steel measuring cups
Silicone Rolling Mat
10x15” Non-Stick Baking Sheet
damp cloth to cover wrappers
1/2 pound ground pork (* vegetarian option noted below)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 a medium head of cabbage, sliced thin and chopped
1 carrot, grated
4 ounces bamboo shoots, julienned
1/2 inch ginger root, minced finely
2 teaspoons Shao Xing Rice Wine
1 teaspoon Light Soy Sauce
1/2 teaspoon five-spice powder
Salt, white pepper
2 green onions, sliced thin
1 pack spring roll wrappers**
Up to 1/4 cup vegetable oil for frying.
Prepare all the vegetables.
In a skillet over medium heat lightly brown ground pork* and minced garlic. Remove into a heatproof bowl to cool.
In the same skillet, over medium heat, add 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, cabbage, carrots, bamboo shoots, and ginger then cook until the cabbage begins to soften.
Add rice wine, soy sauce, five-spice powder, and seasonings. Continue cooking until the cabbage is soft but not overcooked.
Add the vegetables to the pork, and mix well. Taste the mixture and adjust seasonings.
When cool set up your rolling station - filling, open wrappers covered with damp cloth, tablespoon,
Orient a wrapper on the work surface in a diamond, add 1 1/2 tablespoons of filling just below the middle of the wrapper, fold the lower triangle over the filling, then the left and right points over the filling. Taper the fold lines slightly so that the roll will look neat.
Lay the rolled spring roll on a tray with the fold side down and continue until all the filling is wrapped.
Heat the skillet over medium heat, add 1 Tablespoon, or just enough oil to coat 1/2 of the spring rolls. Brown on all sides. You can shallow fry or deep fry for a richer color. Repeat.
Serve warm with soy sauce with chili oil, sweet and sour sauce, and or mustard sauce.
We hope you try this recipe, and tag us on social media!
Sending warm wishes to your home,
from the husMait home kitchen.
*Vegetarian option: 1/2 pound of brown or Portobello mushrooms, plus a few rehydrated dry mushrooms.
**If you cannot find spring roll wrappers you can substitute Egg Roll wrappers.
If you use egg roll wrappers you will need egg wash to seal the edges.
Check out this source for lots of information on Chinese New Year.