Nearly everyone has tasted a Spring Roll, as they are served in dim sum houses and Chinese restaurants all over America: But a homemade Spring Roll is a rare treat. The roll should have a crackling crisp skin with a filling of fine shreds of mushroom, barbecued pork, celery, cabbage, and just a touch of bean sprouts. Most restaurant spring rolls are full of bamboo shoots, celery, and bean sprouts; have a chewy or soggy wrapper; and are seldom fried in fresh oil.
The wrapping dough is available in most Chinese markets, sold as spring roll wrappers, and should be as thin as possible. There are about ten wrappers per package, although most packages do not indicated how many they contain. Keep the dough covered with a slightly damp cloth as you work with it, to prevent it from drying out.
Makes about 10 spring rolls. Serves 6 to 8 as part of a multicourse lunch.
- 4 chinese dried mushrooms
- 8 ounces chinese barbecued pork, store-bought or homemade
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 cup finely shredded napa cabbage
- 1 cup mung bean sprouts
- 1 cup finely shredded celery
- 1 scallion, finely shredded
- 1/2 cup canned shredded bamboo shoots, rinsed and drained
- 1 1/2 teaspoons thin soy sauce
- 1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
- 1 package (4 ounces) spring roll wrappers
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 1 quart vegetableoil
DIRECTIONS In a medium bowl, soak the mushrooms in 1/4 cup cold water for 30 minutes, or until softened. Drain and squeeze dry (reserving the soaking liquid for use in soups). Cut off and discard stems and thinly slice the caps.
Cut the barbecued pork into fine juilienne pieces. Set aside.
Heat a 14-inch flat-bottomed wok or skillet over high heat until hot but not smoking. Add vegetable oil, barbecued pork, cabbage, bean sprouts, celery, scallion, bamboo shoots, and mushrooms, and stir-fry 2 to 3 minutes, or until the cabbage and celery are just limp. Add soy sauce and pepper, remove from heat, and allow to cool.
When mixture has cooled, place spring roll wrappers on work surface and loosely cover with a dampened cloth. In a small bowl, combine the flour and 4 teaspoons cold water. Place 1 wrapper on the cutting board with a corner facing you. Spread about 1/4 cup of the mixture near the bottom corner into a 3/4-by-2-inch rectangle. Fold the corner nearest you over the mixture. Roll the wrapper up once, the fold in the sides. Continue rolling the wrapper up tightly by, before you reach the end, lightly paint the far corner with the flour-water mixture. Continue rolling to seal the roll into a tight cylinder. Set aside seam-side down, and cover with a dampened cloth. Repeat with remaining wrappers.
In a 3-quart saucepan,. heat vegetable oil over high heat until oil temperature reaches 375°F. Carefully add 3 to 4 spring rolls at a time, and fry until golden brown, turning rolls, about 2 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and place on a plate lined with several thicknesses of paper towels. Carefully cut in half or in thirds. Repeat with remaining spring rolls. Set oil aside to cool before discarding. Serve immediately.