Crispy wrapper, savory filling with meat juices oozing out with every bite, a dipping sauce to heighten the flavors, fried pork spring rolls are street food, main course, appetizer and snack.
But learning to make them at home took time. To start with, traditional recipes include chopped water chestnuts which are a headache to find in fresh form. I’ve tried substituting canned but the texture and flavor just aren’t the same. Other cooks use jicama but I find it much too watery.
In time, I learned that the light crunch of the filling can be achieved by using wood ear mushrooms.
In time, I learned too that if you allow the filling to rest in the fridge overnight, it makes a world of difference.
Fried Pork Spring RollsRecipe by
For the pork and mushroom filling
- 400 grams ground pork with at least 20% fat
- 2 shallots finely chopped
- ¼ cup finely chopped wood ears mushrooms rehydrate if using dried
- ¼ cup finely chopped fresh skiitake mushrooms rehydrate if using dried
- 2 tablespoons dried shrimps soaked then finely chopped
- ¼ cup finely chopped carrot
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- ½ teaspoon grated ginger
- ground black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder
- 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
- ¼ teaspoon sesame seed oil
- 1 tablespoon corn starch plus more for dusting
To make the spring rolls
- 12 to 15 large spring roll wrappers
- 1 egg lightly beaten
- cooking oil for frying
- 1 cup sweet and sour sauce for dipping
Marinate the filling
- In a bowl, mix together the ground pork, chopped shallots, wood ears, shiitake, dried shrimps, carrot, garlic, ginger, a teaspoon of salt, a quarter teaspoon of pepper, the five-spice powder, oyster sauce and sesame seed oil.
- In a small bowl, mix one tablespoon starch with one tablespoon water until smooth. Pour into the ground pork and mix well.
- Cover the bowl and let the mixture rest in the fridge overnight.
Make the spring rolls
- Separate the spring roll wrappers.
- Place one to two tablespoons (depending on the size of your wrappers) of the pork and mushroom mixture on a spring roll wrapper.
- Wrap tightly and brush the edges with the beaten egg to seal.
- Lay the uncooked spring rolls on a tray and sprinkle lightly with corn starch. Turn the spring rolls over and sprinkle with more starch. Shake off the excess.
Fry the pork spring rolls
- In a wok or frying pan, heat enough cooking oil to reach a depth of at least two inches.
- Over medium-high heat, fry the spring rolls in batches, rolling them in the hot oil for even browning.
Serve the fried pork spring rolls
- Cut each spring roll into two to three portions. This will prevent steam buildup so that the spring rolls will stay crisp longer.
- Serve the fried pork spring rolls with sweet and sour sauce for dipping. They’re good as appetizer, snack or serve them as a main course with rice on the side.