Crispy Chinese Spring Rolls

For me, the best part of celebrating Lunar New Year is hands down the food (the lucky red pockets are a *very* close second). My extended family gets together at my grandma’s house and we all dress in red (a colour that signifies good luck—it’s supposed to scare off the bad spirits!) to celebrate. Every square inch of her dining table is always covered with the most delicious food. Think: heaping platters of noodles (symbolizing long life), nian gao sticky rice cakes (to bring prosperity), a whole steamed fish (for an abundance of riches), endless dumplings (to bring wealth!) and so many more lucky and delicious delights.

A personal favourite of mine are her spring rolls—they’re stuffed with the juiciest chicken and veggies, and they’re so perfectly crispy on the outside. They’re also a symbol of good fortune, because their shape is similar to a gold bar! Since I can’t celebrate with my family this year, I set out to recreate my grandma’s spring rolls for my own Lunar New Year feast. With my grandma’s guidance, I have adapted the recipe. Hope you enjoy!

Important recipe note: this recipe requires a food processor. You could spend hours finely chopping everything but I wouldn’t recommend it – it’s not worth the time or effort when a food processor could do all the work in 30 seconds!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 3 green onions
  • 1/2 head napa cabbage
  • 1″ ginger
  • 1 carrot
  • 4 tablespoons cooking oil, divided
  • 1 tablespoon soya sauce
  • 1 chicken bouillon cube
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 2 cups water
  • 15 spring roll wrappers (I buy the Spring Home 8.5″ Spring Roll Pastry from my local grocery store)

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. In a food processor, chop chicken and set aside. Then, also in food processor, chop green onions, ginger, cabbage and carrot.
  2. In a large pan or wok over medium heat, drizzle in 1 tablespoon of cooking oil. Add in chicken, and sauté until no longer pink. Remove from pan and set aside in a clean bowl.
  3. Then, into the same pan, add in the green onions, ginger, cabbage and carrot. Drizzle soya sauce over top, stirring to combine. Add in the flour and stir until all ingredients are lightly coated. Then, add bouillon cube and water, stirring occasionally until the mixture has cooked down and thickened (everything should be in a thick gravy).
  4. Add chicken back into pan, stirring to combine. Remove from heat and let cool.
  5. To wrap your spring rolls, lay a wrapper on a clean plate. Arrange a row of filling in the centre (about 3 tablespoons worth), fold in edges, and roll up to create your spring roll.
  6. In a large flat pan over medium-low heat, add in remaining cooking oil, generously coating bottom of the pan.
  7. Once the oil has heated up, gently lay your spring rolls in the pan. They will start to sizzle!
  8. Cook until golden, about 2-3 minutes, and then flip.
  9. Once both sides are golden, lay on a paper towel-lined plate until ready to serve.

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