Lighter than egg rolls, spring rolls were traditionally eaten in China during the annual festival celebrating the return of spring.
INGREDIENTS | YIELDS 12 spring rolls
- ½ pound lean pork
- 2 teaspoons dark soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons Chinese rice wine or dry sherry
- Black pepper to taste
- 1 teaspoon plus
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch, divided
- 1 tablespoon water
- 2 tablespoons vegetable or peanut oil
- ½ teaspoon garlic
- ½ teaspoon ginger
- ½ cup shredded carrot
- 4 ounces fresh mushrooms, thinly sliced
- ½ teaspoon granulated sugar
- 1 red bell pepper, seeded and julienned
- 1 cup mung bean sprouts
- 1 tablespoon chicken broth
- 2 teaspoons light soy sauce
- 2 green onions, shredded
- 1 teaspoon Asian sesame oil
- 12 spring roll wrappers
Cut the pork into very thin strips. Place the strips of pork in a bowl and add the dark soy sauce, rice wine or sherry, black pepper, and 1 teaspoon cornstarch. Marinate the pork for 15 minutes.
In a small bowl, combine 2 tablespoons cornstarch with the water to make a paste. Set aside.
Heat a wok or skillet over medium-high heat until it is nearly smoking. Add the oil. When the oil is hot, add the garlic and ginger. Stir-fry for 10 seconds, then add the pork. Stir-fry the pork until it is no longer pink and is nearly cooked through.
Push the pork to the sides of the wok or skillet and add the carrot and mushrooms in the middle. Stir-fry for a minute, stirring in the sugar, then add the red bell pepper and mung bean sprouts. Stir-fry for another minute, stirring in the chicken broth and soy sauce. Stir in the green onions.
Remove the filling from the heat and stir in the sesame oil. Allow the filling to cool briefly.
To fill the Spring Rolls, lay a wrapper on a plate in front of you. Place a tablespoon of filling in the middle of the wrapper. Dip your finger in the cornstarch paste and run it along the edges of the wrapper. Roll up the wrapper and seal in the edges.
Fill a deep-fat fryer, wok, or heavy deep-sided skillet with enough oil to cover the rolls and heat to 375°F. Carefully slide the rolls into the hot oil, a few at a time, and deep-fry until they are golden brown and crispy (about 2 to 4 minutes). Remove the rolls with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Don't stack the rolls before or after cooking.