Happy Year of the Pig
The Spring Festival is a time of joy and celebration, whether you’re celebrating in China or an expat around the world, it’s a special time of year. Here at SQ Professional, we hope all of those who are celebrating may welcome the New Year with a smile, and that it brings you many good times and much happiness.
To celebrate the Chinese New Year we wanted to share a delicious recipe for crispy chicken and vegetable spring rolls to share with your friends and family. Spring rolls in China are a festive dish that people cook and enjoy on the eve of Spring. They are found in many parts of China, but they are most popular in the south. The deep fried versions are very popular in the UK, however, throughout China they can also be steamed or baked in varying shapes and sizes.
Spring rolls are an ancient traditional food, during the Jin Dynasty (circa 265-420) people would arrange spring rolls and vegetables together on a plate. This was known as the Spring Platter. Around this time of year, during the Spring Festival, emperors would honour officials with Spring Platters.
Today, who doesn’t love hot fried spring rolls? Making them fresh at home not only ensures maximum flavour, but they can be made together with the whole family in preparation for your New Years Eve dinner.
- 20 Spring roll wrappers (available in the UK in most major super markets or Asian food stores)
- 6 dried shitake mushrooms
- 230g skinless, boneless chicken thighs
- 110g raw shrimp shelled, deveined
- 3 tablespoons oil
- 600g cabbage shredded
- 65g bamboo shoots shredded
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch mixed with 3 tablespoons mushroom soaking liquid
- 1 egg
For the chicken marinade:
- 1 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 1/2 tablespoon cornstarch
- 20 Spring rolls
- Prep: 60min
- Cooking: 20min
Spring Roll Filling
- Cut chicken thighs into thin slices; then cut again into matchstick strips. Mix with Chicken Marinade ingredients. Cover and refrigerate. (we recommend preparing a day in advance and marinating overnight)
- Coarsely chop shrimp. Cover and refrigerate until needed.
- On the day of cooking, Soak shitake mushrooms in hot water for 30 minutes.
Strain liquid from soaked mushrooms, reserving 3 tablespoons mushroom soaking liquid for cornstarch slurry. Cut off stems and slice caps into thin strips.
- Heat your wok until it’s very hot. Splash in 1 1/2 tablespoons of oil, then add the chicken pieces. Flip chicken over when underside is brown, about one minute. Break up pieces with spatula and transfer the cooked chicken to a plate.
- Add shrimp to the wok and stir-fry until just cooked through, about 30 seconds. Transfer to a plate.
- Ensuring the wok is still piping hot, add another 1 1/2 tablespoons of oil, then add mushrooms, celery, cabbage and bamboo shoots. Stir-fry until cabbage softens (about 3 minutes).
- Season and toss.
- Return chicken and shrimp to wok and toss in with the vegetables.
- Stir cornstarch slurry, toss well until the mixture thickens. Transfer to plate, cover and refrigerate to chill.
Wrapping Spring Rolls
- Place around 2 spoons of filling into the centre of the spring roll skin. Tuck in the sides and roll it up, sealing the edges with egg whites.
Frying Spring Rolls
There are two ways of frying your spring rolls:
1 - Throw them into a deep fryer until the skin is golden and crispy. Drain on a paper towel and serve.
2 - Pour enough oil into your ultimate carbon steel wok to reach halfway.
- Heat oil to 350 degrees or use bamboo chopstick to test for readiness. When oil is hot enough, small bubbles will form around the chopstick when inserted into the oil.
- Place a few rolls into hot oil and fry on both sides until crisp and golden brown. Do not overcrowd. Drain on paper towels. Keep warm in 200 degree oven.
TIP: If you want to fry spring rolls ahead of time, reheat them in the oven for 8-10 minutes at 200 degrees Celsius.