There is a certain joy with making homemade dim sum bites such as spring rolls that can be easily bought frozen from the supermarket, yet simple and therapeutic to make. Once you have mastered the simple craft in making these at home, there are a plethora of variations for an array occasions which these can be ideal for.
These spring rolls can be made in large quantities in advance as a fun and educational activity for a group of friends or the entire family, and stored in batches in your home freezer until they are ready to be used for any situation. For vegetarians, replace the fish sauce and oyster sauce respectively with soy sauce and mushroom sauce (sometimes labelled as vegetarian oyster sauce). If you are vegan, follow the substitutions mentioned above and use water to seal the spring rolls instead of egg whites.
These delicious crispy morsels are the perfect finger food to serve at pot lucks and house parties. Just remember, your oil needs to be hot before you start deep frying, and never cram your fryer with too many spring rolls at one time or the temperature would sink too much, causing them to absorb a lot of oil and turn greasy in the process.
350 g Turnip (Jicama) – peeled and shredded
50 g cabbage – slice thinly
6 to 8 pieces dried mushrooms – rehydrate in warm water for 45 mins and chopped finely
1 medium carrot – shredded
2 pieces wood ear fungus – slice thinly (optional)
2 cloves garlic – minced
20 pieces spring roll pastry
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp sugar
¼ tsp fish sauce
½ tsp oyster sauce
½ tsp roasted sesame oil
¼ tsp white pepper
1 tsp corn starch + 1 tsp water – mix together (thickener)
1 egg white – for sealing of spring rolls
Cooking oil for frying
In a large pan or wok, add 2 tbsp cooking oil and sauté the garlic, mushroom, wood ear fungus over medium heat for about 1 min, until fragrant. Do not burn the garlic or else it’ll be bitter.
Turn up heat and add in the rest of the vegetables along with salt, sugar, fish sauce, oyster sauce, roasted sesame oil, white pepper and water.
Continue to stir fry until vegetables are softened. The mixture should look slightly liquid-y. If it is too dry, add a few splashes of water.
Taste and adjust with more seasoning if needed.
Drizzle in the cornstarch solution a little at a time, and keep tossing the vegetable mixture. This will thicken up the consistency.
Transfer into a large bowl and set aside to cool for about 20 mins.
Prepare the spring roll pastry by covering it with a slightly damp cloth. This will prevent the pastry skin from drying out during the wrapping process.
Carefully peel a layer and set it in a diamond position on a clean surface.
Place a heaping spoonful of filling on the bottom (nearest to you) and roll up halfway.
Bring the 2 sides together and continue to roll into a log. Seal the edge with some egg white.
Repeat until the filling is used up.
You could either refrigerate the spring rolls for later use or freeze them in a Ziploc bag. Simply cook them from frozen state.
Pour enough oil in a large deep pot or Dutch oven so that it will cover the spring roll and heat until medium hot. Insert a wooden skewer or chopstick into the oil and if tiny bubbles appear, it is ready.
Careful place a few spring rolls (do not overcrowd the pot) and fry for about 1 to 2 mins, until lightly golden.
Drain and set on paper towel. Repeat with the remaining spring rolls.
Serve warm with ketchup, chilli sauce or your favorite dip.