Chicken and Vegetable Spring Rolls
- Spring Rolls
- 12 large or 24 small spring roll wrappers, thawed, if frozen
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch, blended with 1 tablespoon hot water
- Groundnut oil, for frying
The Chinese name for spring roll is 'Chun-juen', which is a literal translation - 'spring roll', but there is no evidence to suggest that this is a dish served only during springtime. Although this dish is served more in Western restaurants than in China, I wanted to include it here as it makes a delicious and wonderful starter. In Shanghai's neighbouring province of Zhejiang they serve sweet spring rolls filled with red bean paste - similar to northern China. Spring roll wrappers have to be one of the best inventions. If you are watching your weight, don't deep fry the roll, instead eat them "raw" and uncooked - just as tasty!"
For the filling:
Heat a wok over high heat, and pour in the groundnut oil. Add the chicken pieces, and reconstituted mushrooms, and stir-fry for 1 to 2 minutes, then season with the soy sauce and five-spice powder. Remove the contents from the wok, and set them aside to cool for 10 minutes. Clean the wok.
For the spring rolls:
Take 2 spring roll wrappers and lay 1 on top of the other Cook's Note: The extra thickness will prevent the skin from breaking. Spoon 2 tablespoons of the filling in the center of the wrapper. Brush each corner with the blended cornstarch slurry. Bring the 2 opposite side corners of the wrapper together and, keeping your finger on those edges, bring the bottom corner up towards the middle, then roll the pastry with the filling towards the top corner. Tuck the top edge in, and seal it with the cornstarch slurry. Repeat until the remaining ingredients are used up. Place the spring rolls in the refrigerator to chill until ready to fry.
Heat the oil to 350 degrees F, or until a cube of bread dropped in it turns golden brown in 15 seconds.
Deep fry the spring rolls until golden brown, turning frequently, and then transfer them, using a slotted spoon, to drain on an absorbent kitchen towel.