Steamy Kitchen Recipes | RSS Feed http://steamykitchen.com Steamy Kitchen Food Blog: fast recipes, simple recipes, with fresh ingredients to create delicious meals. Tue, 21 Jul 2015 18:52:51 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.3 Chinese Spring Rolls with Chicken Recipe http://steamykitchen.com/22276-chinese-spring-rolls-with-chicken-recipe.html http://steamykitchen.com/22276-chinese-spring-rolls-with-chicken-recipe.html#comments Wed, 11 Jul 2012 05:20:00 +0000 http://steamykitchen.com/?p=22276 Light, airy and crispy Chinese spring rolls - recipe from my Mom.

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Chinese Spring Roll Recipe with Chicken

How authentic Chinese Spring Rolls* should be: smooth, light, crisp-crackly skin and small enough to enjoy in 4 bites. The filling is also light, full of tender-crisp vegetables and you should be able to taste and distinguish every single ingredient in the filling.

Unfortunately, the only time you can find really awesome Chinese spring rolls are when you make them at home, Chinatown restaurants or at my Mom’s house :-)

*Spring Rolls or Egg Rolls? Well, either one is fine. Some people call these crispy fried rolls “Spring Rolls” and others, like my Mom, refer to them as “Egg Rolls.” I use both terms. There is no official English term. What are summer rolls? I refer to the uncooked Vietnamese rolls wrapped in rice paper as Summer Rolls, but Diane and Todd call these Spring Rolls! So confusing, right?  

I’ve seen too many Chinese-American takeout joints feature massive spring rolls the size of a soda can, a thick, chewy, bubbly textured skin and wet, soggy filling. That’s not good eats.

Chinese Spring Rolls with Chicken Recipe

My Mom’s Chinese Spring/Egg rolls are absolutely on the list of top 5 favorite foods of all time. It’s not something I make often, the deep frying and the time it takes makes it an indulgence. But when I do make spring rolls, I try to make a TON of them because they freeze perfectly and go direct from freezer to fryer.

We’ve made many variations of egg/spring rolls, from pork, shrimp, crawfish, seafood, beef, vegetarian and even with tofu (yum!) I’m sharing my Chinese spring rolls with chicken recipe version with you, which is my boys’ filling of choice.

Chinese Spring Rolls with Chicken Recipe

I’ve got lots of technique tips and step by step photos to help you master the very best spring roll that my Mom would be proud of!

Chinese Spring Rolls with Chicken Recipe

How to make Chinese Spring Rolls with Chicken

The vegetables I’ve chosen to use for this Chinese Spring Roll with Chicken recipe are cabbage and carrots.

TIP: Do not use a box grater to grate the vegetables, grating releases too much liquid/water. Use either a food processor with thin slicing attachment, a mandoline like I’ve used here (I LOVE this one by Oxo for $15) or shred by knife.

Chinese Spring Rolls with Chicken Recipe - Shred Cabbage

You can julienne cut carrots by hand or use mandoline like this to first get thin slices.

Chinese Spring Rolls with Chicken Recipe - Julienne cut carrots

After slicing thin with a mandoline, use knife to thinly slice further into very thin matchsticks. Notice how many times I’ve purposely used the word, “thin.”

Chinese Spring Rolls with Chicken Recipe - Julienne cut carrots

Whisk together marinade ingredients for the ground chicken.

Chinese Spring Rolls with Chicken Recipe - Whisk marinade ingredients

Mix with ground chicken.

Chinese Spring Rolls with Chicken Recipe - Mix marinade with ground chicken

Saute the ground chicken with just a bit of oil. Then, remove chicken to a bowl and set aside.

Chinese Spring Rolls with Chicken Recipe - Saute ground chicken

Next wipe the wok clean and stir fry the vegetables along with ginger, garlic and green onion.

TIP: Meat and vegetables are cooked separately. This ensures that the meat browns well – and prevents everything from being an overcooked, soggy clump. Meat will taste like meat, and the vegetables will have a crisp, clean flavor.

Chinese Spring Rolls with Chicken Recipe - Stir fry veggies

Add the meat back into the wok.

Chinese Spring Rolls with Chicken Recipe - Mix chicken with veggies

Add in oyster sauce.

Chinese Spring Rolls with Chicken Recipe - Add oyster sauce to filling

Toss! Toss! Toss!

Chinese Spring Rolls with Chicken Recipe - Toss filling

Let cool on a baking sheet.

TIP: Let the filling cool. Hot filling = steam = makes wrapper wet = not good

TIP: Tilt the baking pan on one side. This lets any extra liquid/juice dribble down, away from the filling, Discard the liquid. Liquid = makes wrapper wet = not good. The drier the filling, the better. You can also blot the filling with a wad of paper towels to get rid of any excess oil.

Chinese Spring Rolls with Chicken Recipe - Let the filling cool

Spring Roll Recipe WrappersHere’s my favorite brand of wrapper. It comes frozen, so you’ll have to defrost.

TIP: The best 2 ways to defrost spring roll wrappers: 1-overnight in the refrigerator 2-on the counter for 30 minutes. Once the wrapper are defrosted, open the package and immediately cover with a barely damp towel or paper towel to keep moist. The wrappers will dry out and crack quickly if left uncovered.

TIP: If the wrappers dry out and are stiff, you can put a few wrappers on a plate, cover with a damp towel and microwave on medium for 10 seconds. The wrappers will soften up.

TIP: Good spring roll wrappers are found in Asian markets. These are thin, fry up to a shatteringly thin crispy spring roll. Do not buy spring roll wrappers that you find in regular supermarkets near the produce section (usually refrigerated, next to the tofu). Those “pasta sheets” are way too thick and fry up to a chewy, thick, bubbly, hot mess.

TIP: Keep the spring roll (or egg roll) sheets under barely damp cloth or paper towel. They dry out very easily. If they dry out, they break apart.

See how thin this is? Almost paper thin.

Chinese Spring Rolls with Chicken Recipe - Super thin wrappers

TIP: For the truly fanatical, there are 2 sides to the spring roll wrapper – but you have to look very very carefully. One side is smoother than the other. The smoother side should be outward facing. It’s really not absolutely necessary to even pay attention to this tip unless you a) want to have the very best looking spring roll and b) have good eyesight because the difference is really minor. The smoother side fries up just a tiny bit nicer looking. It’s purely aesthetics. Something my Mom taught me, so I’m teaching you.

Place wrapper like diamond, as shown, on a clean, dry surface. Place 1 tablespoon of filling near corner. No more than that!

TIP: Less filling, the better. Overstuffed spring rolls break apart in the oil. 1 tablespoon is all you need!

Chinese Spring Rolls with Chicken Recipe - Less filling, the better

Fold over the corner. Roll tight.

Chinese Spring Rolls with Chicken Recipe - Roll wrapper tightly

Fold over left side.

TIP: Leave no space or air pockets. Air pockets = oil seepage = oily egg roll.

Chinese Spring Rolls with Chicken Recipe - Fold wrapper tightly

Fold over the other side. No air pockets!

Chinese Spring Rolls with Chicken Recipe - Fold wrapper tightly

Here are examples of the WRONG WAY TO WRAP.

Chinese Spring Rolls with Chicken Recipe - Wrong way of wrapping

WRONG: See the right side of the wrapper, how it’s skewing out? See next picture to see how it rolls.

Chinese Spring Rolls with Chicken Recipe - Wrong popped out corner

WRONG: That right side that skewed out rolls up like this – giant air pocket will let oil seep in, filling fall out.

The right way: Imagine if you were Martha Stewart folding up her bedsheets. Or a clerk at the Gap folding t-shirts. Or the abs of male Olympic swimmer. Nice, tight and even.

Chinese Spring Rolls with Chicken Recipe - Ready to seal

Paint a little cornstarch slurry along the edge – just as if you were lickin’ an envelope. But don’t lick it. Finger paint.

Chinese Spring Rolls with Chicken Recipe - Cornstarch Seals It

Close it up. See how nice and neat the egg roll is wrapped? No holes, no air pockets. Very Martha Stewart.

Chinese Spring Rolls with Chicken Recipe - Neat and tidy

Place them seam side down (helps secure the corner so that the corner doesn’t pop out)

Chinese Spring Rolls with Chicken Recipe - Place rolls seam side down

Keep them all covered with plastic wrap to prevent drying out. They dry out easily.

TIP: Single layer only. If you put them on top of each other (without layer of plastic wrap between them, they will stick together. You can put another layer of spring rolls on TOP of the plastic wrap (but don’t’ forget to cover them too).

TIP: If you want to freeze spring rolls – freeze them just like this. If you don’t have a freezer this big, then line up the spring rolls on a plate, with plastic wrap between each layer. Freeze. Once frozen, gather up all the spring rolls and put them in a freezer safe plastic bag. They have to freeze in a single layer, not touching. Otherwise, they’ll all stick together. Once they are frozen, you can store them however you want.

Chinese Spring Rolls with Chicken Recipe - Can be frozen

When you’re ready to fry, heat up 1 1/2″ of cooking oil (canola, vegetable, rice bran, corn, peanut) to 350F.

TIP: For deep frying, the wider the pot, the more oil you’ll need. But too small of a pot, you’ll only be able to fry a couple of egg rolls at a time. Woks are perfect – the round shape, concave shape means less oil is needed to fill wok.

TIP: Ancient Chinese secret: Stick a wooden chopstick straight down in the oil just like this. If the oil bubbles around the wood, it’s hot enough. If no little bubbles around the chopstick = not hot enough. Mom taught me that. But make sure it’s wood or bamboo chopsticks – plastic ones melt. If you don’t have a wood chopstick, use end of a wooden spatula.

Chinese Spring Rolls with Chicken Recipe - Heat 1 1/2 cup cooking oil

Carefully SLIDE the spring rolls in. Inspect each spring roll for corners that have popped open. Fix with more cornstarch slurry if needed.

Chinese Spring Rolls with Chicken Recipe - Carefully slide rolls in wok

Fry a few at a time.

TIP: Wide deep woks or skillets are good. Because of the shape of the wok, you’ll end up using less oil. Buy a wok. (wink!)

TIP: Don’t over-crowd the sprng rolls in the pan. They won’t cook evenly.

Chinese Spring Rolls with Chicken Recipe - Leave room in wok

Keep turning ’em to brown evenly. Once they are golden brown, they are done.

Chinese Spring Rolls with Chicken Recipe - Cook til Golden Brown

Place them on a rack to drain.

Chinese Spring Rolls with Chicken Recipe - Drain rolls on rack

Chinese Spring Rolls with Chicken Recipe

More Recipes to explore

Red Lantern Crisp Parcels (Cha Gio or Spring Rolls) (Steamy Kitchen)

Vietnamese Spring Rolls with Orange-Almond Sauce (Steamy Kitchen)

My Mother’s Famous Chinese Egg Rolls (Steamy Kitchen)

Vegetable Spring Rolls (Egg Rolls) (Steamy Kitchen)

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Chinese Spring Rolls with Chicken Recipe

Servings: Makes 50 egg rolls Prep Time: 1 hour Cook Time: 30 minutes
Chinese Spring Rolls with Chicken Recipe

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon rice wine (or white wine)
freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 pound ground chicken
2 tablespoons cooking oil, divided
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1 stalk green onion, chopped
1/2 head of small cabbage (about 8 ounces), shredded
2 carrots, thin julienne cut
2 tablespoons oyster sauce
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/4 cup water
50 spring roll wrappers, defrosted
oil, for deep frying (about 1/2 liter to 1 liter)

Directions:

1. In a large bowl, combine the soy sauce, wine, pepper and cornstarch. Add in the chicken and mix well. Let marinate for 10 minutes (or up to overnight in the refrigerator).

2. Heat a wok or large saute pan over high heat. When hot, swirl in just 1 tablespoon of the cooking oil. Stir fry the ground chicken until browned. Remove browned ground chicken from wok to a bowl and set aside.

3. Wipe the wok clean and turn heat to medium. When just starting to get hot, swirl in the remaining cooking oil. Add in the green onion, garlic and ginger and cook for 30 seconds. Take care not to burn these aromatics. Add in the carrots and cabbage. Stir well and turn the heat to medium-high. Stir fry the vegetables for 2 minutes, or until the carrots have softened. Add the cooked chicken back into the wok, stir well. Add in the oyster sauce and toss again. Spread the mixture out on a baking sheet to let cool. Prop up the baking sheet on one end so that any liquid collects on the other side. When the mixture is cool, discard the liquid.

4. In a small bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and water. This is your slurry. Open the egg roll wrapper package, cover with barely damp towel to prevent drying out.

5. Add 1 tablespoon of filling to egg roll (see photos for instructions) and roll up. Secure with cornstarch slurry. Keep rolled egg rolls covered with plastic wrap to prevent drying.

6. When ready to fry, heat 1 1/2" of oil in a wok or deep, heavy skillet to 350F (see tip in photos if you don't have thermometer). Carefully slide in the egg rolls, a few at a time, to the oil to fry. Turn the egg rolls occassionally to brown evenly and fry for about 3 minutes. Let cool on rack. Repeat with remaining.

 

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My Mother’s Famous Chinese Egg Rolls Recipe http://steamykitchen.com/13029-my-mothers-famous-chinese-egg-rolls-2.html http://steamykitchen.com/13029-my-mothers-famous-chinese-egg-rolls-2.html#comments Sat, 15 Jan 2011 08:05:46 +0000 http://steamykitchen.com/?p=13029 Authentic (but easy!) Chinese Egg Rolls Recipe from cookbook author Jaden Hair's mother.

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Mothers Chinese Egg Rolls Recipe

Things you’ll learn:

  • The best way to make non-soggy egg rolls.
  • The right size and kind of wrapper to use.
  • The do’s and don’t’s of egg roll wrapping.

 

This is one of those recipes that is a little more time consuming to make, but one that’s my favorite because 1) it’s my Mom’s recipe 2) everyone who has tried them instantly declare they are the best they’ve ever had 3) you can make a big batch of them and freeze them. I usually call a couple of my girlfriends over and we have an eggrollin’ party where we’ll make a massive batch of them, enjoy them fresh that night and have enough for all to take home and freeze. If you are making these with friends, I’d suggest doubling the recipe so each person has some to take home to freeze. I promise you they will taste just as good fried after frozen and you will never taste better egg rolls than these. BUT – you must follow my Mama’s rules.

Ready?

Mama Ruthie’s Chinese Egg Rolls Recipe Rules

Mama’s Rule #1: Your egg roll filling ingredients must be drained of excess moisture and cooled before rolling. Soggy, hot filling makes soggy egg rolls.

Mama’s Rule #2: Use the right kind of wrapper. The size I get is 8 x 8 inches (20 x 20 cm) around and come 25 wrappers to a package. These wrappers are light, paper-thin and fry up to a shatteringly crisp crunch.  Oh yes, before I forget – “spring roll” and “egg roll” are interchangeable and mean the same thing. Sometimes my regular American grocery store will have “spring roll pasta sheets” that are in the refrigerated produce section. Do not use those – they are way too thick! Let’s just say that if it has Italian writing on the package, it probably ain’t the good stuff for Chinese egg rolls.

Rule#2A. Treat the wrapper right. You also want to keep the wrappers covered with a damp towel at all times to prevent the edges from drying and cracking.

Mama’s Rule #3: Roll small and tight! Sloppy and loosely rolled egg rolls will break apart and allow oil to seep into the inside of the roll. Mama says baaaad. One time I was watching a celebrity chef on television making monster egg rolls the size of a cola can. Who in the heck can wrap their mouths around that thing? It looked hideous. Mama’s egg rolls are elegant and skinny. Don’t be too greedy and overstuff them!  And roll them tight so that the filling doesn’t fall out while frying! Remember the days when you were younger and rolled your own…um…cigarette? Channel those rolling skills back.

Mama’s Rule #4: Lay the rolled egg rolls neatly with a piece of parchment, foil or wax paper in between each layer if you are stacking them on top of each other. Keep them covered with plastic wrap or a towel to prevent drying. If you are freezing, freeze them in like this first. Once frozen, you can gather them up and transfer them to a plastic freezer bag. If you roll them out and jumble them all together in a big pile, they’ll eventually stick to each other and you’ll tear the delicate skin trying to pry them apart.

How to make my Mother’s Famous Chinese Egg Rolls

The printable recipe is below, but here are step by step photos on how to wrap. This Chinese egg rolls recipe is for ground pork as the filling, but as you can see in these photos, the filling is very flexible. I’ve used chopped shrimp, ground chicken, ground beef, ground turkey, very thinly sliced pork (almost like matchstick sized). In these photos, I used crawfish and diced Chinese sausage!

These photos are just a guideline to teach you how to wrap (and the wrong way to wrap Chinese Egg Rolls!)

After you fry the filling, you’ll want to spread it out to cool on a baking sheet. Tilt the baking sheet and prop it up so that all the juices accumulate. You’ll discard this juice. Too much juice in filling makes soggy eggrolls.

Mothers Chinese Egg Rolls Recipe Filling

Lay the wrapper on a clean, dry surface as shown. Spoon just a heaping tablespoon of filling near the bottom corner. Resist the urge to over stuff with too much filling!

Chinese Egg Rolls Recipe Wrapping Step 1

Lift the bottom corner up and begin rolling until you reach halfway up.

Chinese Egg Rolls Recipe Wrapping Step 2

Fold over the left side, and then the right side towards the center.

Chinese Egg Rolls Recipe Wrapping Step 3

Continue folding up with a tuck-roll-tuck-roll motion. Dip your fingers into the cornstarch slurry and brush all over the final top corner. Finish up the roll, seal and place seam side down.

Chinese Egg Rolls Recipe Wrapping Step 4

See how tightly the egg roll wrapped? Any holes or large air pockets will allow oil to seep in, resulting in a greasy egg roll! The width or diameter of the egg roll should ONLY be 1.25-inches. If you make them any larger (i.e. too much filling) you’ll end up with less egg rolls.

Chinese Egg Rolls Recipe Wrapping Step 5

The wrong way:

Common mistake is to not fold over and tuck good enough. See that big space? Oil seeps in and will make your egg roll greasy.

Chinese Egg Rolls Recipe Wrapping Mistake #1

Big holes = your egg roll will fall apart while frying.

Chinese Egg Rolls Recipe Wrapping Mistake #2

See the difference between the above photo and this one?

Chinese Egg Rolls Recipe Wrapping Mistake #1

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Mother's Famous Chinese Egg Rolls Recipe

Servings: Makes 50 egg rolls Prep Time: 60 hours Cook Time:
Chinese Egg Rolls Recipe

Once you make these egg rolls, you'll never make them any other way! Make sure you get the correct egg roll wrappers. They should be FROZEN and very thin, almost paper thin. Do not use egg roll wrapper found in the refrigerated section (usually near tofu) in Western supermarket - they make starchy, thick, gooey egg rolls with big bubbles on outside when you fry. It's important to make sure you keep your wrapper and rolled egg rolls under plastic wrap so that they do not dry out!

Ingredients:

50 Spring/Egg Roll Wrappers (about 2 packages), defrosted unopened at room temperature for 45 minutes or in the refrigerator overnight
1 tablespoon cornstarch mixed with ¼ cup of cool water to seal egg roll
Cooking oil, for fryingFOR THE PORK
1 pound ground pork
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon cornstarchFOR THE VEGETABLES
2 cloves garlic, very finely minced
½ head of cabbage (about 11 ounces)
3 carrots
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
10 fresh shiitake mushrooms, stems discarded
1 tablespoon Chinese rice wine (or dry sherry)
1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon sesame oil
Freshly ground black pepper1. To make the filling, combine the ingredients for the ground pork together. Marinate at least 10 minutes. 2. To a food processor, add the shiitake mushrooms. Pulse a few times until the mushrooms are finely chopped. Insert shredder disk (large holes) and shred the cabbage and carrots. 3. Heat a wok or large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add just 1 tablespoon of cooking oil and swirl to coat. Add in the garlic and ginger and quickly stir-fry until fragrant. Add in the contents of the food processor (cabbage, carrots and shiitake). Turn heat to high and stir-fry for 1 minute until the vegetables are beginning to soften. 4. Use your tongs to make a large, empty spot in the middle of the pan (push the vegetables aside), swirl in an additional 1 teaspoon of cooking oil. When hot, add in the ground pork. Cook the ground pork in the middle of the pan until beginning to turn brown. Now use your tongs to mix the pork with the vegetables.5. Add the rice wine, soy sauce, sugar, sesame oil and black pepper. Continue to stir-fry for another 1-2 minutes until the pork is cooked through. 6. Scoop out the filling to a baking sheet and spread out to cool. Prop up one end of the baking sheet slightly to allow excess the moisture to drain to one end. Let cool for 15 minutes and then discard all of the accumulated juices. 7. Now, you're ready to wrap (see photos for instructions on how to wrap). IMPORTANT: Only use 1 heaping tablespoon of filling for each egg roll. These are slender egg rolls, the width of the egg roll should only be 1.25" diameter. Keep the rolled egg rolls in neat, single layer and covered with plastic wrap to prevent drying. If you want to stack the egg rolls, make sure you have layer of parchment paper in between the layers to prevent sticking. Keep wrappers also covered with plastic wrap to prevent drying. Refrigerate up to 4 hours until ready to fry or freeze.8. To fry the egg rolls, fill a wok or pot with 2 inches of high-heat cooking oil. Heat the oil to 350°F (175°C) or until a cube of bread will fry to golden brown within 10 seconds. Gently slide in or lower the egg rolls, frying 4 to 6 at a time, turning occasionally until golden brown about 1½ minutes. Place on wire rack to drain and cool.NOTE: To fry frozen egg rolls, do not defrost the egg rolls – just add them to the oil frozen, frying 4 to 6 at a time. Add an additional 1½ minutes to the frying time since they are frozen.

Directions:

1. To make the filling, combine the ingredients for the ground pork together. Marinate at least 10 minutes. In the meantime, shred the cabbage and the carrots using your food processor or by hand. Slice the mushrooms into very thin strips (or you could use your food processer and pulse a few times to get a fine dice.

2. Heat a wok or large saute pan over high heat. Add the cooking oil and swirl to coat. Add the pork and stir-fry until no longer pink, about 2-3 minutes. Turn heat to medium-low, push the meat to one side of the pan. Add the garlic, cabbage, carrots, ginger and the mushrooms and stir-fry for 1 minute, until the vegetables are softened. Add the rice wine, soy sauce, sugar, sesame oil and black pepper. Continue to stir-fry for another minute. Scoop out the filling to a baking sheet and spread out to cool. Prop up one end of the baking sheet so that it tilts and will allow all the moisture to drain to one end. Let cool for 15 minutes.

3. Discard all of the accumulated juices. Use paper towels to blot the filling to rid of extra oil or juice. Now, you're ready to wrap (see photos for instructions on how to wrap). IMPORTANT: Only use 1 heaping tablespoon of filling for each egg roll. These are slender egg rolls, the width of the egg roll should only be 1.25" diameter.

Keep the rolled egg rolls in neat, single layer and covered with plastic wrap to prevent drying. If you want to stack the egg rolls, make sure you have layer of parchment paper in between the layers to prevent sticking. Keep wrappers also covered with plastic wrap to prevent drying. Refrigerate up to 4 hours until ready to fry or freeze.

4. To fry the egg rolls, fill a wok or pot with 2 inches of high-heat cooking oil. Heat the oil to 350°F (175°C) or until a cube of bread will fry to golden brown within 10 seconds. Gently slide in or lower the egg rolls, frying 4 to 6 at a time, turning occasionally until golden brown about 1½ minutes. Place on wire rack to drain and cool.

NOTE: To fry frozen egg rolls, do not defrost the egg rolls – just add them to the oil frozen, frying 4 to 6 at a time. Add an additional 1½ minutes to the frying time since they are frozen.

More recipes to explore

Red Lantern Vietnamese Spring Roll Recipe Cha Gio (Steamy Kitchen)

Vegetable Spring Rolls Recipe (Egg Rolls) (Steamy Kitchen)

Firecracker Shrimp with Sweet Chili Dipping Sauce (Steamy Kitchen)

Chinese Spring Rolls with Chicken (Steamy Kitchen)

Egg Roll Recipe (Rasa Malaysia)

Vietnamese Curried Tofu Spring Roll (not fried!) (White On Rice Couple)

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Red Lantern Crisp Parcels (Cha Gio or Spring Rolls) http://steamykitchen.com/2456-vietnamese-spring-rolls.html http://steamykitchen.com/2456-vietnamese-spring-rolls.html#comments Sat, 07 Feb 2009 20:42:48 +0000 http://steamykitchen.com/blog/?p=2456 A fabulous recipe for Vietnamese Spring Rolls (Cha Gio) from award-winning author Pauline Nguyen of Secrets of the Red Lantern.

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vietnamese_spring_rolls-171

Photo of Vietnamese Spring Rolls (Cha Gio) courtesy of Secrets of the Red Lantern Cookbook! It’s gorgeous!

secrets-red-lanternOne of the books that is always near my nighstand is the absolutely stunning Secrets of the Red Lantern by Pauline Nguyen. I was in Los Angeles at the famous Cook’s Libarary bookstore and was drawn in by the gorgeous cover artwork. I picked up the volumous 345 page book and simply could not put it down. No, seriously, I did not let this baby out of my sight the rest of the trip and even chose to pack my laptop in my suitcase and instead brought Secrets of the Red Lantern in my carry-on baggage.

Baby, that’s true love.

I got a chance to chat with the lovely Pauline Nguyen last night and just couldn’t wait to share her recipe for Vietnamese Spring Rolls or Cha Gio with you. At her restaurant, Red Lantern, this dish is called “Red Lantern Crisp Parcels.”

Secrets of the Red Lantern book is part cookbook, part bittersweet memoir of the Nguyen family’s escape from war-ravaged Vietnam and their struggles as they adapt to the harsh refugee life and finally making their lives in Australia. Pauline bares her soul in this debut book – it will make you smile, laugh, cry and even fume with anger. There are links at end of post to others who have written fabulous reviews of her book, so I won’t go in much detail here, but I wanted to give you a glimpse of Pauline, mom of Mia and soon to be mom of baby #2. Oh yes, and to give you her recipe for Vietnamese Spring Rolls too!

Pauline Nguyen, author of Secrets of the Red Lantern

pauline-nguyen-secrets-red-lantern

Pauline lives in Australia and I live in Florida, so you can imagine the very thin snippet of the day where our two schedules can meet for an uninterrupted phone call! Luckily, I’m a total night owl and call her 12:30AM my time, which was 4:30PM her time. And guess where she took my call?

Summer.

35C/95F degrees

Beach.

Sydney, Australia.

Ooooh….I wanted to be right there on the beach with her! Oh yeah.

Pauline Nguyen took two years off from the busy restaurant business (oh yes, Red Lantern is the name of her restaurant she owns with her brother Luke and partner Mark) to write this book, and she penned this memoir as a heirloom for her now 4-year old daughter, Mia.

More on my phone chat with Pauline Nguyen in another post (and yes, another recipe from her book in the next post too). In the meantime, enjoy her recipe for Vietnamese Spring Rolls (Cha Gio).

mother-famous-chinese-egg-rolls-recipeIf you’d like to learn step by step photo instructions on how to roll the Vietnamese Spring Rolls correctly – come see the recipe of My Mother’s Famous Chinese Egg Rolls.

The Chinese version uses similar wrapper and same wrapping technique, just different filling inside. If you’d like a gluten-free version, use rice paper instead of these Spring Roll or Egg Roll wrappers. These are wonderful fried  as well. Just follow instructions on package of rice paper to use.

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Vietnamese Spring Rolls Recipe (Cha Gio) (Red Lantern Crisp Parcels)

Servings: Makes 40 spring rolls Prep Time: Cook Time:
vietnamese-cha-gio-spring-roll-recipe

From Secrets of the Red Lantern by Pauline Nguyen with recipes by Luke Nguyen and Mark Jensen
These can be cooked and eaten on their own, dipped in dipping fish sauce, or placed on top of a dressed vermicelli salad. At Red Lantern, we like to wrap the parcels in lettuce with herbs and serve with dipping fish sauce.
Note: Be sure you use the spring roll wrappers as soon as they thaw.

Ingredients:

For the Vietnamese Spring Rolls
2 ¾ ounces dried bean thread noodles (or mung bean noodles)
1 ¾ ounces dried mushroom strips, such as wood ear mushrooms or Chinese black fungus
½ pound ground pork
½ pound ground chicken
1 pound carrots, grated
½ onion, finely diced
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon salt
2 teaspoons fine white pepper
1 tablespoon Asian fish sauce
20 spring (egg) roll wrappers, 8½ inches square
Dipping fish sauce, for serving
**
For the Dipping Sauce Recipe (Nuoc Mam Cham)
3 tablespoons Asian fish sauce
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
2 cloves garlic
1 bird's-eye chili
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice

Directions:

Soak the noodles and mushroom strips separately in cold water for 20 minutes, then drain and drip dry in a colander. Cut the noodles into 1½-inch-long pieces, then combine with all of the filling ingredients in a large bowl and mix well.

Cut the spring roll wrappers diagonally to form two triangles, then separate them into single sheets. Place a piece of wrapper on a plate with the base of the triangle facing you. Spoon about 1 tablespoon of the mixture onto the middle of the bottom edge of the wrapper and fold the two adjacent sides, one on top of the other into the center. Roll toward the apex to form a nice firm roll, and secure with a dab of flour mixed with some water. Repeat until you have filled all of the wrappers.

When freshly rolled, the cha gio can be deep-fried in oil preheated to 350 degrees F or until a cube of bread dropped in the oil browns in 15 seconds. Alternatively, you can store them in the freezer and cook when needed. Just carefully slide frozen spring rolls (do not defrots) in the oil and cook an additional minute or so.

To make the Dipping Sauce (Nuoc Mam Cham)
Combine the fish sauce, rice vinegar, 1/2 cup of water, and sugar in a saucepan and place over medium heat. Stir well and cook until just before boiling point is reached, then allow to cool. To serve, finely chop the garlic and chile and stir in the lime juice. To liven it up, add pickled vegetables.Combine the fish sauce, rice vinegar, 1/2 cup of water, and sugar in a saucepan and place over medium heat. Stir well and cook until just before boiling point is reached, then allow to cool. To serve, finely chop the garlic and chile and stir in the lime juice. To liven it up, add pickled vegetables.

***

Reviews on Pauline Nguyen’s Secrets of the Red Lantern Cookbook

White On Rice Couple – plus recipe for Tamarind Crab and Tamarind Shrimp

In Mama’s Kitchen review

Global Gourmet – plus recipe for Steamed Cockles or Periwinkle, Bittermelon Stuffed with Pork and Black Fungus, Wok-tossed Water Spinach
with Fermented Bean Curd Sauce

and of course good ‘ol Amazon.com where you can purchase the Secrets of the Red Lantern book.

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Firecracker Shrimp with Sweet Chili Sauce http://steamykitchen.com/72-crispy-shrimp-springroll-with-sweet-chili-sauce.html http://steamykitchen.com/72-crispy-shrimp-springroll-with-sweet-chili-sauce.html#comments Sat, 14 Apr 2007 11:40:33 +0000 http://s198136598.onlinehome.us/blog/2007/04/14/crispy-shrimp-springroll-with-sweet-chili-sauce/ Ooooohhhh – these were so delicious! These Firecracker Shrimp with Sweet Chili Sauce almost didn’t make it to the dinner table – we were eating them as they came out of the fryer – not even minding that we burnt our tongues! The reason I love this dish so much is because the ingredients are so simple and I almost ...

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firecracker-shrimp-sweet-chili-sauce

Ooooohhhh – these were so delicious! These Firecracker Shrimp with Sweet Chili Sauce almost didn’t make it to the dinner table – we were eating them as they came out of the fryer – not even minding that we burnt our tongues! The reason I love this dish so much is because the ingredients are so simple and I almost always have frozen shrimp and a packet of Eggroll/Springroll wrappers in the freezer. I was inspired by these two lovely ladies – after seeing their photos and realizing, “hey, I got those ingredients!” I scurried to the kitchen to start. Note: For another recipe using egg roll wrappers, try My Mother’s Famous Egg Rolls !

Firecracker Shrimp with Sweet Chili Sauce

Here are my secrets to Firecracker Shrimp with Sweet Chili Sauce:

Coat the shrimp: I marinate the shrimp in garlic, ginger, sesame oil, soy sauce, and sweet chili sauce. The recipe is flexible. If you don’t have all those ingredients, change it up! I promise you it will taste just as delicious. Other creative ideas for marinade: Moroccan spices, curry powder, cajun seasoning, garam masala, etc. Whats your favorite seasonings for shrimp? Ok, back to “coating”: if you use liquid ingredients in the marinade (such as soy or sesame oil) – add a little cornstarch. This does something important – it thickens the marinade so that it clings to the shrimp. Oh, and while we’re talking about marinating shrimp – don’t use wine in your marinade for seafood. If you want to use wine in a seafood dish, add it towards the end of cooking process or even in the marinade right before you cook the seafood. Wine in a marinade changes the texture of the delicate seafood, especially shrimp. It makes it a little mushy – not good!

Pat the shrimp dry: After swimming in the marinade for 20 minutes, you should pat the shrimp as dry as possible. Don’t worry about wiping off the marinade – the shrimp has already been infused with the flavors during the 20 minute soak. Plus, the cornstarch will keep some of the marinade clinging to the shrimp. Whenever you make something that involves wrapping and frying, the ingredients should be dry to prevent the wrapper from getting soggy and I’m sure you know what happens when you put something wet into hot oil.

Nick the shrimp: Taking a cue from the Japanese shrimp tempura, score or nick the shrimp several times along the inside of the “curve.” This lets you straighten out the shrimp so you don’t get a short, curly roll. Just be sure not to cut to far…three little nicks is good.

Roll tight: When you roll, try to make the roll tight and compact, like a joint ….um….er….cigar….. You don’t want the shrimp falling out when you put it in the fryer. See that wrapper corner? That is where you need to brush your cornstarch “paste.” Not too much though! Just enough to keep the wrapper in place and seal.

The sweet chili sauce that I use is Mae Ploy. Its sweet and tangy, not too spicy. Sweet chili sauce

Firecracker Shrimp with Sweet Chili Sauce

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Firecracker Shrimp with Sweet Chili Sauce

Servings: 4-6 Prep Time: 10 minutes Cook Time: 20 minutes
firecracker-shrimp-sweet-chili-sauce_thumb.jpg

Ingredients:

25 large tail-on shrimp, deveined and nicked (see above)
15 eggroll/springroll wrappers, cut in half diagonally (2 triangles)
oil for frying

Marinade
1 tsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp grated ginger (using rasp grater)
1/2 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp sweet chili sauce
1 tsp cornstarch

Cornstarch "paste" (mix well to form paste)
1 Tb cornstarch
1/4 cup water

Directions:

1. Combine marinade ingredients in bowl, marinate shrimp for 20 minutes.

2. Pat the shrimp dry with a paper towel. Wrap each shrimp in a eggroll/springroll wrapper half. (see instructions above) Seal with cornstarch paste.

3. Fry in hot oil (375) for 3 minutes, until golden brown and shrimp is cooked through. Serve with sweet chili sauce for dipping.

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