Yet another classic from my Mom’s kitchen. Chinese spring rolls flushes in tons of memories for me. It was in my high school that my mom first made these spring rolls. Both my Dad and Mom were foodies, though my Mom always maintained a balance in her diet. My dad was an insane foodie who always loved to try out many dishes from around the world. He used to get best cookery books from around the world. My mom used to try out the best from those. My dad was not behind her. During weekends we wake up to the bestest pancake aroma wafting in the air or the the tempering of Upma piercing our nsotrils.
He was a passionate foodie who enjoyed right from buying the groceries, veggies, meat and fish to cleaning and preparing it. He used to take care of every aspect of cooking to the right texture and consistency. Plating, color combination, aroma and the taste, all mattered to him a lot. It is from him, that I became so precise and particular in making each perfect dish. It was from one of these cook books that the base of this Chinese spring roll recipe got shaped up. Chinese spring rolls are special in its way. Like each dish, this wonderful recipe also have variations.
Chinese Spring Rolls are the best spring rolls that I’ve had. The story goes like this: They are thought to have originated during the Eastern Jin Dynasty in China, which lasted from 265 to 420 A.D. During that time, people would make very thin cakes that were loaded with vegetables on the first day of spring. It was customary for people to eat these cakes in order to celebrate the arrival of spring, which is why they were originally referred to as “spring dish.” The custom of welcoming the season in this manner was even noted in some early poems.
Significant changes were brought about in the Spring Roll recipe in the Tang Dynasty when they started making it spicier and hotter. Onions and garlic were added to this recipe in this era. The name “Spring dish” got converted into “five spice dish” and was eaten to ward off evil. With the change of each dynasty the recipe and the name got modified. Most popular amongst oriental cuisine, modern spring rolls are snacks which are made with thin dough or outer covering, then filled with stuffing containing veggies, seafood or proteins. Steamed and fried forms of spring rolls are pretty much well accepted in this region.
Spring rolls which I make maintain the tradition to the utmost. Without much spices and hotness, overloaded with healthy veggies, shrimps and chicken. Garlic, soy sauce, pepper are the only spices added to this spring roll. Capsicum, bean sprouts, cabbage, spring onions are all healthy low carb veggies which helps to maintain the decorum of the traditional spring rolls. A light, satisfying filling, this can be served as a starter for parties.
The thing to be cautioned in this recipe is the covering of the spring roll. Thinner the covering, tastier, crispier will be the spring rolls. The ratio of all purpose flour and cornflour should be in the correct proportion. This will give a crispy, crunchy spring rolls once you fry it. Batter consistency is very important for a thin wafer like covering. Prepare the batter and rest for half an hour which will help in getting the right consistency and texture. Covering is the main ingredient which completes this dish. So to get a cruncy outside, you need to have the right covering and for a juicy interior, a moist filling is a must.
An enjoyable tea time snack or a perfect party starter, these spring rolls are a delight to any palate. This is a must try dish especially if you have kids in your home. Recipe has been handed over to me by my mom and I have done some refining from my side to make it palatable for every region.
Take the flours in a mixing bowl. Add the salt and egg. Mix up and then add cold water and whisk into lump free batter. Add half a cup of water more and mix homogeneously and set aside to rest till the filling is ready.
Mix up the batter once more, you will see that the batter has thickened. Loosen it up with 100 ml of water more. Combine. Heat a pan and pour a small ladle of batter, spread it out as thin as possible. The heat of the pan should be medium low. There should be no holes and bubbles in the covering. Take it off when the sides starts coming out.
Repeat the process untill all the pancakes are done.
Heat a wok with a tablespoon of oil. Add the finely diced chicken breast and mix up and cook till 3/4th done. Add the shrimps along with soy sauce and sugar. Combine everything till the shrimps are cooked and chicken shrimp mixture is moist and dry. Transfer to a container and set aside.
Heat the same wok, add 2 tablespoons of oil. Add the chopped garlic, chilly and saute for a minute. Add the spring onions and saute for another minute, followed by the capsicum and cabbage. Stir up everything till well combined. Cook till it soft and wilted but jsut cooked through. IT should not be over cooked and soggy.
Add the bean sprouts and cook further till everything is cooked and crisp. Put back the chicken shrimp mixture to the veggies and combine everything till well blended. Add pepper and soy sauce at this stage and adjust salt. Combine, check and balance the flavors and heat up everything so that all the flavors get blended with each other. Transfer to a container and allow the filling to cool down.
Place a tablespoon of filling on one side of the covering. Roll once and then fold from both the edges until almost finished. Seal the edges with a thic batter of flour. Roll out all the sping rolls and then deep fry in hot oil.
Serve hot with ketchup, sweet chilli sauce or soy dip of your choice.