Traditional Spring Rolls Deepfried In Batter
Good evening, dear friends
This is a really traditional version of spring rolls (called “Chun Kuen” in Cantonese) that was taught to me by my mother-in-law 20 years ago and we would have this wonderful dish during our Family Reunion Dinner on the eve of Chinese New Year. But because the spring rolls are so delicious and my family loves them so much, I would make a big batch and freeze some for later on. Because I only make these spring rolls once a year, it only makes this dish more unique and often looked forward to with glee by my family whenever the Chinese New Year is here.
2 kg ground pork
600 gm prawns, to be shelled and chopped coarsely
10 water chestnuts, skin peeled and chopped
12 shallots, skin removed and chopped
1 small carrot, chopped
2 large eggs
3 tbsps corn flour
2 – 1/2 tbsps salt
1 tbsp sugar
4 tbsps soy sauce
2 tbsp oyster sauce
2 tbsps sesame oil
1 tbsp white pepper
Mix all the ingredients thoroughly with your hand and “massage” the pork mixture for a good 5 to 10 minutes – this will make the meat smoother in texture and tastier. Set aside for at least 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, you prepare the pork fat “netting” by washing them a few times in a basin of water to remove any impurities. Be gentle while you do that so that you do not break them apart. You can get this type of pork fat from your butcher – just tell him you want some “Chee Mong Yau” as it is known as in Cantonese and that you want to make “Chun Kuen” or spring rolls and he will know what you want. I got mine for free this year but previously, I would buy about RM5 of pork fat/nets.
Pork Fat Netting
To assemble Chun Kuen or Spring Rolls -
1) Cut out a piece of pork fat netting to the size of a dinner plate, about 10 to 12 inches in diameter. I would place this on my chopping board.
2) Put about 3 cups of the ground pork mixture onto the edge of the pork fat netting that is nearer to you.
3) Shape the pork mixture with your fingers into a log shape about 6 to 8 inches long, about 2 inches in diameter.
4) Lift up the pork fat netting that is nearer to you to cover the pork.
5) Then fold up both the sides to cover the pork.
6) Roll up the pork netting with the ground pork inside slowly, and tightly, while maintaining the log shape. You can give it a few more rolls to shape it better.
7) Place the pork rolls or spring rolls into a baking tray and they would look like this …
Steam the Chun Kuens over high heat for 20 minutes…….and they will look like this …
When the Spring Rolls are cooled, just pack them in pairs into Ziplock bags for storage in the freezer. The liquid left in the tray from the steaming is thrown away.
This recipe makes 8 rolls and I steamed the Spring Rolls a day before the Reunion Dinner. Hence, I kept 2 rolls in the chiller compartment in my fridge for cooking the next day.
To cook the final part of these delicious Chun Kuens, you need to prepare a batter. An easy way is to use some Tempura flour and here is a picture of the type Tempura flour that I had used. It is imported from Thailand. Follow the instructions on the packet and in this case, all I needed to do was to add 210ml of water to the flour for the batter. Easy.
However, if you can’t find Tempura flour, then you can combine 1 cup all purpose flour, 1 cup rice flour or corn starch (this makes the batter crispier), 1/2 tsp salt, 1 egg white, and enough water to make the right consistency for the batter.
To Fry Spring Rolls -
1) Make sure that the Spring Rolls/Chun Kuens are thawed to room temperature.
2) Cut across the spring rolls into 1-cm or 1/-inch thickness.
3) Dip them into the prepared batter.
4) Fry in hot oil until they are light golden in colour.
5) Serve hot with a dish of bottled chilli sauce for dipping.
Voila! Traditional Chinese Pork Spring Rolls. For an auspicious sounding name, I had called them “Gold Coins”.
I hope you will give this recipe a try and be as happy as I was when you see your family’s faces light up when they bite into these homemade Chun Kuens!
Note – Do not remove the pork fat netting, just cut the spring rolls up as they are. For those parts that seem to have too much pork fat, just remove some of it. I have tried removing all the pork fat from a spring roll before frying it but somehow, the taste isn’t just the same – not as sinfully delicious!
Be sure to have a pot of strong Chinese tea on hand to wash down the fat from this dish!