Gingery Chinese spring rolls

These are seriously the most delicious spring rolls I have ever eaten, so I’m really excited to share the recipe with you – I hope you get a chance to try them out and fall in love too! Forget soggy beansprouts and weird gloopy sauce, these spring rolls are a meal in themselves – because you won’t be able to stop eating them once you start…

You can freeze these ahead of when you want to eat them,  but you should thaw them before deep frying. Just prepare the filling and roll up the wrappers, then pop in a single layer in your freezer. The ones pictured are normal size, but for bentos buy a large packet of spring roll wrappers and then cut them into quarters for cute mini spring rolls!

Chinese spring rolls

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 pack large spring roll wrappers
  • 2 chicken breasts, shredded
  • 75g cooked prawns, cut into small pieces
  • 4 spring onions, finely chopped
  • 100g bean sprouts
  • 75g grated carrot
  • 50g grated onion
  • 3 square centimetres fresh ginger finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves finely chopped
  • 1 beaten egg
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon light soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon oyster sauce
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon sesame seed oil
  • Pinch chilli flakes (optional)
  • Oil to stir fry and deep fry

METHOD

  • Mix together the soy sauce, oyster sauce, sugar, sesame seed oil and chilli flakes.
  • Heat your wok to a medium heat. Stir-fry the chicken in 1 tbsp oil until it’s white, then reserve and drain. Remove excess moisture from your wok and heat some more oil.
  • Fry the ginger for 30 seconds, then add the garlic, frying for one minute. Add the grated onion and spring onion and cook until it has softened. Watch your temperature here – you don’t want to brown the ingredients. If the wok gets too hot, remove it from the burner for a few seconds.
  • Add the carrots, bean sprouts and prawns and cook until the bean sprouts are slightly translucent.
  • Pour on the beaten egg and mix. When the egg has solidified, add the soy sauce mixture and the egg and mix thoroughly. There should be no excess liquid – all the seasoning and egg should cling to the ingredients. Leave to cool.
  • To assemble your spring rolls, place your spring roll wrapper diagonally on the work surface and fill the corner nearest to you with a tablespoon of mixture.
  • Pull the corner up over the top and then roll twice – you should now be roughly to the centre of the wrapper.
  • Fold the two corners in to the middle and then continue to roll it up, sealing the end with water – this is vital or your roll will pop open when you fry it.
  • Now for the deep frying – at this point it’s probably best to say that deep frying can be very dangerous – if you’re concerned, then use a deep fat fryer at 170 degrees centigrade to cook your spring rolls. Heat the oil in a pan. Test the heat by adding a spring roll – if it sizzles and the oil bubbles around it vigorously, you have it right.
  • Cook on each side for a couple of minutes, then drain. If your rolls go dark brown too quickly, turn your heat down.
  • You can make a dipping sauce with light soy sauce, and rice wine vinegar to taste. Add chilli flakes, chopped spring onions or a slug of sesame seed oil for a special touch.

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Bukkake udon

If you’re sniggering right now – shame on you! ‘Bukkake’ means splash in Japanese, and this is a chilled noodle dish that you ‘splash’ cold stock over to flavour it. The first time I made this I got the recipe from oyamake.com, but the site is down now. I didn’t have the right toppings so I improvised! It was delicious, and that’s coming from someone who doesn’t usually like udon noodles…

This is a really great summer dish for when it’s incredibly hot and steamy… It actually cools you down and refreshes you! Hopefully, we’ll have plenty of reason to make this dish this year…

Bukkake udon toppings

Recipe for Bukakke Udon

INGREDIENTS

  • Around 100g dry udon noodles per person
  • 1/3 cup mirin
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • Instant dashi powder
  • Your choice of topping (see below)

RECIPE

  • Mix 1 cup water, 1/3 cup mirin and 1/3 cup soy sauce in a pan, heat and add some dashi stock sprinkles. Remove from heat and sit until cold. You won’t need all of this but it’ll keep for another day if you put it in the fridge in a sealed container.
  • Cook the udon noodles according to the recipe on the packet, remove from heat, strain and wash until cold.
  • Place the noodles in a bowl and add your toppings – mine are spring onions (scallions), toasted teriyaki nori sheets and some bonito flakes. You can also add boiled egg (according to about.com), grated daikon radish or tenkasu (dry tempura drippings). If you want some, add a smear of wasabi paste on top.
  • Splash your sauce over the top, but be careful not to drown the noodles as the sauce is very strong!

Second attempt at bukkake udon - the finale

This is the kind of thing you can knock up from storecupboard ingredients if you’re a Japanese food fanatic like I am – so I consider it to be quite a cheap dish, although if you had to buy everything in especially it’d probably cost a fair bit.