You should see the pancake/spring rolls my Dad makes for the family business, they are HUGE. They are close to 15 x 5 cm (6 x 2 inches) and are a meal in themselves. My parents have been running their business since the late 60’s and their pancake rolls haven’t changed over the years. My Dad makes every single one of them from scratch, including their skins. The mini spring rolls found in Oriental (Asian) eateries now are no comparison.
I’m not as skilled or patient as my dad too lazy to make my own spring roll skins, so I use store-bought ones. I usually make a huge batch and then freeze them individually. Once frozen, I pop them into a container and keep them in the freezer until needed. I don’t fry these spring rolls, but bake them from frozen. They turn out a little anemic in color, but they’re just as crispy without the grease.
BAKED CHICKEN SPRING ROLLS
- 685 g (1 ½ lb) chicken thigh/breast, sliced into thin strips
For the marinade
- 3 T light soy sauce
- 1 t sesame oil
- 2 T shaoxing wine
- 1 t corn flour* (corn starch) or unmodified potato starch
For the filling
- 15 x dried shiitake mushrooms, soaked until soft, rinsed, drained and finely sliced
- 450 g (1 lb) Chinese leaf (napa cabbage), finely chopped
- 1 t salt
- 1 t oil
- 2 T very finely chopped ginger
- 6 garlic cloves, crushed
- 225 g (½ lb) carrots, top and tailed, peeled, finely sliced into matchsticks
- 1 bunch spring (green) onions, topped and sliced into 2 ½ cm (1 inch) pieces
- 2 x 225 g (8 oz) cans bamboo shoots, rinsed, drained, sliced into thin strips
- 1 T shaoxing wine
- 1 T light soy sauce
- 1 T sesame oil
- 1 t black pepper
- 2 t corn flour* (corn starch) or unmodified potato starch, mixed with a little water to make a slurry
- 50 spring roll wrappers
* Corn flour (UK) is completely different to corn flour (US). If not in the UK, please use corn starch and NOT corn flour.
1. Make the marinade by mixing all the ingredients together in a medium sized bowl. Place the chicken into the marinade, stir to coat and cover the bowl with cling-film (plastic wrap). Pop into the refrigerator or 1-2 hours or overnight.
2. In a large bowl, mix together the Chinese leaf (napa cabbage) with 1 t salt and set aside for 10 minutes. Squeeze out the excess water from the Chinese leaf (napa cabbage) and set aside.
3. Heat a large frying pan (skillet) or wok and then add the oil. Stir fry the ginger and garlic until aromatic, about 3-4 minutes.
4. Add the chicken and fry until cooked through, 3-5 minutes. Add the carrots, Chinese leaf (napa cabbage), shiitake mushrooms and bamboo shoots and cook for a 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally.
5. Add the shaoxing wine, light soy sauce, sesame oil, black pepper and starch slurry and stir until the sauce thickens.
6. Take the pan off the heat and place into a sieve (strainer) to drain out excess moisture until it cools.
7. Divide the mixture equally between the wrappers to form spring rolls, using water to stick the edge together.
8. Lay the rolls onto a tray single layered and not touching. Place the tray into a freezer for a few hours or until the rolls are frozen. Once frozen, place them into a container in the freezer until you’re ready to store them.
9. To cook, place frozen spring rolls onto a parchment lined baking tray and bake for 20-25 minutes at 200°C/400°F. Enjoy!