Also known as the Lor Bak 卤肉 to some, this has always been a must to me on Chinese New Year. I'm not exactly sure what the significance is; I just grew up getting used to the idea of having them as part of the meals on big festive seasons as this, probably a culture and tradition of the Hokkien. Oh yes, I am a Hokkien! lol. But on second thought, these spring rolls do seem to fit into the picture rather well. In China, the Chinese New Year signifies the beginning of the spring season and thus it is also known as the Spring Festival to some. Spring rolls in the beginning of spring, sounds kinda perfect in a way! lol.
These spring rolls is one that makes you hard to stop at just a single bite or piece. It always leaves you keep wanting for more each time! Well it is to me lol. There have been plenty of variations as to how they are done. At least I have seen all my relatives having their very own versions. Similar but not totally the same, they however carry the same concept - marinated minced meat rolled in bean curd sheets and served deep fried. Some are made with pork while some opted to have the shrimps added in. There's a version with just the meat rolled in; there's another version with bits of vegetables incorporated in it - water chestnuts, carrots, spring onions or the onions maybe. And to complicate matter a little further, everyone just seems to have their own seasoning formula! Complicated or flexible, I think the terms go interchangeably in this matter lol.
Starting our very own family tradition here this year, I made it a point to include these spring rolls in our menu too. The good thing about these spring rolls is that they can be made in a relatively large batch and frozen them up for later consumptions. So when you have had that done and stored away in the freezer safe and sound, knowing that will hopefully leave you with a little peace of mind as you continue getting yourself busy working on the plenty other meals throughout the Chinese New Year celebration. It sure did work on me! lol.
To my many readers who have witnessed my progress and development ever since I started this blog, I thank you so very much for the endless support to keep me going! Even that seems so inadequate.
And particularly to those who celebrate the Chinese New Year, Happy Chinese New Year!
Hokkien Spring Rolls 福建春卷
Makes about seven 6½" rolls
1lb ground pork, marinated with the pork marinade in advance (see below)
1/2 shrimps, shelled and coarsely minced then leave marinated with the shrimp marinade (see below)
1 small sized carrot, finely chopped
2 stalks spring onions, finely chopped
crispy fried shallots from 8 shallots
2 tbsps fried shallot oil
7 bean curd sheets, cut into rectangles measuring about 7½" x 8"
enough oil for pan frying
1 tsp white pepper powder
2 tbsps soy sauce
1 tbsp sesame oil
1/2 tbsp Shaoxing wine
1/2 tbsp corn starch
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1. Prepare the crispy fried shallots as how it's laid out in a previous post on the Homemade Crispy Fried Shallots 香酥红葱头油. Set it aside.
2. In a large mixing bowl, add in the ground pork and shrimps followed by the carrots, spring onions and the egg. Mix thoroughly until the are well combined. Drizzle in the fried shallot oil next and again mix them up well.
3. Bring in the crispy fried shallots. Fold them over again and again to combine really well. Set aside.
4. Working on a bean curd sheet at one time, lightly wipe a bean curd sheet on both sides with a damp paper towel. That will soften the sheet a little making it more pliable and at the same time reducing the saltiness of these bean curd sheets.
5. Spoon in about 3 to 4 heaped tbsps of filling along the shorter edge. Shape them into a cylinder roll of about 1½" in diameter. Leave about 1/2" of gap on the sides.
6. Roll the bean curd sheet up, packing them up and tightening a little to leave as little air space in between them as possible. Fold in the sides neatly as you go and continue rolling away from you until you reach the end.
7. Lightly wet the edge with a damp paper towel to seal the roll.
8. Repeat with the rest of the rolls. Set them aside while you get the steamer ready with enough steaming water in it.
9. Working in two batches, lightly oil the rolls to prevent them from sticking to the steamer basket. Place the rolls in the steamer basket. Be sure to leave some space in between them. Let steam for about 13 minutes until they are well cooked. When done, gently transfer the rolls onto a cooling rack and let cool completely. This is when you can choose to have them packed away (again always leave a small gap in between the rolls) and keep them frozen for future consumptions. They will just have to be defrosted, pan fried and they should be good to go!
10. To pan fry right before serving, heat a frying pan with just enough oil. Working on 1 to 2 rolls each time, fry them on medium heat until they appear brown and crispy. Transfer them onto a wire rack and let cool lightly.
11. Slice the rolls at an angle, about 1/2" in thickness for each piece and serve as it is. Likewise they go along well with the Thai sweet chili sauce too.