The pastry 'lace' of these spring rolls creates a crisp and intriguing texture against the fragrant pork mince and plump, soft prawn filling.
Spring roll wrappers
- 500 g rice flour (clear packet with red writing not boxed)
- 50 g tapioca starch
- 50 g plain flour
- 130 g caster sugar
- 1 egg white
- 2 tsp vegetable oil
- spray oil, for cooking
Spring roll filling
- 300 g minced fatty pork
- 25 g dried shredded dried wood ear mushrooms, rehydrated in hot water for 30 minutes
- 25 g dried vermicelli, rehydrated in warm water for 15 minutes
- 200 g taro, peeled and grated
- 100 g sweet potato, peeled and grated
- 100 g carrot, grated
- 3 spring onions green part only, finely chopped
- 50 g red Asian shallots, finely chopped
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 tsp chicken bouillon powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp freshly ground white pepper
- 2 tsp caster sugar
- 30 green prawns, cleaned and peeled with tails in tact
- butter lettuce, coriander, mint, Vietnamese mint and nuoc mam dressing
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
1. Clean an empty food tin and drill holes around the end of the tin from the inside out. By drilling from the inside out it will ensure the batter can flow out in a steady stream. This will be used to distribute the batter in the pan.
2. For the spring roll wrappers, combine all the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Place the egg white, oil and 500 ml (2 cups) water in another bowl and whisk to combine well. Whisk the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until a smooth batter forms. The mixture will look thicker in the bowl so check the consistency by lifting the whisk from the bowl and ensuring that the batter runs in a steady stream. The batter needs to be thin enough to run steadily through the holes so add a little more water if necessary.
3. Place a non-stick frying pan over medium heat and spray lightly with oil.
4. Pour some batter into the tin (pour more batter than you will need as the weight of the batter will help it to form a smooth stream) and have the bowl on standby to put the tin down as the batter sets. Drizzle a thin stream of batter in a circular motion over the pan until a thin layer of batter forms. Cook for 20-30 seconds or until the batter has set (it will be firm to touch). There is no need to cook the other side as they will be cooked through during the frying process. Set aside under a tea towel to soften.
5. For the spring roll filling, place all the ingredients except the prawns in a large bowl and use your hands to combine well.
6. To assemble the rolls, place one spring roll wrapper with the lumpy side down on a work surface. Place 1 tablespoon of the filling on the bottom half of the wrapper (the size of the spring roll wrapper will depend on the size of the pan you used, so adjust the amount of filling accordingly). Fold the 2 sides over to meet in the centre. Place 1 prawn over the filling and roll upwards tightly. Seal the edge with water and place seam side down on a tray. Repeat with the remaining wrappers and filling.
7. Heat the oil for deep-frying in a wok or heavy-based saucepan to 180˚C. Cooking in small batches of 3-4 at a time, cook the spring rolls for 2-3 minutes, turning occasionally until light golden. Drain on paper towel. To serve, cut each roll diagonally into 3 pieces. Serve with lettuce leaves and herbs for wrapping and nuoc mam dipping sauce on the side.
Diana Chan and guests explore the flavours of Asia from her Melbourne home in the second series of Asia Unplated.