Spring Rolls (a recipe by Sara Woodward)

Yield: 25 rolls, 5 to 10 servings.

Ingredients

  ½ lb ground chicken
  1 tsp garlic, chopped
  1 tbsp cooking oil
 
  150 g bean threads (2 cups after being soaked)
 
  1 small carrot, finely chopped
  2 tbsp celery, finely chopped
  36 mushrooms, finely chopped
  2 tbsp green onion, chopped
  2 tbsp cilantro, chopped
  ½ cup water chestnuts, finely cut into small pieces
 
  2 tbsp thin soy sauce
  2 tbsp light soy sauce
  1 tsp sesame oil
  2 tbsp sugar
  ½ tsp pepper
  ¼ tsp garlic powder
 
  1 egg

Preparation

1. Soak bean threads in hot water for 1 to 2 minutes, drain, then chop up.

2. Cook chicken and garlic in oil until thoroughly cooked.

3. In a mixing bowl beat egg thoroughly.

4. Chop up mushrooms, onions, celery, carrot, scallions, cilantro, etc. and set aside. Note that these ingredients aren’t hard and fast: you can experiment.

5. In a mixing bowl combine all ingredients except egg and mix thoroughly.

6. Spoon about 2 tablespoons of mixture onto Wei-Chuan™ Spring Roll crust, then roll tightly. Use a beaten egg as a glue to seal spring roll wrapper.

7. Either freeze for later use or cook immediately. These rolls sort of store, but they are always better fresh.

Cooking and Serving Suggestions

Heat at least ½ inch of cooking oil in a pan to 350° and cook thawed rolls 5 or 6 at a time.

- Serve with Mae Ploy Sweet Chili Sauce™ for dipping. Oh, yeah. This is good stuff. You’ll find it at any Asian store.

- I have taken to getting my guests to roll these as a pre-dinner activity—usually while I’m doing something else in which I’ve fallen behind and it works well except that they are sometimes inadequate at the task making fat, not particularly well sealed rolls which sometimes fall apart.

- Also, realize that if you don’t want to cook the spring rolls black, you must roll them yourself and make really long, thin ones so that they will cook inside as well as out and look and taste very pleasing. They’re funner to eat, too. Still, I like the activity involving the guests.

- If you use a food processor, be careful not to make mud out of the filling; it is very easy to do and the result isn’t as tasty by far.