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Cheun Yaw – Fried Spring Rolls

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Lao fried spring rolls are so yummy we had to come up with a recipe to share with you all. Besides the frying, it’s a fairly healthy recipe. There are a lot of vegetables in this recipe so it’s like a complete meal. Eat on its own with a dipping sauce or in a traditional wrap style feast with lettuce, fresh herbs and noodles.

This recipe is quite a fun one to make with friends and family as it helps to speed up the wrapping process which as you know, many hands make light work! As a child I remember my mum and aunties coming together in the kitchen and they would all be rolling these delicious spring rolls and one person would be designated as the fryer. It was fun watching them make the spring rolls while they laughed and chatted away together.

IMG_3972 This is a recent feast we had while we were together recently in Melbourne (August 2013). The spring rolls are cut into bite sized pieces and then wrapped in lettuce, noodles, tomatoes, cucumber, beansprouts and herbs. Goes really well with our sweet dipping sauce.

In our journey we have been making a lot of spring rolls lately. We have trialled many versions of this recipe over the last few weeks it was like the good, the bad and the ugly of the spring roll world!

Like everything, good things take time and we finally we came up with the perfect recipe! According to our friends and family anyway 🙂

Give it a go, it may look daunting at first as there’s a lot of ingredients in this recipe but the key is to be organised and to make sure you have everything prepared before you start frying. But once you get that out-of-the-way, it’s easy peasy! These spring rolls are so delicious and tasty and we know that your family will absolutely enjoy eating it too.

What you will need makes about 25

Spring roll wrappers
Vegetable oil (about 3-4 cups)
1 Kilogram of pork mince
1 & 1/2 cups of grated carrots
1 & 1/2 cups of sliced cabbage
1 & 1/2 cups of bean sprouts
1 & 1/2 cups of vermicelli noodles (soaked to soften)
1 cup soaked black fungi (sliced)
1 large onion sliced
2-3 stalks of spring onion (sliced)
2 medium eggs
4 cloves garlic (minced)
2 Tablespoons oyster sauce
2 Tablespoons sugar
1 Tablespoons chicken stock powder
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon white pepper

You will also need:

A wok or frying-pan
Paper towels for draining
Chopsticks or tongs

I find getting all the ingredients ready first is easier, that way you don’t forget anything and it speeds up the preparation process.

Step 1. First you will need to soak the dried black fungi in cold water for 5 minutes. Once it has been re-hydrated, slice thinly and set aside. At the same time, soak the vermicelli noodles in warm water for 5 minutes, drain then set aside.

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Step 2. Now to get the rest of the ingredients ready. Slice the onions, spring onions and mince the garlic and set aside. Prepare the rest of the ingredients and set aside as shown in the picture below.

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You can use either the Vietnamese rice paper rolls or Chinese spring roll wrappers like the ones I’ve used tonight. It comes frozen from any Asian store and most supermarket chains should stock these too. Let it thaw while you’re getting your ingredients prepared.

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Step 3. Once you have soaked, sliced and diced everything, put all your ingredients except the oil into a large mixing bowl and combined together until it is thoroughly mixed. It’s easier to use your hands to mix everything together, but make sure you have clean hands to do this!

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Step 4. Next is the fun part. Wrapping the spring rolls. I like to have a small bowl of water handy to finish the spring roll off at the ends so they stick nicely.

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Step 4.1 Put about 2 tablespoons of your mixture onto the middle of your wrapper, bring the sides in so they are just touching.

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Step 4.2 Fold the bottom wrapper up onto the mixture away from you, then start rolling. The trick is to keep it firm and tight, the less air that gets into the spring roll the better the frying experience will be.

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Step 4.3 Just before you finish rolling, I like to dab a little water on the last triangle edge then finish rolling. This makes it stick better.

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Repeat til you have used up all the spring roll mince mixture. This is the most time consuming part of the recipe so it’s good to have a few friends help out or even better, get the kids involved and teach them how to wrap the spring rolls for you! 🙂

With this mixture I made about 25 decent sized rolls. It all really depends on how big or small you make them.

Step 5. Heat the oil in your wok or fry pan on a low to medium heat. Test the temperature with a chopstick. If the oil bubbles around the chopstick, the oil is ready for frying.

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In my wok I fry three at a time. Takes about 3 minutes on each side or until golden brown.

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Step 6. Drain on paper towels and repeat until you have fried all the spring rolls.

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I wasn’t left with much after I finished frying as I noticed little hands reaching for them faster than I could fry!

Tonight I served them with a sweet dipping sauce … YUM!

You can find the recipe for the sweet dipping sauce on our previous post with the Kua Mei (Lao fried noodles).

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Happy Cooking, Happy Eating!

 

Kua mee – Lao fried noodles

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Not to be mistaken for Pad Thai, kua mee is more sweet than savoury and has a very unique flavour to it, not to mention that it is very delicious to eat.

The caramelising of the sugar at the start of the cooking process is what gives this dish a unique sweetness and the oyster sauce, soy sauce and fish sauce are the savoury components. The sweet/savoury marriage of flavours is what sets this dish apart from other noodle dishes and the other reason why it’s always a hit in our household is because it goes perfectly with barbequed or grilled meat or with dum maak hoong (see recipe under salads), now that’s what you call a combo!

Now if you have never caramelised sugar before, it can be a bit tricky at first. A good tip is to keep the heat on a lo-medium temperature and you have to keep an eye on the sugar so that it doesn’t burn. Trust me, once you get the hang of caramelising the sugar without burning it, you will be rewarded with amazing results and you will fall in love with this dish and the flavours too.

In our family, we would always make kua mee with left over rice noodles after we’ve had a big feast on pho (rice noodle soup). It was a way to utilise the left over noodles, and you can add beef, pork, chicken or prawns to the dish to make it more substantial. For this recipe, we have made a vegetarian version of kua mee but if you would like to add meat to the noodles, do this after you have added the garlic and onions and follow the rest of the steps as normal.

One more thing, the sweet dressing sauce is optional, but it is highly recommended. Pour the dressing over the noodles just before serving and it gives the dish a whole new depth of flavours which will knock your socks off!

Like our other dishes, we have tried to make the recipe easy to follow but also maintaining its integrity and flavours. So give this dish a go and enjoy!

This recipe serves 4 as a main dish.

What you will need:

1 packet of rice noodles (approx 400g)

500ml boiling water

500ml cold water

1/4 Cup of oil (preferably olive oil but any vegetable oil will be fine)

1/4 Cup of white sugar

1 Teaspoon salt

4 cloves of garlic

1 onion sliced (or 4 shallots)

3 Tablespoon oyster sauce

2 Tablespoon fish sauce

1 Tablespoon soy sauce

1 teaspoon chicken stock

5 Tablespoon water

1/2 Cup spring onions

1/2 Cup coriander

Crushed peanuts

Extra coriander and lemon wedges to garnish

For the omelet

4 eggs

1 Teaspoon sugar

1 1/2 teaspoon fish sauce

1 teaspoon soy sauce

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Kua mee – Method

1. Soak the rice noodles in a big bowl with 500ml of boiling water and 500ml of cold water for 5 minutes. Drain and set aside.

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2. You will need a wok to cook the noodles in. Put your wok on the stove on a medium heat. Add the oil and sugar

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Once the sugar starts to caramelise and brown around the edges you can swirl the wok so the oil browns the rest of the sugar evenly. See below.

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3. Add the garlic and onions and cook for about 3-5 minutes until it becomes golden and fragrant.

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4. Now add into the wok the oyster sauce, fish sauce, soy sauce, chicken stock and water. Stir to combine and there should be quite a bit of liquid in the sauce now.

Turn up the heat just a little and cook for about 3 minutes.

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5. Now add the rice noodles. It’s recommended that you use 2 wooden spoons to gently toss and stir the noodles with the sauce, it’s a lot easier with 2 spoons rather than just the one.

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You’re almost done. Set the noodles aside while you get onto making the omelet.

To the make the omelet, you will need to do the following:

6. Break the eggs into a bowl, add the sugar, pinch of salt, fish sauce and soy sauce and mix well with a fork to combine. You will have enough egg mixture to cook approx 3 or 4 batches of omelet.

7. Pour a bit of the egg mixture into a frying pan and cook for 1 minute on a medium to high heat. Turn over and cook for another minute on the other side. Once cooked, place onto a chopping board. Repeat this process until you have used up all the egg mixture.

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8. Let the omelet cool for a few minutes. Then slice into long strips and set aside.

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9. Now to finish off the dish. Add the sliced omelet, spring onions and coriander to the noodles and toss to combine.

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Serve with crushed peanuts and a wedge of lemon and pour over the noodles the sweet dressing sauce. Enjoy!

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Sweet dressing sauce

2 Cups water

1 1/2 Cup white sugar

1 garlic crushed

1/4 Cup fish sauce

Juice of one lemon

1 Tablespoon white vinegar

Method:

1. In a small pot add water with sugar on a medium heat and cook until the sugar has dissolved. Add the crushed garlic.

2. Turn off the heat, now add the rest of the ingredients; fish sauce, lemon and vinegar. Stir to combine. Done!

You can keep the left over sauce in an air tight container and it will keep in the fridge for up to 2 months.

Happy cooking, happy eating.

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