I remember when I was a kid, I used to enjoy going to the swimming complex near my place. Well, definitely not for the swimming, but because the small canteen at the complex sells some very good fried spring rolls. And I used to enjoy dabbing the spring rolls in some sweet dark sauce which till date, I still love it that way.
And probably because of the “hard work” involved in preparing for the traditional spring rolls where you have to peel, cut and grate the yam bean by hand, I haven’t found a good match for a good one till I visited a temple at the Big Buddha at Lantau Island Hong Kong earlier in the year. Perhaps it’s a vegetarian place, hence the spring rolls they serve are really fabulous !!
Why I said I haven’t been able to find a good match thus far, is that I realise some of the stalls selling this has been replacing the traditional yam bean with cabbage which I reckon should be easier to prepare. It’s just slicing if you are to use cabbage, save the extra tasks in having to peel or grate the yam bean.
So when I decide to prepare this on my own, I make sure yam bean has had to be used. Ok, you might as well say I should make the popiah skin myself too, but then that’s really beyond my means. So set that aside, the rest are still tactfully prepared by hand, including all the mincing, slicing, grating, etc.
And if you notice, I also added some mushrooms to the filling of the spring rolls to enhance the taste further. That’s the beauty of home cooked food, isn’t it ? Everything can be customised. Also, if you desire really really crunchy spring rolls, you are recommended to use an extra piece of the popiah skin to wrap the filling or you can use a larger size to make sure the spring rolls are rolled till the filling is almost non visible when viewed through the popiah skin.
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- 20 pcs of 5-inch size popiah (spring roll) skin (or 40 pcs if you intend to wrap double layer)
- 2 tbsp cooking oil, and more for deep frying
- 2 tbsp minced garlic
- 700g yam bean (bang kuang), shredded
- 100g carrots, shredded
- 7-8 pcs shitake mushroom, diced
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp chicken powder
- ½ tsp pepper
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 2 tsp corn flour mixed with 2 tbsp of water
- 1 tsp corn flour with a few drops of water to mix into a sticky solution, like "glue"
- Heat up 2 tbsp of cooking oil and add the minced garlic. Saute till fragrant.
- Add the shredded yam bean, carrots and diced mushrooms. Stir fried till they start to softened.
- Add in all the seasoning ingredients. Continue to stir fry till all the vegetables are softened. Taste and adjust accordingly with salt and pepper.
- Add in the corn flour solution and continue to stir till all are fairly dry.
- Dish on a wide tray and allow to cool before wrapping.
- Lay the spring roll skin with one edge pointing towards you. Apply some sealing mixture on the 4 corners. Wrap in 1½ tbsp of filling from the previous step by folding in the 2 sides. Fold the corner facing you upwards and roll into a spring roll.
- Heat up some cooking oil for deep drying the spring rolls till golden brown.
- Drain the excess oil on paper towels before serving hot with chilli sauce of sweet sauce.