Crab Spring Rolls and Dipping Sauce

Chilli and grated ginger add a hint of heat to these sensational treats. Serve them as a starter or with other Chinese dishes as part of a main course


serves 4 - 6
15 ml (1 tbsp) groundnut oil
5 ml (1 tsp) sesame oil
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 fresh red chilli, seeded and finely sliced
450 g (1 lb) fresh stir-fry vegetables, such as beansprouts and shredded carrots, peppers and mangetouts
30 ml (2 tbsp) chopped coriander
2.5 cm (1 in) piece of fresh root ginger, grated
15 ml (1 tbsp) Chinese rice wine or dry sherry
15 ml (1 tbsp) soy sauce
350 g (12 oz) fresh dressed crab meat (brown and white meat)
12 spring roll wrappers
1 small egg, beaten
oil, for deep-frying
salt and ground black pepper
lime wedges and fresh coriander, to garnish

for the dipping sauce

1 onion, thinly sliced
oil, for deep-frying
1 fresh red chilli, seeded and finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
60 ml (4 tbsp) dark soy sauce
20 ml (4 tsp) lemon juice or 15 - 25 ml (1 - 1 1/2 tbsp) prepared tamarind juice
30 ml (2 tbsp) hot water


1. First make the sauce. Spread the onion out on kitchen paper and leave to dry for 30 minutes. Then half-fill a wok with oil and heat to 190°C (375°F) . Fry the onion in batches until crisp and golden, turning all the time. Drain on kitchen paper.

2. Mix together the chilli, garlic, soy sauce, lemon or tamarind juice and hot water in a bowl.

3. Stir in the onion and leave to stand for 30 minutes.

4. Heat the groundnut and sesame oils in a clean, preheated wok. When hot, stir-fry the crushed garlic and chilli for 1 minute. Add the vegetables, coriander and ginger and stir-fry for 1 minute more. Drizzle over the rice wine or dry sherry and soy sauce. Allow the mixture to bubble up for 1 minute.

5. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the vegetables to a bowl. Set aside until cool, then stir in the crab meat and season with salt and pepper.

6. Soften the spring roll wrappers, following the directions on the packet. Place some of the filling on a wrapper, fold over the front edge and the sides and roll up neatly, sealing the edges with a little beaten egg. Repeat with the remaining wrappers and filling.

7. Heat the oil for deep-frying in the / wok and fry the spring rolls in batches, turning several times, until brown and crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon, drain on kitchen paper and keep hot while frying the remainder. Serve at once, garnished with lime wedges and coriander, with the dipping sauce.

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