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Chinese Crispy Spring Rolls

These small and dainty vegetarian stir-fried rolls are ideal served as starters or cocktail snacks. For a non-vegetarian, just replace the mushrooms with chicken or pork, and substitute prawns for the carrots.

To make cornflour paste, mix. 4 parts dry cornflour with about 5 parts cold water until smooth.

ingredients

makes 40 rolls
225 g (8 oz) fresh bean sprouts
115 g (4 oz) tender leeks or spring onions
115 g (4 oz) carrots
115 g (4 oz) bamboo shoots, sliced
115 g (4 oz) white mushrooms
45 - 60 ml (3 - 4 tbsp) vegetable oil
5 ml (1 tsp) salt
5 ml (1 tsp) light brown sugar
15 ml (1 tbsp) light soy sauce
15 ml (1 tbsp) Chinese rice wine or dry sherry
20 frozen spring roll skins, thawed
15 ml (1 tbsp) cornflour paste
flour, for dusting
oil, for deep frying
soy sauce, to serve (optional)

method

1. Cut all the vegetables into thin shreds, roughly the same size and shape as the bean sprouts.

2. Heat the oil in a wok and stir-fry the vegetables for about 1 minute. Add the salt, sugar, soy sauce and rice wine or sherry and continue stirring for 1 1/2 - 2 minutes. Remove and drain the excess liquid, then leave to cool.

3. To make the spring rolls, cut each spring roll skin in half diagonally, then place about 15 ml (1 tbsp) of the vegetable mixture one third of the way down on the skin, with the triangle pointing away from you.

4. Lift the lower flap over the filling and roll it up once.

5. Fold in both ends and roll once more, then brush the upper edge with a little cornflour paste, and roll into a neat pack. Lightly dust a tray with flour and place the spring rolls on the tray with the flap side down.

6. To cook, heat the oil in a wok until hot, then reduce the heat to low. Deep fry the spring rolls in batches (about 8 - 10 at a time) for 2 - 3 minutes or until golden and crisp, then remove and drain. Serve the spring rolls hot with soy sauce, if liked.

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