March 12, 2013 by Kai Chan
Fuzhou spring rolls are a lighter and healthier alternative to the deep-fried spring rolls offered by Shanghainese, Vietnamese and Thai cuisines because they are typically not fried. Originally eaten during the dragon boat festival in late spring / early summer, these spring rolls are now enjoyed year round and can be eaten as a main course, instead of an appetizer! Like most recipes for Chinese food, there is no exact portions for the ingredients in a recipe and many of the ingredients are optional due to availability. However, the two main ingredients essential to Fuzhou Spring Rolls are ginger and bean sprouts. So based on your preference, you can add or remove ingredients and also substitute the protein to make it vegetarian, vegan or even pescatorian!
1 lb julienned pork tenderloin
2 lbs bean sprouts
1 cup julienned fried tofu / soy puffs
1 cup julienned flavored tofu
¼ cup julienned preserved vegetables
2 tablespoons minced ginger
¼ teaspoon black pepper
½ teaspoon cornstarch
¹⁄8 teaspoon white pepper
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon soy sauce
¼ teaspoon salt and addt’l to taste
6 tablespoons light oil (vegetable, canola, corn or grape oil)
10 stalks of Chinese chives or scallions (cut into 1 inch strips and separate the white / light green strips from the dark green strips)
Spring roll wrappers (preferably the 8” 25 count TYJ Spring Roll Pastry)
Yields 15-20 spring rolls depending on the size of your spring roll
Season the pork with 1 tablespoon of soy sauce and marinate for 30 minutes. Mix in ½ teaspoon of cornstarch. Heat up 2 tablespoons of oil in a high-rimmed pan over moderate to high heat. Add the pork, season with ½ teaspoon of salt, black pepper and cook thoroughly. Set aside the cooked pork.
Heat up 4 tablespoons of oil in the same pan over a moderate to high heat. Add the ginger and cook it until light brown (1-2 minutes). Add the white / light green chives and cook for 30 seconds. Add the bean sprouts and sauté for 5 minutes. Add the tofu and preserved vegetables and sauté for another minute. Add salt to taste, if necessary. Add the remaining dark green chives, pork and ¹⁄8 teaspoon of white pepper, 1 tablespoon of sesame oil and sauté for 1 more minute. Do not overcook the bean sprouts as the crunch of the bean sprouts will add texture to the spring roll. Put the spring roll filling into a large bowl. For a less soggy spring roll, put a small inverted bowl at the bottom of the large bowl to strain out the excess liquid.
How to eat:
Put one spring roll wrapper onto a plate with one corner towards you and add 3-4 tablespoons of the filling across the lower half of the spring roll. Add hot sauce (i.e., Sriracha) to the filing if you like. Fold over the bottom corner, tuck in the side corners and roll up the spring roll. Hold the spring roll in one or both hands and take a large bite from one end and ENJOY!
These are fresh spring rolls that are meant to be eaten as they are assembled because the juicy filling will make the spring rolls soggy after a couple of minutes if not eaten right away. As a result, they should not be made ahead of time unless you want to fry them. If you do fry them, you will need to fry them twice – first fry will reduce the moisture in the filling and second fry before you serve them will re-crisp the skin.