Spring rolls originate from China. At least I’d like to think that it’s another good and old Chinese invention. “A roll of spring (春卷)”, there cannot be a more accurate and romantic way to name a dish/snack which are usually served on Chinese new year.
The types and variations of spring rolls are endless. In Vietnam, flour skins are replaced with rice papers, deep fried or raw. My first encounter of them was in a Vietnamese restaurant in Australia. Since then, raw Vietnamese summer rolls became one of my favourite lunch options. They are filled with veggies, herbs, glass noodles and more. In Hong Kong and a broader Cantonese region, people add pork mince and bean sprouts in their spring rolls. In China, people simply put anything they like into spring rolls. There are no fix rules on what make the best spring rolls. In my old school canteen, they even put leftover stir-fries from the day before into spring rolls for the next day. It’s actually a really good money saving tip.
My spring roll recipe is very different from any ones above. I’m not even sure how many people are actually making their spring rolls like mines. It’s a moderated version of my mum’s spring roll recipe, who is the best cook in the whole family. She uses yellow chives and Chinese salted dry pork steaks. If you are familiar with these two ingredients, you could probably imagine how powerful and flavourful these spring rolls are.
Yellow chives/ Chinese chives have a distinctive strong smell. If you can’t stand normal green chives, then you should definitely avoid these yellow ones. They are 100 times stronger in turns of their smell. It’s guaranteed to leave you a bad breath after eating, but they are incredibly tasty and healthy.
The methods of making Chinese salted pork are kind similar to the making of Spanish ham. People like to preserve a bit of meat during cold winter when there isn’t much food around. Even nowadays Chinese still like to prepare them for every winter. I have seen my mum making them at home over and over again. It takes real care and patience.
Unfortunately, those 2 most important ingredients from my mum’s recipe are simply unavailable here in Karlsruhe. So I had to replace them with their close “relatives”: green chives and bacon. After deep frying them in hot oil, they turn golden and brown. It’s crispy on the outside, fresh and juicy on the inside. If it’s not food heaven, I don’t know what is. It reminds me my childhood back in China and makes me feel like a little girl again. My loving hubby said I should patent this recipe since it is so tasteful, but loving is sharing. So don’t forget to go to my YouTube channel for this cooking video.v