Spring rolls

If you do nothing else at Chinese New Year, eat a spring roll. These tasty packages resemble ingots of gold and symbolise the coming of Spring, which Chinese New Year ushers in.

The wood ear fungus this recipe requires is sold in Chinese supermarkets. If you can’t find it, simply substitute with shredded mushroom or adjust the amount of the other fillings to suit.

2 tbsp vegetable or groundnut oil
175g bean sprouts
55g carrots, shredded
25g canned bamboo shoots, shredded
1 tbsp wood ear fungus, soaked in boiling water and shredded
30g cooked chicken, chopped or shredded
25g cooked ham or barbecued pork, shredded
30g cooked shrimps
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp sugar
a dash of white pepper
a dash of sesame oil
7-8 spring roll wrappers, thawed if necessary
1 egg, beaten (optional)
vegetable oil for deep-frying

1. Heat a wok over a high heat, and add the oil. When it is slightly smoking, add the meat and vegetables. Stir-fry for 3-5 minutes until hot and cooked.

2. Stir in the salt, sugar, white pepper and sesame oil.

3. Take the mixture off the heat and drain it through a colander and allow it to cool.

4. To make the rolls, take a spring roll wrapper and lay it flat in front of you. Make sure you keep the other wrappers sealed in their packet or covered with a damp cloth. Otherwise they will become too dry and unworkable.

5. Put a good handful of filling in the middle of the wrapper and fold the bottom edge up and over it, covering the filling completely. Fold in the sides and continue rolling up the wrapper until you have a tightly-wrapped package. Seal it with a little water or beaten egg. Repeat for the remaining wrappers or until you run out of filling.

6. To serve, deep-fry the spring rolls at 170-180°C for 4-5 minutes or until pale golden in colour.