Say hello to the Year of the Dog, everyone.
With the arrival of the Chinese New Year on Feb. 16, millions of people around the world will celebrate the end of the lunisolar Chinese calendar with food, friends and parties.
Just like many grandiose events, one of the most important aspects of this weekend’s celebrations is the food. But if you’re not really feeling going out to celebrate, you can easily make some homemade dishes inspired by Asian culture, which includes one of the most well-recognized and loved appetizers — the spring roll.
To celebrate Chinese New Year, Jon Uddin, kitchen manager of Winter Park’s new Wonton Asian Kitchen, shared the restaurant’s spring roll recipe, which which took years of trial and error to perfect.
“It’s pretty standard authentic ingredients and flavors — soy sauce, brown sugar, carrots, shiitake — all that stuff,” Uddin said. “We make the mix in house fresh, we roll them fresh every day.”
- Heat oil in a frying pan or wok to medium/high. Once the pan or wok is heated, add 1/2 teaspoon of both ginger and garlic. Stir until aromatic.
- Add 1 ounce of onions and 2.5 ounces of sliced carrots, and stir fry for around one minute. Then, add in the remaining ingredients — sans the blanched rice noodles — and sauté for another minute.
- Remove the pan/wok from the heat and mix in the blanched rice noodles. Once mixed, place the mix into a colander and drain for five minutes — pressing the mixture.
This is important, Uddin said.
“Make sure that you press it and drain out as much of the liquid as you can,” Uddin said. “You want it to be, not dry like paper, but dry.”
Let cool before placing into wraps.
- The rolling and packing of mix into the rolls is probably the trickiest part, and it requires some trial and error in developing a technique.
“When you roll them, you want to roll them as tightly as possible without tearing the skin,” Uddin said. “If you roll them too tightly, they might pop, and they’ll get greasy inside when you fry it. If you roll it too loose, there might be an opening somewhere, and it’ll get greasy inside when you fry it. Make sure there is no gaps or holes.”
The recipe calls for 1/4 cup of mixture per each wrap, which Uddin said is around 2 ounces at most.
Once you’ve gotten the right amount of mix into your spring roll, roll it tightly and seal it with a layer of flour/water mix.
- Once rolled, deep fry the rolls for exactly 90 seconds until golden brown.