You might know this delicious deep-fried snack as spring rolls, but in Indonesia we call them lumpia. It's a tradition in my family to make these golden, crispy and moreish snacks for special occasions and they have always made the perfect appetizer for Lunar New Year — something my family love to celebrate every year. My mum usually keeps a stash of these spring rolls in the freezer so you can make them in bulk. They can be frozen in a single layer on a tray, then piled into a bag or container and kept in the freezer for up to 3 months. If cooking from frozen, cook for 6-7 minutes, or until lightly golden.
Technique tip: Once you have defrosted and opened your spring roll wrappers, keep them covered under a clean tea towel. Also keep the spring rolls covered before you are ready to cook them, this prevents the wrappers from drying out. If you don't have a digital thermometer, you can test that your frying oil is hot enough by adding a cube of bread to the oil; it should turn golden in 25-30 seconds. If you aren't using a deep fryer, use a heavy based, deep saucepan, filling it to a third full. Never walk away from a pot of hot oil as it can be a fire hazard!
Swap option: If you can't find kecap manis, you can replace 2 tablespoons kecap manis with 2 tablespoons dark soy sauce mixed with 2 tablespoons brown sugar.
- 2¾ ounces dried rice vermicelli or other thin noodles
- 4 tablespoons sunflower oil, plus extra for deep-frying
- 14 ounces ground chicken or pork if you prefer
- 3½ ounces shiitake, chestnut or brown mushrooms, stems removed, thinly sliced
- 2 carrots, peeled and grated
- 1¾ ounces bean sprouts, roughly chopped
- 8 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
- 4 small scallions, thinly sliced on the diagonal
- 3 tablespoons kecap manis
- 4½ tablespoons oyster sauce
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce
- 1 lime, juiced
- 1 pinch sea salt
- 12 (8- or 10-inch) square spring roll wrappers, defrosted if frozen
- 1 banana or 1 beaten egg, for sealing
- sweet chili sauce or sambal, to serve
1. Place the noodles in a heatproof bowl and pour over boiling water. Leave to soak for 10 minutes (or follow the packet instructions). Once softened, drain and return to the bowl, tossing in a little oil to prevent them from sticking. Set aside.
2. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a frying pan over a high heat and add the mince. Stirring continuously, fry the mince until cooked through and well-browned. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
3. Heat another 2 tablespoons of oil in the pan over a medium-high heat, add the mushrooms and sauté for 2-3 minutes, or until cooked through.
4. Add the carrots and bean sprouts and stir for 1 minute, then add the garlic and cook for a further 1 minute.
5. Return the cooked mince to the pan along with the noodles and scallions, stirring for a further 1 minute.
6. Finally, add the kecap manis, oyster sauce, fish sauce and lime juice, then continue to cook for a further 2 minutes, or until the sauce is clinging to the meat. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary (it is better for the filling to taste fairly strong at this stage because the spring roll wrapper absorbs a lot of the flavor during cooking). Set aside to cool.
7. Lay a clean tea towel over the spring roll wrappers to prevent them from drying out. Line a tray with baking parchment. Cut a chunk of banana with the skin on to use as glue for the spring roll (alternatively, you can use beaten egg).
8. Peel one wrapper off the top of the pile and lay it on a chopping board, facing you like a diamond. Place 1-2 tablespoons of the filling on the bottom third of the wrapper. Roll the bottom corner of the wrapper up over the filling and then continue rolling until you reach the middle. Fold in the left and right corners, then rub the flesh of the banana along the edges of the exposed top corner of the wrapper. (If using beaten egg, brush this on instead.) Finish rolling up the rest of the wrapper and seal the final corner. Place the spring roll on the tray. Repeat with more wrappers until all the filling is used up.
9. Fill a deep saucepan one-third full of oil. Heat the oil to 320 F (if you do not have a kitchen thermometer, check the oil is at temperature by adding a cube of bread; it should turn golden in 25-30 seconds). Carefully lower 4-6 spring rolls into the hot oil, without overcrowding the pan. Deep-fry for 4-6 minutes or until golden all over. Transfer to a tray lined with paper towels to absorb any excess oil. Repeat with the remaining spring rolls.
10. Serve immediately, with sambal or sweet chili dipping sauce.
Reprinted from "Coconut & Sambal" by arrangement with Bloomsbury Publishing. Copyright © 2020, Lara Lee.
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