Prawn Spring Rolls

  • For the sauce:
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ketchup
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons rice wine vinegar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Sriracha
  • 3/4 teaspoon cornflour
  • For the spring rolls:
  • 1 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons grated ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup finely chopped green cabbage
  • 1/2 carrot, shredded (about 1/2 cup packed)
  • 6 ounces small prawns, finely chopped
  • 3 spring onions, thinly sliced on the diagonal
  • 2 tablespoons mirin
  • 1 tablespoons soy sauce
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1/2 cup mung bean sprouts
  • 9 large sheets spring roll pastry wrappers, cut into quarters (See Cook's Note)
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • Peanut or rapeseed oil, for frying

Special equipment: a deep-fry thermometer

For the sauce: Whisk together 1/3 cup water, the sugar, ketchup, vinegar, Sriracha and cornflour in a small saucepan over medium-high heat, and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat when the sauce begins to thicken, 30 to 45 seconds. Let cool.

For the spring rolls: Meanwhile, heat a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Add the oil, ginger and garlic, and cook, stirring constantly, until aromatic, about 30 seconds. Add the cabbage and carrots, and cook, stirring, until wilted, about 1 minute. Add the prawns, spring onions, mirin, soy sauce, 1/4 teaspoons salt and a few cracks of black pepper, and cook, stirring, until the shrimp turn pink, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat, and stir in the sesame oil. Let the mixture cool for 15 minutes. Fold in the bean sprouts. When completely cool, roughly chop the mixture and set aside.

Put 1 spring roll wrapper on a work surface with a point facing you (it should be a diamond shape). Put about 1 tablespoon of the prawn mixture in the center of the wrapper, and spread to make a 1-inch log. Fold the bottom of the wrapper over the filling, rolling tightly to keep the spring rolls firm. Fold the sides of the wrapper over the filling. Brush the top edge of the wrapper with egg. Roll up tightly, pressing to seal the edge. Put finished rolls, seam-side down, on a plate or baking sheet until ready to fry. Repeat with the remaining wrappers and filling.

Fill a large heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven with 3 inches of oil, and attach a deep-fry thermometer to the side. Heat the pot over medium-high heat to 190°C. Fry the spring rolls in batches, 4 or 5 at a time, until lightly golden, about 2 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon to a paper towel-lined plate to absorb excess oil. Serve with the dipping sauce.

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Cook's Note: You can fry the spring rolls up to 1 hour in advance. Keep them warm in a 120°C oven on a baking sheet lined with a wire rack until ready to serve. Reheat the sauce to take the chill off, and serve with the spring rolls.

Don't use spring roll wrappers that are rice based, round and translucent.

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