Chinese New Year Fare

Fri, 01/28/2022 - 5:45am

Gung Hei Fat Choy! Welcome to the Year of the Tiger! There are many traditional dishes served during the Chinese New Year holiday that have great significance and history in Chinese culture. Egg rolls (aka spring rolls) are symbols of wealth and prosperity in the coming year because of their golden color and rectangular shape, which resembles gold bars. So, fry up a batch and buy a lottery ticket.
Pork and Shrimp Egg Rolls
Canola or vegetable oil for frying
2 tablespoons peanut oil
1 large onion, chopped
3 large garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
2 cups shiitake mushroom caps, chopped
1⁄2 pound ground pork
1⁄2 pound raw shrimp, peeled, deveined, and chopped into small pieces
3 teaspoons corn starch
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 tablespoons oyster sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
3 cups Napa or Savoy cabbage, chopped
1⁄2 cup carrots, chopped fine or shredded
1 cup vermicelli rice noodles, soaked in cold water for 30 minutes until soft, then chopped into 1- to 2-inch pieces
1 package egg roll wrappers

Thai chili sauce or duck sauce for dipping

Sriracha or Chinese hot mustard for zing!

Heat 3 to 4 inches of canola or vegetable oil in a large Dutch oven or fryer to 375 degrees.
Sauté the onion and garlic in a large deep skillet or wok in peanut oil, over medium high heat, until soft and fragrant. Add the mushrooms and continue cooking, stirring frequently, while you prepare the pork.
Combine the pork with 1 teaspoon of the corn starch and 1⁄2 teaspoon of the salt and massage with your hands to combine. Add the pork to the pan and continue to cook, breaking it up with a spatula until just cooked through, about 10 minutes. Add the shrimp to the pan and cook for 1 more minute, stirring until shrimp starts to turn pink (note – shrimp does not need to be cooked through).
Combine the soy sauce, oyster sauce, sugar, and remaining 1⁄2 teaspoon of salt in a small bowl. Add this sauce, cabbage, carrots, and noodles to the pan. Toss to combine and fully coat everything with the sauce. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature.
Combine the remaining 2 teaspoons of cornstarch with 2 to 3 teaspoons of water to create a slurry. This will be the glue that holds your egg rolls together.
Lay out one egg roll wrapper with one corner pointing toward you, so you are facing a ‘diamond’, not a square. Place about 2 to 3 tablespoons (depending on the size of your wrappers) of the filling mixture about 1 inch from the corner closest to you. Fold the corner over the filling and roll once tightly, pushing the filling in on the edges. Fold in the corner on each side (much like making a sandwich wrap) and roll toward the far corner. When only a triangle of wrapper remains, dip your finger in the cornstarch slurry and dab the mixture
over the dough. Finish rolling, tightly, and set aside. Repeat with the rest of the wrappers and filling.

Drop the rolls in batches into the hot oil and fry, turning occasionally with tongs until golden brown and crisp, about 3-4 minutes. Drain on a cooling rack set on a foil lined cookie sheet. Serve hot with Thai chili dipping and Sriracha or hot mustard sauces.

Get hundreds of approachable and simply delicious recipes on Pam’s blog and follow her on FB @dishofftheblock and Instagram @dishblock for new recipes and tips! You can also get her spice blends on island at the BIG or The Block Island Trading Company! If you are not on Block Island, order her spices and cookbook on her website.