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Looking for egg rolls or spring rolls? Chinese pancake rolls are very popular in Chinese fish and chip shops, takeaways and restaurants. Eaten alone or dipped in your favourite sauce, these large cylindrical parcels are packed full of beansprouts and ooze as you bite into them.
Chinese Takeout in 5 by Kwoklyn Wan is available now.
For Char Siu Pork
- 1 kg (2lb 4oz) pork shoulder
- 500 ml (2 cups) Chinese Barbecue Sauce
- 2 star anise
For the Pancake Rolls
- 300 g (6 cups) beansprouts
- 6 baby corn, quartered lengthways
- 30 g (1⁄4 cup) bamboo shoots, roughly chopped
- 1 cup shredded char siu pork
- 8x 22cm (8 1⁄2 in) spring roll wrappers, defrosted
- oil for frying
- 3 tbsp light soy sauce
- 1 tsp salt
- 1⁄2 tsp white pepper
- 2 tsp sugar
For Char Siu Pork
- Cut the pork into 2 equal pieces and place on to a large baking tray along with the Chinese Barbecue Sauce and star anise, massaging the sauce into the meat. Cover and leave to marinate for at least 2 hours or overnight in the fridge.
- Remove the pork from the fridge at least 1–2 hours before you roast. Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F).
- Uncover the pork, add 375ml (1 1⁄2 cups) water and mix into the marinade that will have pooled in the tray. Place on the middle shelf of the oven to roast for 25 minutes, then turn the pork over and baste with the marinade – if it is looking a bit dry you can add more water to loosen it. Return to the oven for a further 20 minutes and repeat, returning to the oven for a final 10 minutes. The pork should be cooked all the way through and have a nice caramelised crust, which adds colour, flavour and texture. Set to one side and allow the meat to rest for 20 minutes, ensuring you reserve some of the marinade at the bottom of the baking tray. Discard the star anise.
- Once the pork has rested, cut 250g (9oz) of the pork into 5mm (1⁄4in) cubes. Put into a bowl, adding 3 tablespoons of the reserved marinade, and mix well.
For the Pancake Rolls
- Place a wok over a high heat until hot. Add 1 tablespoon of oil along with your beansprouts and stir-fry for 1 minute before adding the baby corn and bamboo shoots. Stir-fry for a further 1 minute and then add the shredded pork, soy sauce, salt, pepper and sugar. Continue to stir-fry for a few more minutes until everything is well combined and cooked all the way through. Place a colander over a large bowl and tip the mixture in to cool and drain.
- Once the mixture has fully cooled, place a spring roll wrapper on a board with one corner pointing towards you and brush the edges with water. Spoon 2–3 generous tablespoons of mixture into the centre of the wrapper. Fold the bottom corner up over the filling, fold the side corners in to enclose the filling and create a large fat sausage shape, and then roll towards the final corner. Use a little more water to help seal the wrapper. Repeat with the remaining wrappers and filling.
- Pour enough oil into a deep-sided wok so that once the pancake rolls are added they can float. Heat the oil to 170°C (340°F) and cook the spring rolls two at a time for 7–9 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove the rolls from the oil and place on a wire rack or a plate lined with kitchen paper. Once all of the pancake rolls are cooked, serve hot.
If you’re making ahead, the unfried rolls can be frozen for up to a month in a sealed container. Uneaten fried rolls can also be stored in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 3 days and enjoyed as a cold snack. The cooked rolls may lose some of their crispness in the fridge but can be refreshed with a second flash in the wok or baked in the oven on a wire rack; however, please make sure the contents are fully reheated before eating if using either method.
Excerpted with permission from Chinese Takeout in 5 by Kwoklyn Wan, published by Quadrille, September 2021.