Monday, April 12, 2010

Fried Rice Rolls

Fried Rice Rolls
Home Cooking

When last I popped over to my parents house, they were couped up in the TV room, soaking up air-con and watching a cooking show on Chinese cable. The chef was demonstrating this unusual dish that was a great way to use up left over steamed rice.

The rice was mixed with smoked meat, prawns, crushed peanut and other savory ingredients before being rolled into a sheet of bean curd wrapper, steamed, cut and finally fried. It sounded 'involved' but we gave it a shot and it actually turned out quite easy.

Bean curd wrapper (for those who haven't seen it before)

The recipe suggests using left over rice but we had a pot of freshly steamed rice. I'm sure that's not a crime. We also omitted certain filling ingredients but that's more so because of memory lapse than anything else.

Fried Rice Rolls
Makes 9 pieces

  • 1 stick of Chinese smoked meat (we also used 1/2 a stick of Chinese sausage aka lap chong)
  • 1/2 onion
  • 2 dried shitake mushrooms, soaked in hot water until softened
  • 2 cups of steamed rice
  • 1 tbsp plain flour
  • salt, pepper, sugar and chicken stock powder to taste
  • bean curd wrappers
  • 1/2 tbsp starch (diluted in 1/4 cup of water)
  • sweet chili sauce to serve

1. Dice the meat (and sausage if using), onion and mushroom finely. The idea is to try to get these ingredients into similar size so that the filling is reasonably homogenous.2. Add a bit of cold water to the rice and loosen with a chopstick until it becomes quite separated. Add in the flour and mix.3. Add the diced ingredients and season.4. Lay out a sheet of bean curd wrapper. Brush on some of the starch water so that it softens the wrapper.
5. Spoon out 1/3 of the filling horizontally along the wrapper.6. Proceed to wrap the filling into a log shape, being sure to pull tightly as you wrap to keep the filling as firm as possible.
7. Once you've wrapped the filling once over completely, tuck the sides in and wrap a bit more. Cut off the excess.8. Repeat with the remainder of the filling.9. Steam the logs for 10min. Remove from the steamer.10. Cut each log diagonally into 3rds.11. Heat some oil in a large wok on high. Once it's hot, fry the pieces in batches of 3 one side at a time until golden.
12. Serve hot with sweet chili sauce.

The fried rice rolls might not look pretty but they were delicious. The skin is crispy and the filling is lovely and aromatic from the smoked meat and Chinese sausage.

We had a few ideas for improving the dish. Everyone in my family agreed that the rolls weren't tight enough. I think that's mostly a technique thing but you could also substitute a portion of the rice with sticky rice for filling that holds together a bit better.

Roll with sweet chili sauce

The flavor was already fabulous and it was perfectly complimented by the sweet chili sauce. In terms of texture, we thought a bit of crunch would have really lifted it up. I thought: water chestnut. My parents thought of peanuts and prawns. I guess, at the end of the day, the sky's the limit.

Finally, my dad also suggested frying the logs whole before slicing them just to prevent bits of rice from falling out of the sides. I thought it would have been a better idea to just wrap the filling into individual parcels with smaller sheets of bean curd but that's quite a large deviation from what it's 'supposed to be'. But hey, if it tastes good...

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