Thursday, February 21, 2013

Cooking: XO Crab Spring Roll

This dish was the only savory one that failed that night. It was completely my fault as I did not do enough research on it before I attempted it. Most things I can just wing it and figure it out. But when it comes to deep frying, I'm an amateur. So instead of delicious crispy spring rolls, I served the filling which was a bunch of vegetables, bean thread noodles, spicy XO sauce, and lump crab meat. It actually didn't turn out to be too shabby.

The first thing I did was soak the bean thread noodles in hot boiled water for 1 hour. It plumped up nicely and became really pliable. Don't worry, they hold their shape really well without becoming mush. Then I julienned a carrot, sliced some scallions, and cleaned a bag of enoki mushrooms. In addition to that, I drained a can of shredded bamboo shoots. Into a pan they went for some light sauteing with soy sauce and spicy XO sauce.
This is what the end results looks like. It tasted pretty darn good at this point already. A deep seafood flavor with some heat to it. Nice texture from all the vegetables too.
Here is the lump crab meat that I purchased. I can eat these as is. Try to avoid eating off of it.
And here is the frozen spring roll pasty that I purchased. Just defrost like puff pastry or phyllo dough.
And here is the assembly. Place one sheet down on a non-stick surface with a corner facing you. Add a bit of the XO vegetable filling to the middle and top with lump crab meat.
Fold the bottom corner up then the sides, and then roll it tightly ending with some corn starch at the top corner acting as glue. This is really important. You don't want it to explode as it did on me that night. Really try to tuck the first corner under the filling and roll it tightly. The corn starch paste should be thick. My own was too watery. I made various bad mistakes that night. I also left the spring rolls sitting around too long. The glue dried and wasn't sticky anymore and the pastry got really wet. All things working against a crispy fried spring roll that remains intact.
Then heat up some oil to 325oF (my oil was too hot) and gently fry each spring roll until golden brown, about 5-10 minutes. Drain on a wire rack. Only 2 spring rolls survived that night out of the 10 I tried to make. These weren't even perfect because they still slightly exploded. Sigh, if only I read about more recipe. Next time. There will be a next time. If all else fails, I'll serve the filling again.

XO Crab Spring Rolls
Makes 10 servings
Ingredients
1-3oz packet of bean thread noodles
3 scallions, greens only and sliced lengthwise
1-8oz can bamboo shoots, drained
1/2 carrot, juilienned
1 bag enoki mushrooms
1/2-2.8oz jar XO sauce
1 tbsp dark soy sauce
1-8oz can lump crab meat
10 sheets of spring roll pastry, defrosted
1 tbsp cornstarch
Oil
Salt

Directions
1. Soak bean thread noodles in hot boiled water for 1 hour. Drain and cut into smaller pieces. Set aside.
2. Heat up some oil in a pan on medium high heat. Add carrots and bamboo shoots. Cook for about 3 minutes. Then add mushrooms, scallions, and bean thread noodles. Cook for 3 more minutes then add soy sauce and XO sauce. Cook until all the liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat and let cool.
3. Mix 1 tbsp corn starch and 1 tbsp cold water to form a thin paste that's not too watery. Set aside.
4. Place one pastry sheet on a non-stick surface (I used a silicon mat) with a corner facing you. Place 1/8 cup of the filling in the middle topped with some lump crab meat. Roll up bottom of pastry over the filling and tuck under. Bring in the sides and continue rolling pastry tightly. Brush last corner with cornstarch mixture. Seal and let rest seam side down. Cover with a wet towel. Continue with rest of the filling and pastry sheets.
5. Bring a pot of oil to 325oF. Drop spring rolls into the oil about 2 to 3 at a time to avoid overcrowding and dropping the oil temperature. Drain on a wire rack. Continue deep frying the spring rolls in batches. Serve immediately.

1 comment:

  1. I think it also has to do with having air in there. I tried to make crab rangoon once and the frying process was a complete disaster and failure. Really bad.

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