300g pork loin, cut into thin strips (about 1cm thick)
2 tsp five-spice powder
1 tbsp tapioca flour or cornflour
1 medium free-range egg
½ tsp chicken stock powder
½ red onion, chopped
5 water chestnuts, roughly chopped
5 × 22cm spring roll sheets
500ml vegetable oil, for deep-frying
For the marinade
2 tbsp caster sugar
½ tsp salt
2 large pinches of ground white pepper
1 tsp chicken stock powder
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Five-Spice Pork Spring Rolls
A ‘coffee shop’ in Malaysia usually consists of several stalls selling their specialty, so there is a variety of food on offer. There is a coffee shop near my old house in Ipoh where I always order the lor bak from a sweet old man who deep-fries them to crisp up the skin. Traditionally they are wrapped with bean curd skins but I use spring roll sheets as they are easier to find and store.
Place the pork strips in a bowl with the marinade ingredients, stir to coat, cover and leave to marinate in the fridge overnight.
The next day, discard the water that has come out of the pork. Mix the marinated pork with the five-spice powder, tapioca flour or cornflour, egg and chicken stock powder. Add the chopped onion and chestnuts. Mix well.
Place 1 of the spring roll sheets on a flat work surface in front of you, positioning it so that you have a diamond shape. Place some of the pork mixture horizontally 4cm up from the bottom of the sheet. Fold the bottom up over the mixture, fold in the 2 sides and roll up tightly, brushing the edges with water as you go. Place the spring roll on a plate and transfer it to the fridge for 30 minutes to firm up. Repeat with the remaining spring roll sheets and pork mixture.
Heat the oil in a wok or a wide saucepan until it reaches 180°c on a probe thermometer. Alternatively, drop a tiny bit of spring roll sheet into the oil to test if the oil is hot enough: the spring roll sheet should sizzle vigorously and quickly float to the top.
Deep-fry the spring rolls in batches of 2 or 3 at a time, for 8–10 minutes over a medium heat, until golden brown (too high a heat will burn the outside and leave the middle raw), then transfer to kitchen paper to drain.
Slice the spring rolls diagonally and serve with Plum and Sriracha Sauce for dipping.
TIP: If you use a wok, you can fry more spring rolls at a time
(as the surface area is wider).