Thursday, May 26, 2011

Home Made Spring Roll Crepes

My first attemp of making them.

There's no recipe for me and I can only rely on my childhood memories of life in a country far far away.

I remember the little old ladies at the side of the streets on little stoves making those crepes.  Mum used to send me to the streets to get them so she could make spring rolls for us, or just use them as wraps.  There was no freezer section or big super markets when I was growing up. 

In the 70s and early 80s, there was hardly anything in any shops in mainland China, and all the spring roll crepes, along with a lot of other traditional poor men's foods, were hand made.  The old ladies were usually pretty quick, they usually made them in front of the buyers, straight away when you order them, was almost magical for me when I was little, swirl the runny dough around the flat pan, and a second later one crepe was ready.

After living in Australia for half of my life - 20 years and most of my cooking life, I rarely make spring rolls, and if I do, I usually use the pastry from the supermarket freezers.  So does mum.  The shope crepes do deep fried spring rolls alright, but it's not usable at all, as wraps.

So this is from a 30 year old memory... and I must admit, it's a lot harder than I thought!

Oh, by the way, Jamie Oliver made his Snake Cake in his Jamie Does show and the filo pastry used and how he tried to make it in the Moroccan Street stall, was amazingly similar to the humble Chinese Spring Roll Crepes...

From memory, the dough was runny but very elastic, so this was what I did:
450g strong bread flour
400g water
1.5 tbsp salt.

Mix well and leave it covered for roughly half a day to a day.

So it's elastic and stringy when it comes to make it.

I bought an electronic crepe pan earlier this year, with a little wooden thingy to make all sorts of crepes.  Since the spring roll crepe dough was not a normal runny crepe batter, all work had to be done by "wiping" the pan with the dough...

It was harder and I think maybe, after a few practices, I might be able to compete with the little old ladies in my memory?

There were a few thick bits and edges were not perfect, after a few failed attemps, I got the hang of it, and starting to make something that's sort of - passable. 

Maybe not the best for making actual spring rolls, but good enough to use as wraps... thin, chewy, how it should be. 

Wrap it up with shredded pork stir fry.

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