Spring Rolls with Crunchy Vegetables and Shrimp

shrimp spring rolls

Spring rolls and egg rolls are a traditional food served for the Chinese New Year on February 1, 2022.  The Chinese New Year is also known as Spring Festival and a new beginning, hence the name for these popular meat and vegetable filled rolls.

Spring rolls symbolize wealth because their shape is similar to gold bars. They are typically fried and filled with shredded pork and shrimp, black mushrooms, mung bean sprouts, and chives. They are seasoned with a sauce made of oyster sauce, Chinese rice wine, soy sauce, and sesame oil. You can buy the spring roll wrappers in most groceries. The seasoned ingredients are rolled in the wrapper and fried to a crunchy golden brown. You can dip these rolls into hot mustard or plum sauce.

Eating them is a way to welcome and celebrate the arrival of spring. They are a symbol of wealth. Spring rolls come mostly from Cantonese dim sum dishes so they are more popular in south and southeast China provinces.

The recipe for spring rolls that I have below is not fried. The ingredients are rolled in a rice paper wrapper that has been soaked in water to make it more pliable for folding and rolling with the ingredients.

These have just the right amount of crunch, combined with a little silkiness from the avocado and a spicy punch from the jalapeños. No cooking is required except for steaming the shrimp if needed. Turn off the stove, gather family and friends, and roll a few of your favorite herbs, raw vegetables and choice of protein into a beautiful and impressive rice paper wrapped appetizer. Use tofu rather than shrimp to make a vegetarian version.

Celebrate the Chinese New Year in your kitchen this year with family and friends making spring rolls, dumplings and noodles. Happy year of the tiger!  Wishing you health, wealth,  happiness and harmony in 2022.

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