Vegetable spring rolls with ginger dipping sauce

Serves 4-6

Rice paper gives these spring rolls a much lighter texture and you can see the filling through the rice paper.

16 or more sheets of rice paper wrappers
Vegetable or corn oil for deep frying

For the filling

30g bean thread transparent noodles, soaked for 15 minutes and drained
tbsp sesame oil
6 spring onions, shredded on the angle
1 clove of garlic, peeled and crushed
1 small piece of root ginger, peeled, grated
1 medium carrot, peeled and shredded
20g Chinese black fungus, soaked in warm water for an hour then shredded
1tbsp chopped coriander
A few leaves of pak choi, shredded

To serve

Some crisp leaves of lettuce such as iceberg
Shredded spring onions
Finely shredded red chilli
A few sprigs of coriander

For the ginger dipping sauce

3tbsp finely grated root ginger
1tbsp rice wine vinegar
tbsp ground nut oil

Mix all of the filling ingredients together; leave for 30 minutes. Heat the sesame oil in a large frying pan and quickly fry all of the ingredients for the filling, apart from the noodles, for a minute, stirring every so often; season and transfer to a plate and leave to cool.

Dry off the noodles and mix with the other ingredients.

Lay a tea towel on a work surface and have ready some warm water in a bowl large enough to fit the rice paper wrappers. Soak the rice paper wrappers one at a time for 20 seconds then carefully remove and lay flat on the tea towel. You can do these a couple at a time but no more as it can get tricky if you haven't done it before.

Place about a tablespoon of the filling in the centre of the end that is towards you. Fold over the two ends towards the centre then brush with the beaten egg and roll up as tightly as possible and transfer to a tray. They will keep in the fridge for a few hours, but not much longer as they tend to go soggy.

Preheat about 8cm of oil to 160-180C in a large, thick-bottomed saucepan or electric deep-fat fryer and fry the spring rolls for 2-3 minutes, turning them with a slotted spoon and draining on some kitchen paper.

To serve, arrange on serving plates with piles of the lettuce and other serving ingredients and wrap the rolls in the leaves with the other ingredients to taste.

Serve with the ginger dipping sauce or sweet chilli dipping sauce.

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