Martha Liao's Spring Rolls

5 dozen

Prepare this family recipe for spring rolls, from opera singer Hao Jian Tian and Martha Liao, his wife, for a special or everyday occasion. Also try: Martha Liao's Peking Duck


  • 2 (3.75-ounce) packages of cellophane noodles

  • 1 small head napa cabbage, shredded (about 8 cups)

  • Canola oil, for frying

  • Coarse salt

  • 2 pounds lean ground pork

  • 2 tablespoons chopped garlic

  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh ginger

  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce

  • 1 tablespoon Shao Hsing (Chinese cooking wine) or dry sherry

  • 1 teaspoon sugar

  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch

  • 5 scallions, trimmed and chopped

  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil

  • 40 to 50 spring roll wrappers

  • 1 large egg, beaten


  1. Place cellophane noodles in enough hot water to cover; let stand until softened, about 10 minutes.

  2. Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet with a lid over medium-high heat. Add cabbage and cook, stirring, until coated with oil. Season with salt and cover; cook until cabbage is soft, about 5 minutes. Transfer cabbage to a large bowl; set aside.

  3. Add enough oil to lightly coat bottom of skillet. Add pork, garlic, and ginger; stir to combine. Add soy sauce, wine, and sugar. Whisk cornstarch together with 1/4 cup water until well combined. Add to skillet and cook, stirring, until mixture is thickened and pork is cooked through.

  4. Drain cellophane noodles, cut into 2-inch pieces and add to skillet; stir in scallions and sesame oil. Transfer pork mixture to bowl with cabbage; toss to combine. Let filling stand until cool, about 4 hours.

  5. Place 1 wrapper on a work surface, with 1 corner facing you. (Keep remaining wrappers covered with a damp kitchen towel.) Arrange 2 tablespoons filling in a mound in center of wrapper. Fold bottom corner over filling, then fold in sides halfway. Roll wrapper to form a tight cylinder, leaving top corner exposed. Brush top corner with a little of the beaten egg, and press to seal. Cover with a damp kitchen towel. Repeat process with remaining wrappers and filling.

  6. Fill a large heavy-bottomed saucepan halfway with canola oil. Heat over medium-high heat until temperature reaches 365 degrees on a deep-fry thermometer. Working in batches, cook spring rolls, turning occasionally, until golden and crisp, about 4 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to drain. Repeat process with remaining spring rolls; serve hot.

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