Celebrate Chinese New Year at the Land of Luck
by Chef Foode - Tuesday January 29, 2019 3:01 pm
Air China presents The Land of Luck: Bringing Londoners good fortune in celebration of the Year of The Pig and here's Ching’s Vegetable Spring Rolls (Chun Juen) mini spring rolls recipe
On the 9th February from 11.30am – 9.30pm, Air China invites you to celebrate the Year of the Pig by visiting the Land of Luck, inspired by Air China’s Land Your Dream Campaign, at The Bargehouse on London’s Southbank.
This multi-layered experience will give guests a glimpse of the magical land of China, offering a range of activities that will help you Up Your Luck and improve the chance of landing all your hopes and dreams for the year.
As you enter the experience through the Air China check-in desks, you will be transported into a land of unexpected beauty and opportunity, but, most importantly, luck. Everything within the Land of Luck is designed to create and curate prosperity, drawing on long held Chinese traditions to offer unique fortune filling experiences.
A highlight of the Land of Luck is The Lucky Banquet Hall.
The Lucky Menu – a carefully crafted menu offering a range of Chinese delicacies that include vegetarian and vegan options, prepared by chef Ching He Huang. You can choose from a series of dishes that include: Longevity Noodles, Wealth-lings (Dumplings) and Rolls of Abundance (Spring Rolls) (SEE RECIPE BELOW), Flavoured Prosperity (Fish) and Good Fortune Fruit (Apples and Clementines)
The Lucky Wall – throughout the Land of Luck discover the hidden symbols to up your luck and see if you have been successful by choosing a red envelope that could contain an Air China gift
Lucky Knots - learn how to create one of China’s best-known charms to bring you blessings, especially when shared with a friend
The Lion Dance - the Land of Luck culminates with a dance that is over 2,000 years old. Performed at key calendar celebration, the Lion is a symbol of power, wisdom and the dance is designed to chase away evil spirits while interacting with the guests and bring about good luck!
The Land of Luck must be booked in time slots, these group sessions start every 30 minutes from 11.30am – 7.30pm, with each session lasting an hour allowing you to roam freely around the different elements of the experience. Tickets are limited and cost £10 and are available to purchase here.
RECIPE Ching’s Vegetable Spring Rolls (Chun Juen) mini spring rolls
Spring rolls "Chūn juǎn” are usually eaten at the Spring Festival “Chūnjié” known as Chinese New Year.
This delicious recipe has Northern Chinese roots where wheatflour was abundant and was mainstay of many Chinese meals and snacks. The origins of Spring rolls were “Bǐng” – semi-rolled pancakes eaten with delicious fillings wrapped inside.
Vegetable spring rolls can be as virtuous or as naughty as you like. If you are using traditional spring roll wrappers you can opt to use a single layer when wrapping and gently pan fry them until the outside is crispy as the filling is cooked inside.
If you cannot find the wrappers you can use filo pastry and bake them in the oven (see my tip below). If you are feeling indulgent, deep-fry them – it is the traditional way!
These spring rolls can be made ahead and stored in the freezer and can be fried from frozen, just allow a little more time to crisp.
These will make a delicious “golden” appetizer in the spirit of Chinese New Year.
MAKES 25-30 X 8cm X 1.5cm CIGAR ROUND SPRING ROLLS
SERVE WITH SIDE OF SWEET THAI CHILLI SAUCE (5 PER BOWL)
SPRING ROLLS FRY IN 5-6 MINUTES
600ml (1 pint) groundnut oil or sunflower oil
For the Filling
1 tsp garlic, peeled, finely chopped
1 tsp of peeled and grated root ginger
100g woodear mushrooms, dried, soaked in hot water for 15 minutes, finely shredded
2 tbsps of low sodium light soy sauce
1 tbsp of Chinese five-spice powder
For Crunchy Veg filling
2 leaves of cabbage, washed, finely sliced
2 large spring onions, sliced lengthways, long strips
1 small carrot, cut into matchsticks
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
Pinch of sea salt
Pinch of ground white pepper
To Wrap the spring rolls
25-30 large spring roll wrappers (6in square), frozen variety, defrosted 1 day in advance by transferring to the fridge, unopened. Once opened, must be kept damp with damp tea towel to dry very quickly.
1 beaten egg
1. Heat a wok over a high heat until it starts to smoke and then add 1 tbsp of the groundnut oil. Add the garlic, ginger and stir-fry for a few seconds. Tip in the woodear mushrooms stir-fry for 1–2 minutes, then season with 1 tbsp of the low sodium soy sauce and the five-spice powder. Add a small splash of water around the edges of the wok to help create some steam. Remove from the wok and set aside to cool for 6 minutes.
2. Put the shredded cabbage, spring onions and carrot into a bowl. Add the remaining 1 tbsp of low sodium light soy sauce, toasted sesame oil and the salt and pepper. Stir all the ingredients together to mix. Remove the fried woodear mushrooms and toss in together to combine well.
3. Take 1 large spring roll wrappers, place in a diamond shape. Spoon 2 teaspoons of the filling starting at the bottom tip corner about 2cm from the edge and roll over the rolling, squeezing any air out as you roll away from you. As you reach the middle bring the two points to the middle and then wrapping them onto themselves continue to roll away then take a handful of egg yolk onto your hand and spread this onto the remaining wrapper then roll away until the end is curled up into a cigar shape length about 8-9cm in length and 1.5cm wide. Continue to fill all the wrappers.
4. Heat the oil in the fryer to 180°C (350°F) or until a cube of bread dropped in turns golden brown in 15 seconds and floats to the surface. Deep-fry the spring rolls for 5-6 minutes swishing it in the fryer until golden and crispy, then remove with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper. Fry fresh to serve. Serve with as Thai sweet chilli sauce. The spring rolls can be made in advance and then fried from frozen.
Golden Rules for making the Perfect Golden Spring Rolls
Make sure the filling is cool and not wet – otherwise the spring roll will be soggy and you will break the spring roll wrapper.
Use traditional spring roll wrappers that are very thin and contain coconut oil (for extra crispness). Look out for the frozen variety.
While wrapping make sure the wrappers are covered with a damp tea towel to prevent them from drying out and cracking.
When frying make sure the oil is at a constant temperature, and using a metal spider or slotted spoon, swish them in the wok so they cook evenly, you want the spring rolls to be crispy and golden not too browned.
If you freeze them make sure you line them on a flat surface with layers of wax paper inbetween them so they don’t stick together. After they have completely frozen, separate them apart and transfer to bags.