About the author: Chichi Wang took her degree in philosophy, but decided that writing about food would be much more fun than writing about Plato. She firmly believes in all things offal, the importance of reading great books, and the necessity of three-hour meals. If she were ever to get a tattoo, it would say "Fat is flavor." Visit her blog, The Offal Cook.
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- 3 tablespoons oil
- 6 cups shredded napa cabbage (about 1/2 a medium head)
- 6 ounces pork shoulder, trimmed of gristle, cut into 1/4 inch by 2 inch slices
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch mixed with 3 tablespoons water
- 1 quart oil for deep-frying
Heat 3 tablespoons oil in a wok over high heat until smoking. Add half of cabbage, season with salt, and cook, stirring and tossing occasionally, until softened and wilted, about 2 minutes. Add remaining cabbage and cook, stirring occasionally, until wilted. Add water to cover, bring to a boil, reduce to a bare simmer, cover, and cook for 1 hour, adding more water as necessary. Add sliced pork and stir around to distribute. Continue to simmer for 1 more hour, adding water as necessary, until the cabbage is extremely tender and liquid is completely reduced.
Add cornstarch slurry and let the mixture come to a simmer, cooking until the mixture is thickened, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl.
Wrap spring rolls using this technique, using about 3 tablespoons of filling per roll.
Once all the spring rolls are made, heat oil in the wok to 375 F. Add 4 to 6 rolls and cook, agitating occasionally with a wire mesh spider, until golden brown and crisp, about 5 minutes. Drain on paper towels and keep warm. Repeat with remaining egg rolls. Serve immediately with vinegar or duck sauce for dipping.