Harumaki means spring roll in Japanese. Haru is spring and maki means to roll. Harumaki is the Japanese adaptation of Chinese spring rolls.
Unlike Chinese spring rolls, harumaki filling includes a thick sauce that coats the protein. Pork is the most common although practically any meat can be substituted. When you bite into a harumaki, the sauce which thins down a bit during frying drips into your mouth. It’s a completely different experience from eating Chinese pork spring rolls.
In this recipe, the ground pork filling is cooked with broth, flour, curry, ginger, garlic, oyster sauce, soy sauce and ketchup. Don’t be surprised at the inclusion of ketchup. It figures in so many Japanese dishes that were developed during the Meiji era when Western culture was allowed to influence traditional Japanese cooking.
The cooked filling has to be cooled to room temperature before wrapping. It’s just not a good idea to wrap hot filling with spring roll wrapper. The steam will immediately soak the wrapper and it will never turn properly crisp even with prolonged frying.
Because harumaki filling contains sauce, wrapping it is not the same as making Chinese pork spring rolls. It is a bit messy. It helps if you dust the spring roll wrappers with a little starch before and after filling them. To discrourage the sauce from spreading while wrapping, our trick is to sandwich it between slices of mozzarella.
The spring rolls are deeped fried just like Chinese spring rolls. But because the filling is already cooked and the sauce can leek as it thins out in the heat, it is best to scoop them out of the oil just as soon as they turn golden and crisp.
Cheese and curry harumaki
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 500 grams ground pork
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 shallots - peeled and thinly sliced
- ½ teaspoon minced garlic
- ¼ teaspoon grated ginger
- 1 tablespoon curry powder
- 1 teaspoon chili flakes
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon oyster sauce
- 1 teaspoon ketchup
- ½ teaspoon honey - (optional)
- ½ cup bone broth
- 150 grams mozzarella - cut into strips
- 18 small spring roll wrappers
- cooking oil - for deep frying
Cook the pork curry
- Heat the butter in a pan.
- Spread the ground pork in the hot butter. Over high heat, leave for a minute or two to allow the underside of the pork to brown.
- Set the heat to medium. Add the shallots, garlic and ginger. Cook, stirring, for half a minute.
- Sprinkle in the salt, curry powder and chili flakes, and stir well.
- Sprinkle in the flour and cook, stirring, for a minute.
- Pour in the soy sauce, oyster sauce, broth and honey (if using).
- Allow the pork curry to boil gently, uncovered and stirring often, until the sauce has reduced to a sticky paste that coats the bits of meat.
- Cool the pork curry completely.
Make the harumaki
- Place a spring roll wrapper on your work area and spread a heaping teaspoon of pork curry across the middle.
- Flank the pork curry with cheese on both sides.
- Cover the filling by lifting over it the of the wrapper nearest you and roll to compress the filling a bit.
- Fold in the the sides of the wrapper.
- Moisten the farthest tip of the wrapper with water (or egg wash) before rolling to seal.
- Repeat until all the wrappers have been filled.
Fry the harumaki
- In a wok or frying pan, heat enough cooking oil to reach a depth of at least three inches.
- Fry the harumaki, in batches if your pan is not so large, until golden and crisp.